Fairtrade campaigners from across the UK today handed in a petition supporting Fairtrade’s Show Your Hand campaign at Number 10 Downing Street, calling for David Cameron to lead a new joined-up approach from the UK government that puts farmers and workers first.
“Mr Cameron has championed trade as a way to tackle global poverty, but not all of his departments seem to have got the memo,” said Fairtrade Foundation Head of Policy Tim Aldred, “The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) lobbied for changes to EU’s Common Agricultural Policy which look set to push 200,000 sugar cane farmers into poverty. This seems at odds with the protection of aid spending and DFID’s efforts to ensure sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers.”
More than ten thousand supporters emailed Mr Cameron in support of Fairtrade’s campaign, asking him to agree to the Fairtrade Foundation’s five point agenda that calls for policy coherence. This follows the UK government signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York last month.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment ‘to ensure that all [their] policies – on things like tax, trade and transparency – really help to deliver progress for the poorest’, and their longstanding interest in making trade work for the poor,” said Mr. Aldred, “Unfortunately, the experience of the farmers and workers that we represent is that, too often, government falls short of this ambition – especially when there is a clash with other areas of government policy at UK or EU level. As a result poor communities around the world can find their markets and livelihoods undermined.”
Fairtrade and supporters are calling for Mr Cameron to ensure that robust measures are in place across government to ensure that the impact on the world’s poorest people is always the first priority in trade policy decisions.
Note to editors:
Changes to EU trade policies will mean the loss of market access for sugar cane farmers around the world in 2017. Fairtrade Foundation’s “Show Your Hand” campaign is calling for support for farmers and their communities affected by the change. The Fairtrade Foundation is also calling for Government to put in place robust measures to make sure that trade policy helps, and does not harm, the interests of the world’s poorest people.
UK Prime Minister quotation from his speech to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals summit, September 2015