We must come together at this difficult time

Fairtrade coffee beans

These are unprecedented and difficult times, which bring with them challenges to life and liberty that have not been experienced before, certainly not within our lifetimes. Even as we are being instructed to self- isolate and move apart, emotionally we also must find ways to come together, to act and be as one with our neighbours, our friends and our families, here and across the globe.

In the interests of wellbeing and in accordance with government advice all of our staff and colleagues across the Fairtrade Foundation are working from home and have been since Tuesday 17th March. We will continue to do so over the coming weeks until government advice changes. Our independent auditor FLOCERT has halted all field visits and our producer organisations; Fairtrade Africa, the NAPP in Asia and CLAC in South America are all moving to try to ensure production and incomes whilst ensuring the safety of colleagues, farmers and communities.

We are all facing hard times, both here and overseas where many farmers and workers live and work, those on whom we rely for much of our food and other products we enjoy. Many face the spread of Coronavirus in remote regions of the globe, with little if any safety net, and little medical care. Please shop responsibly with thoughts for others at this difficult time, both for those shopping after you and those around the globe helping to produce our foods, despite the challenges. We wish all good health in the coming months.