We’re now into the second week of Fairtrade Fortnight and it’s been marked in Stockton by the Town lights being changed to blue and green at the beginning of last week, and by knitted and crocheted Fairtrade marks popping up around the Borough.
You might have seen them on the railings of Stockton Town Hall or on top of post boxes, on trees, railings and seats across the Borough.
They’re there to remind us that it’s important to buy Fairtrade goods, not just to say we support Fairtrade. The emphasis this year is on mitigating the impact of the climate crisis on the farmers who produce our food, especially the 15% of our food that comes from the global South. The changes in climate are so bad that experts are predicting that by 2050 50% of the land currently growing coffee won’t be able to support coffee trees. The impact on world prices can only be imagined.
Similarly, many of the cocoa growing areas of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will be too hot to grow cocoa and chocolate will become very much a luxury. Banana yields are decreasing across the world as fungal disease attacks the plants. Soon we’ll all need to pay much more for the food we import, especially that which we can’t grow here in the UK.
Fairtrade prices help the farmers to invest in technology and other methods like choosing different varieties or companion planting to fight the increasing temperatures, high winds and sporadic rainfall that are causing the problems.
You can make a real difference by committing to swapping one of your shopping items to a Fairtrade one each time you shop. It’ll cost you a little bit more but it’ll be your contribution to fighting our way out of the climate crisis that’s threatening to engulf us all.