‘The Climate Change Garden’: Fairtrade Fortnight event explores how to grow plants sustainably in a time of climate crisis

‘The Climate Change Garden’: Fairtrade Fortnight event explores how to grow plants sustainably in a time of climate crisis

Fairtrade teams up with Permaculture Association, Rachael Twumasi-Corsen, chef Tom Hunt and two Fairtrade tea producers to explore how to create a happy horticultural space in a time of climate crisis

As Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 gets under way, the Fairtrade Foundation is partnering with the Permaculture Association to host The Climate Change Garden, a virtual event exploring the future of plant cultivation, taking place at 11am on Saturday 6 March.

Hosted by Rachael Twumasi-Corson, plant enthusiast and owner of Afrocenchix natural hair care brand, the event features speakers Chris Warburton Brown, research director of the Permaculture Association and Tom Hunt, chef, author and Fairtrade ambassador. Also taking part will be two Indian tea farmers whose livelihoods are being impacted on a daily basis by changing weather patterns, extreme events, crop disease, pests and rising temperatures.

From coffee to crocuses, the way plants grow around the world is changing because of the climate crisis. The panel will explore how to create a space that makes you happy and meets your needs – and those of the environment – in a time of climate crisis. It forms part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s first-ever virtual climate festival, called Choose the World You Want, which is highlighting how the climate crisis will affect the future of our food.

The Permaculture Association’s Christ Warburton Brown will give us top tips on growing climate-friendly plants at home, in the form of a workshop, followed by a facilitated discussion and Q&A.

Two Fairtrade tea producers, Titus Gerard Pinto and D.S Preetham, representatives of Indian Chamraj Fairtrade tea estate, will explain how they are taking on the huge challenges climate change poses them every day.

Tom Hunt will also share ideas on how to embrace root-to-fruit sustainable cooking: his new book, Eating for Pleasure, People and Planet, is filled with climate friendly, regenerative recipes and ideas. Tom has visited Kenya’s coffee lands with Fairtrade, where the weather has changed dramatically in recent times. The seasons have become unpredictable, with droughts, floods and extreme heat making it increasingly tough to earn a living from agriculture. Farmers there are just about surviving, but struggle to afford the costs of protecting themselves from these climate extremes.

Sign up to join the Climate Change Garden event.

In addition to five flagship events, the Choose the World You Want festival comprises up to 100 virtual listings, including many organised by campaigners, partners, brands, retailers and supporters under the umbrella of the festival throughout the two-week period.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 marks the start of a new climate campaign asking the British public to get behind Fairtrade so that farmers overseas can benefit from fairer prices, fairer trading practices and the resources needed for tackling the climate emergency in climate vulnerable countries such as Kenya and Honduras.

Fairtrade Foundation is warning that small-scale farmers in low-income nations who produce some of our favourite foods – like cocoa for chocolate, our morning coffee and that firm favourite, bananas – are on the frontline of the climate crisis and are being disproportionately affected by its harmful effects.

Nilufar Verjee, Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Farmers and workers in agricultural communities in low-income countries have contributed the least to climate crisis – yet they are among the world’s most vulnerable and are already feeling the worst effects from unpredictable weather to natural disasters and disease. But without stable incomes, these farmers lack the ability to fight climate change impacts and continue to struggle to meet their immediate needs.

“Poverty and environmental damage in our food supply chains will not end until exploited farmers are paid fairly and given the power to make their own choices. Only then will they have the power to effectively fight the impacts of the climate crisis.”

Fairtrade coffee farmer Bayardo Betanco, of the Prodecoop co-operative in Nicaragua, said:“There is a chain on earth that starts where the producers are. They are the ones who suffer the consequences of climate change, the ones who get the least help, and carry all of the burden. It’s not fair.”

Each year, communities nationwide play a key role in promoting Fairtrade Fortnight through their own campaigns, events and materials, in order to help raise awareness of the link between trade and poverty. The Fairtrade Foundation hopes people will engage with Fairtrade Fortnight once again this year, as part of their ongoing efforts to protect people and planet.

Fairtrade continues to raise the voices of producers and prioritise what they need to respond to the environmental crises unfolding in already vulnerable communities. 

-ENDS –

Read the full line up for the Choose the World You Want festival.

For more information, interviews and images, contact martine.parry@fairtrade.org.uk