Each year for two weeks over February and March, Fairtrade puts a spotlight on trade through our Fairtrade Fortnight campaign. Together with the Fairtrade farmers and workers, and campaigners up and down the country, we highlight the difference fair trade can make to lives and communities.
Fairtrade Fortnight will return in 2019 from 25 February to 10 March. It’s the most important time of the year for us all to celebrate Fairtrade achievements, whilst encouraging further commitments from the public, companies and governments to take action for fairer trade.
Next year, Fairtrade Fortnight will focus on cocoa. Farmers of this iconic Fairtrade product have seen prices crash to crisis levels in the last few years, particularly in West Africa where most cocoa is grown. The situation highlights in stark terms the scandal of unfair trade. We have a choice about whether we take a stand against this.
Many farmers – both men and women – are underpaid and exploited. That means they can’t earn enough for the basics many of us take for granted, including food, education and housing, because they don’t earn a living income.
It’s even worse for the women who work in the fields and in the home. Despite the hard work they put in, they’re often overlooked and under-represented, and usually see even less of the money for their crop. They deserve more.
So the voices and stories of women farmers will also be at the heart of Fairtrade Fortnight. And we’re inviting some inspiring women farmers from Cote D’Ivoire – who truly understand what a living income means and represents – to come and help us spread the message.
Not sure what a living income means? Check out our introduction to living income.
Crisis in cocoa
The recent drop in cocoa prices means it’s more important than ever to remind people why choosing Fairtrade is so important, but also to be honest that certification alone can’t fix the complex issues which leave smallholder farmers at the mercy of volatile international markets.
So whilst buying more Fairtrade chocolate is the essential first step, it’s not enough. More needs to be done to tackle the grave injustice at the heart of this multi-billion pound industry. And it won’t happen without the chocolate-consuming UK public demanding it.
The good news is there has never been more understanding of these issues, or consensus amongst governments and companies around the need to pay a living income.
Raising the bar: beyond the FAIRTRADE Mark
We know that buying more Fairtrade cocoa can catalyse transformative change for producer communities, but that we need to encourage others to do more to truly overcome the injustice at the heart of this much-loved product.
That’s why in 2019 we’ll also launch an ambitious new 3-year campaign that will encourage everyone in the cocoa sector – consumers, companies, governments and others – to play their part and make a living income a reality for cocoa farmers.
Get ready for Fairtrade Fortnight
There are many ways to deliver this serious message in an accessible way – from baking delicious Fairtrade chocolate treats, to celebrating special women in our lives and communities – and we’re working hard on brand new resources and ideas to help Fairtrade supporters bring about this change.
The full Fairtrade Fortnight campaign will be launched at the start of November. Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletters so you’re the first to hear upcoming announcements about how you can get involved.
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