Responding to the news that the UK and Ghana have reached agreement on a trade deal, Tim Aldred, Head of Policy at the Fairtrade Foundation said:
‘We are pleased to see news that a trade deal has been agreed between the UK and Ghana. This has been a major concern for Fairtrade banana sales from Ghana due to the damaging tariffs that had come into effect, and there will be relief amongst Fairtrade farmers and workers that this serious and immediate risk to jobs and livelihoods has been addressed.
‘We look forward to seeing the detail of the agreement, and the timetable for the restoration of tariff free trade. We are keen to see a trade relationship which supports fair and sustainable trade, for the benefit of Ghana and the UK. We will be looking for a deal consistent with regional trade integration so that Ghana is supported in building up markets closer to home as well as further afield.
‘We welcome the work done by the UK to agree the vast majority of continuity agreements with lower income countries. The situation faced by Ghanaian farmers in the past month emphasises how important these agreements are to the jobs and wellbeing of ordinary people all around the world. As the UK continues to move forward with new trade deals it is vital that poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and human rights are placed front and centre of our trade policy goals.’
Notes for Editors:
Because no deal was in place on 31st December 2020 the UK had been charging a tariff on many Ghanaian products, such as bananas and cocoa, produce we cannot grow in the UK. Fairtrade bananas imported since 1st January have been taxed at the rate of 9.5p / kg, where previously no tariff applied. The typical price in the supermarket is 73p / kg and so the tariff represented a massive additional cost for a product already sold at very low margins. The risk has been that buyers would switch their supply to other countries of origin and jobs lost in Ghana.