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Fairtrade Foundation looking for more partners

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The Fairtrade Foundation will increase its investment in business innovation between 2016 - 2020, creating a portfolio of new ways of working with businesses, structured around the benefits they bring to farmers and workers, it was announced recently.

Launching the Fairtrade Foundation’s new five-year strategy Fairtrade Can, I Can at the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, outlined how the work of the organisation will focus on four specific goals to 2020: Focus on impact; Make Fairtrade Personal; Improve and Innovate; and Strengthen our Organisation.

“By 2020, we want to see a world where farmers and workers have a greater share of the value from the products they produce earning a living income or living wage that provides them with a sustainable, dignified livelihood. We want to see a world where agricultural production is globally recognised, where women and men are empowered to speak out and farmers are able to deal with the devastating effects of climate change,” Gidney said.

“How incredible would it be if in five years we can say that the principles of equity, inclusiveness and transparency, along with respect for human and environmental rights and a commitment to fair pay, have been embedded in the way businesses operate? We want to see investments in rural communities and agricultural production focused on long-term social, environmental and economic benefit for all.”

The next five years will see a targeted ramping up of Fairtrade Foundation support for cocoa, coffee, banana, tea and flower producers to create a lasting sustainable impact. (Video

  • In cocoa, the Fairtrade Foundation will focus on working with small producer organisations to become more productive, viable and business-savvy through its West Africa Cocoa Programme.
  • Greater impact for coffee producers will be delivered through the Coffee Development Plan, supporting farmers to become less vulnerable and more climate resilient and empowered by working with key partners in existing Fairtrade coffee supply chains.
  • Fairtrade will push for a living wage and living income for all Fairtrade banana producers. During 2016 – 2018 it will partner with key value chain actors (retailers, traders, exporters and plantation-owners) to begin living wage pilots on Fairtrade banana plantations.
  • Fairtrade will work to improve workers’ rights and welfare for tea producers in north-east India and we will partner with key actors in the industry to begin living wage and living income projects for all our tea growers.
  • Fairtrade will work in partnership with organisations to implement living wage and gender pilots on Fairtrade flower plantations. It will also invest in research to drive active purchase.

Michael Jary, Chair of the Fairtrade Foundation’s Board, said: “Our new strategy is an ambitious global response to a changing world. The benefits of Fairtrade are reaching more farmers and workers than ever before – we have 20 years of evidence showing how fair terms of trade can enable farmers to achieve sustainable livelihoods and realise their hopes for themselves and their communities.

“Nevertheless, global trade continues to offer only a precarious existence for millions of producers who face daily the challenges of poverty, price volatility, climate change and unequal balance of power. Price deflation and huge shifts in the UK retail sector are only increasing these pressures. The fact that half the world’s hungry are themselves farmers is a scandal that has no place in the modern world.”





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