This Fairtrade Fortnight Esquires Coffee speaks to Barney Smyth of the Fairtrade Foundation to find out why you should be putting Fairtrade in your break this fortnight.
Join Esquires by putting Fairtrade in your break
Between the 27th February and 12th March, we are going to be celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight; the fun-filled highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.
This year, we’re addressing the challenges that are still apparent in a number of supply chains, whereby the food on our tables, the drinks in our mugs, comes from hard-working farmers all over the world, many of whom don’t get a decent price for their goods, and are trapped in a system which is rips them off.
In reality, life for a coffee farmer is incredibly difficult and they are reaching crisis point. In some African coffee growing regions, one in three people live in poverty, with international coffee prices not even covering the costs of production. Additionally, we are seeing other factors making coffee farming less desirable; rising global temperatures and altered rainfall patterns are affecting coffee yields, quality, pests and diseases are badly affecting the economic security, health and well-being of farmers. They have little capacity to adapt to a hotter world in which climate and market volatility conspire against them.
However, Esquires Coffee are acting as part of the solution by offering delicious Fairtrade certified coffee. When Esquires buy Fairtrade coffee, they pay a Minimum Price to producers selling their products, which acts as a safety net when market prices drop. In addition to the Minimum Price, a Fairtrade Premium is paid – an extra sum of money that farmers and workers invest in business or community projects of their choice.
The impacts of this sustainable trade model are evident within Esquires supply chain. For example, when you buy Esquires Equatorial coffee, you’re delivering a much needed positive impact to producers in four cooperatives. In the Oromia cooperative, the benefits producers have seen include 15 school and 43 classrooms as well as training in organic farming techniques. Additionally, some of the benefits seen in CECOVASA cooperative in Peru include the installation of a cupping laboratory and a women’s leadership programme.
This Fairtrade Fortnight, we urge you to put Fairtrade in your break and help us spread the word. Together we can amplify the voices of marginalised farmers and ensure they receive a fair deal for their work.