by Rebecca Turner, campaign manager, Fairtrade Foundation
Would you campaign for fair pay for farmers in the developing world?
The Fairtrade Foundation petitions the UK government for fair trade across the globe.
Campaigners are at the heart and soul of Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation is a non-profit organisation strengthened by the hundreds of Fairtrade towns, faith groups, schools and universities and committed supporters who are helping realise the vision of fair trade.
Whether you are buying Fairtrade coffee in your local Greggs, supporting Fairtrade Fortnight or even becoming a spokesperson in a Fairtrade town, everyone can play a part in this international movement.
But what does this mean at national or international scale?
In February the Fairtrade Foundation launched a new report, ‘Brexit: let’s change trade for good', and asked all Fairtrade supporters to sign a petition to the government’s Department for International Trade.
The petition calls on post-Brexit government to help continue to support developing countries through the supply chain, and to make market access for poor farmers a priority.
The prime minister’s vision to make Britain a ‘great global trading nation’ must not come at the expense of poorer countries. With 47% of imports facing additional tariffs in post-Brexit trade plans more farmers could be pushed into poverty, raising questions about the future of the main commodities traded across the world.
Can you make a difference?
Because of the passion people feel for equal working conditions around the world, because this passion is translated to words, to events, to Fairtrade towns across the country, throughout different networks, different supporters, and people in all walks of life, we have a louder voice. It is because of this support we can have a greater impact on policy – and your voice can be heard.
In the first 48 hours that this petition went live it had over 10,000 signatures.
This is testament to our supporters. So thank you.
The petition was handed in to the Department for International Trade on the 18th April. Here’s the team outside 10 Downing Street:
Tim Aldred, head of policy and research, of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Today Fairtrade was at the Department for International Trade to hand in a petition that more than 38,000 people have signed, calling on the government to change trade for good post-Brexit.
“Today too many people responsible for the food and drink we enjoy are living on the edge and if the UK doesn’t put deals in place to protect them they could face up to £1 billion in extra taxes.
“Whatever the result of the election, we want the new trade minister to prioritise this issue and give farmers and workers around the world the security of continued trading with the UK, without having to worry about crippling taxes.”
The total number of signatures when the petition was handed in was 38,375. To read more about the Fairtrade Foundation’s current campaigning activity got to fairtrade.org.uk/brexit