Fairtrade Fortnight: Is earning $1.86 a day too much to ask?

Fairtrade Fortnight:

25th February – 6th March 2019

It’s that time of year again, and this year the Fairtrade Foundation is leading the way with a three-year campaign promoting living incomes for cocoa farmers, celebrating all Fairtrade products and shining a light on cocoa and the people in West Africa who grow it, so many of whom live in extreme poverty. Please visit our campaign page to learn more about how you can help your customers enjoy delicious chocolate that will leave a good taste in their mouths and a fair deal for farmers!

Why farmers need to earn a living income

£1.86[1] is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p[2] day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.

Farmers of Fairtrade cocoa have seen prices crash to crisis levels in the last few years, particularly in West Africa where most cocoa is grown. The situation highlights the scandal of unfair trade and means they often cannot earn enough for the basics many of us take for granted, including food, education and housing. This is why we are promoting living incomes so that farmers earn what they deserve.

It is even worse for the women who work in the fields and in the home. Despite the hard work they put in, they are often overlooked and under-represented, and usually see even less of the money for their crop. They deserve more.

Going beyond the FAIRTRADE Mark

Rosine Bekoin is a mum of five, and a member of CAYAT co-operative in Côte d’Ivoire. Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium have allowed her to increase her production by 50 percent in one year, boosting her income and investing in other projects like growing other crops and raising chickens to diversify her income. This independent income supplements the income from cocoa so she can meet important costs she faces all year round, like school fees.

By ensuring the chocolate you buy is Fairtrade you can help farmers like Rosine get a fair deal and join the journey to make living incomes a reality for the farmers we rely on.

What can your site can do to help farmers like Rosine achieve a living income?

  1. If you already source Fairtrade products then you can use Fairtrade Fortnight to showcase your Fairtrade selection to your staff and customers! Alternatively, if you’re looking to source products for the first time or more products for your customers, please check out our National Purchasing Guide
  2. You can download our toolkit to get some handy resources to teach your staff about what Fairtrade does and why it’s so important
  3. We have some great digital resources you can download and use to push out the campaign. Please tag any posts with #SheDeserves and remember that you can promote living income for all products, not just cocoa! You can find the “She Deserves an Equal Shot” assets at the above link that promote living incomes through a West African coffee farmer.
  4. Sign and share our new petitioncalling on the Prime Minister to take action to support more cocoa farmers to earn a living income as widely as you can.
  5. Make sure you are signed up to our newslettersso you are the first to hear upcoming announcements throughout the year.
Click here for more information about Fairtrade or if you want to get in touch please email [email protected] and do please keep your SRA Account Manager updated so we can help promote your Fairtrade Fortnight activities.

[1] WIP estimation based on the Living Income Community of Practice 

[2] This is the estimated daily income per household member based on a typical cocoa farming household

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