Caroline Rona

Countdown begins to Fairtrade Fortnight 2023

Fairtrade Fortnight 2023 (taking place 27 February – 12 March) will spotlight the harmful effect of the climate crisis on the future of our food.

Thousands of people across Britain are gearing up to take part in Fairtrade Fortnight 2023.

This year’s campaign will highlight the message that whatever your budget and wherever you shop, when you choose Fairtrade, you support farmers to take care of the environment through Fairtrade’s Price, Premium and Programmes.

The two-week annual celebrity-backed campaign runs from 27 February – 12 March. This year it will focus on the climate crisis and the increasing threat it poses to some of the planet’s most beloved food products as well as the livelihoods of the farmers and agricultural workers who grow them.

It will show how the future survival of the world’s most popular foods – such as bananas, cocoa, and coffee – hangs in the balance unless we achieve inclusive and equitable climate solutions, with farmers and agricultural workers playing a central role in the climate response.

The future of bananas

Bananas are the world’s most popular fruit. With an estimated global export value of $7 billion per year, the banana trade remains the cornerstone of many countries’ economy.

For more than 450m people around the world, bananas and plantains are vital staple crops, particularly in lower-income nations.

But amid the impact of climate change and the resulting threats posed by plant diseases like Fusarium TR4, the future of bananas is increasingly at risk, according to Fairtrade’s Fairtrade and Climate Change study.

The study warns that dramatic weather patterns spurred by climate change will likely deliver severe blows to agricultural production in key regions around the world, from Latin America to the Asia-Pacific. Banana producers in the Caribbean and in Central America, for instance, are expected to experience less rainfall and more extreme temperatures. Meanwhile those in Southeast Asia and Oceania will see an increased risk of tropical cyclones.

Support for fairer prices

Jackie Marshall, Head of Brand and Marketing at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Fairtrade Fortnight highlights the urgent threat to the future of British staples produced overseas. Without our support for fairer prices today, farmers will find it even harder to tackle the climate and economic challenges of the future. 

“Smallholder farmers have a critical role in addressing climate change and have the expertise and knowledge to do so – but they simply can’t afford to foot the bill for adapting to economic and climate change on their current incomes. There is a huge amount we can all do. Fairtrade is asking each and every one of us to act now and shop Fairtrade so farmers can keep going through these tough times. 

“By choosing Fairtrade now, you are helping protect nature now as well as the future of our food.”

Two weeks of events

Hundreds of exciting events traditionally take place across the country during Fairtrade Fortnight. These are organised by Fairtrade supporters and ethical shoppers in local communities who are committed to campaigning for social justice.

From Belfast to Bournemouth and Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, Liverpool to London, each one will bring home the message that choosing Fairtrade means a more sustainable future for our favourite foods.

As well as dozens of classic Fairtrade coffee mornings, pub quizzes, film screenings and special school assemblies, local activists are linking up directly with Fairtrade farming communities, building online databases of Fairtrade cafes, doing Park Runs in their Fairtrade banana suits and running many more innovative initiatives to spread the word on Fairtrade.

To find out more about how to take part in Fairtrade Fortnight 2023, visit our dedicated Fairtrade Fortnight page.

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