FAIRTRADE Mossley this year wants to shine a light on the challenges faced by farmers and workers who produce the things we love to eat, drink and wear.
As Fairtrade Fortnight (February 25 – March 10) takes place, Fair Ted asked: “Have you noticed a change in the price of chocolate bars over the past few years? I can’t say I have.
“But in fact the price of the cocoa going into our chocolate has plummeted in recent years.
“For cocoa farmers like Salimata in Côte d’Ivoire, this has been a disaster as they struggle to send their children to school, feed their families or pay for medical treatment.
“Most people don’t realise that this can be the real cost of chocolate.”
Incomes are low and uncertain, which is why Fairtrade Fortnight focuses on the women who grow the cocoa for chocolate treats with a new ‘She Deserves a Living Income’ campaign.
Fair Ted invites you to find out more at the Fairtrade Taster Stalls in Mossley Co-op on Friday, March 1 or Wednesday, March 6 anytime between 11am and 4pm.
Or come along to Fair Ted’s Community Big Brew on Thursday, March 7 between 10am and 1pm at Mossley Methodist Church for a Fairtrade cuppa, delicious Fairtrade chocolate treats and cakes to enjoy or take home. Bacon butties and fruit salad will be on offer too.
Janet Davies, Fairtrade campaigner, said: “The average living income for a cocoa farmer is £1.98 a day, yet what they earn from cocoa typically falls far short of that.
“Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on less than 78p a day.
“For women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but they are likely to see even less money for their work.
“Mossley has recently been celebrating special women in our lives and community. Visit the George Lawton Hall to see women farmers who feature in Bean to Bar Story – artwork by ReCreate.
“Here you will see why Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa.
“If we can work together with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies necessary, then we can make it happen.”
Fairtrade currently works with 1.6 million farmers and workers across 74 developing countries, providing a safety net against volatile market prices and the Fairtrade Premium.
Last year’s campaign saw more than 6,000 Fairtrade events held across the country, with the UK’s main retailers supporting its call to action in store and online.
More information about the campaign is available online at www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight