Fairtrade campaigners, dressed in pajamas and dressing gowns, and banana suits, drinking from Fairtrade mugs at a Fairtrade fundraising event in front of a church

5 ways to choose the world you want in 2021

2020 was an incredibly tough year for so many of us. And it’s already clear 2021 will pose some big challenges too. But the new year is still a chance to choose to do things differently. So we’ve been thinking about ways we can choose a better future that starts in 2021.

Here are just five of the ways our global Fairtrade movement – which did so much to provide vital support to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities in 2020 – will be making the future that little bit brighter for all of us this year.

1: Join the ‘Choose the world you want’ festival this Fairtrade Fortnight

Sign up to the Choose the world you want festival

Though there’s uncertainty around many of the big events of 2021, our online ‘Choose the world you want: Fairtrade, climate and you’ festival will definitely be kicking off in just over one month’s time.

This Festival will be an exciting part of our Fairtrade Fortnight (22 February – 7 March) celebrations this year.

Sign-up for free today to get all the festival details

Throughout the festival we’ll be discussing how the climate crisis poses an immediate threat to the farmers and workers behind everyday products like bananas, coffee and chocolate.

Join us and hear some of the affected farmers and workers explain why they need to earn more if their livelihoods are to survive the climate crisis, and how we can help make that happen.

We’ll also have exciting online events featuring all parts of our Fairtrade movement, including Fairtrade schools, major UK supermarkets, and climate change campaigners. And it wouldn’t be a festival without some top notch entertainment, so look out for music, art and interactive workshops from talented performers and committed and creative Fairtrade campaigners.

2: Go bananas for living wages

Did you know in the UK alone we’ve eaten 23 billion Fairtrade bananas over the past 20 years? That’s enough bananas to reach the moon and back over six times!

Well in 2021 it may be time for a seventh lunar trip, as we’ve some good news that will make you want to pick up yet another bunch.

Fairtrade has introduced a new Fairtrade Base Wage as part of our campaign to make sure all workers on banana plantations earn enough to secure a decent standard of life. As part of this strategy, we’re also increasing the amount of Fairtrade Premium workers can receive in cash to help them reach a living wage sooner.

Find out more about the Fairtrade Premium

You can watch this short animation to learn more about how this change will make a difference for banana farmers.

Remember you can buy Fairtrade bananas in almost all major retailers and many smaller independent fruit shops. One in three bananas sold in the UK are Fairtrade, including every single banana sold in Co-op, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

3: Choose an equal shot for women

A good cup of coffee can get a tough day off to a much better start. So maybe some good coffee news can give us a boost as we begin a tough year.

An independent study has confirmed that being part of a Fairtrade co-operative gives female coffee farmers more power over their businesses and their future. So when you choose a Fairtrade brew this year, you’re making a real difference in the global effort to win equal rights for women.

In all six Fairtrade co-operatives included in the study, women were represented in governance roles. Our Fairtrade Standards require all Fairtrade co-ops to have a gender policy in place, which must set out how that co-op is working towards empowering women.

Portrait of Dorcas Jeptanui, Chairlady of the Growing Women in Coffee programme in Kenya. Growing Women in Coffee
Dorcas Jeptanui (pictured above) is Chairlady of the Growing Women in Coffee programme in Kenya. Growing Women in Coffee is a Fairtrade-backed initative that means more financial independence for women by giving them control of their own coffee bushes.

Watch Ms Jeptanui speak about the programme at the recent Global Coffee Festival.

This should be a pretty easy resolution to keep: sip Fairtrade coffee to keep giving a fairer shot to female coffee farmers all around the world. Let everyone know that you’ll be going with Fairtrade coffee in 2021 by sharing on Twitter using the button below.

More power for female coffee farmers – just one of the reasons I’m choosing Fairtrade in 2021. #ChooseFairtrade

4: Declare it’s time we got serious on climate change

At the end of this year, Glasgow is due to host a UN Climate Summit – known as COP 26 – which could make or break global efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

That’s why the Fairtrade Foundation has joined our partners in the Climate Coalition in signing the Climate Declaration. Along with over 100,000 individuals, businesses and community groups, we’re urging world leaders to commit to radical action that both delivers real support for those already suffering the effects of climate change and tackles the root causes of the crisis.

But we need you to sign too. Sign the Climate Declaration

Graphic of a clean energy scene, with windmills, against a blue sky, green grass, trees, solar panels and people walking and riding bikes in front of a small cluster of grey tower blocks. Text reads 'sign the declaraton for a healthy, greener, fairer tomorrow,' linking to the Climate Coalition's Climate Declaration.

It’s so important to remind world leaders of their responsibilities to the farmers and workers all around the world, too often living in poverty, who grow our coffee, make our clothes and produce our other everyday staples. They have contributed the least to the climate crisis, but are already suffering some of the worst effects.

And if they are to adapt to the climate crisis, they need to earn more so that they can afford to do so, otherwise it will be even harder for them to escape poverty. Choosing Fairtrade is one way to stand with those on the front line of the climate crisis. Our global Fairtrade movement also has a big part to play in campaigning for systematic change.

If you are part of a Fairtrade Community Group, you can sign as a group and personalise your declaration to include any local action you’ll be taking in your area.

Sign the Climate Declaration

You’ll be hearing much more about what we can do as a Fairtrade movement to win action on climate change that delivers for those farmers and workers already feeling the worst effects very soon. Sign up to our emails to hear more,

5: make your veganuary a fairanuary!

Every year the annual Veganuary campaign tries to inspire people to eat more plant-based foods and reduce the amount of meat and dairy they consume.

This year is shaping up to be the biggest ever, with more than half a million expected to take part in the UK alone. People have a variety of reasons for taking up the challenge to go vegan for a month – some do it to reduce their carbon footprint, others from animal rights reasons and many try it for health reasons.

But whatever your motivation, you can choose to double your ethical impact by choosing from a great range of Fairtrade and vegan snacks and treats. Check out our list of 10 Fairtrade products you might be surprised to find are vegan, which will leave you with no shortage of snacking options this Veganuary.

Images of different products which are both vegan and Fairtrade, linking to a blog article with ten of these products listed and described. Products are Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Tony's Chocolonely, Quinola's quinoa, Pico's Coconut M*lk chocolate, Seed & Bean's chocolate hamper, Co-op red wine, Propercorn's perfectly sweet popcorn,  Ma's Coconut Milk, Bart's spices, Cocoa Loco's dark chocolate coated mango.
From ice-cream to wine, there are plenty of vegan Fairtrade goodies to get you through January.

And of course – choose Fairtrade every day!

This Fairtrade Fortnight our Choose the world you want online festival focuses on those farmers and workers who urgently need to earn more to have the power to adapt to the climate crisis they face every day.

Every single time you choose Fairtrade, or decided to campaign with us, you’re choosing to put more power and more money in the hands of those farmers and workers who are sorely disadvantaged by unfair global trade. Your support leads to more clinics delivering life-saving care, more businesses growing sustainably and more children getting a quality education, thanks to farmers democratically choosing how to invest their Fairtrade Premium locally.

In fact, despite the huge difficulties caused by the current pandemic, our global Fairtrade movement continues to make countless positive changes in communities all around the world.

Whatever you do in 2021, thank you for being part of that!

Read more