Clipper Teas pledges support to Fairtrade farmers in run up to COP26

Pioneering Fairtrade tea brand, Clipper Teas, has joined forces with other Fairtrade partners worldwide to pledge its support for Fairtrade farmers in their call for climate justice ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, UK, this November. 

Ecotone-owned Clipper is one of a number of companies which has signed a business pledge urging world governments and leaders to listen to the voices of farmers – the people who grow the world’s food and other essential goods in low-income, climate-vulnerable nations – as the farmers call for urgent action at COP26.   

The climate crisis is having a disproportionate impact on Fairtrade farmers around the world. Increasingly volatile weather is damaging crops, harming livelihoods for farming communities, and making crop production more unpredictable. 

On the eve of COP26, the pledge calls on governments around the world to “set ambitious, science-based rules and targets which do not allow unscrupulous businesses to ignore the damage they are causing to the planet, and which encourage responsible business to do more.” 

Bryan Martins, Clipper Teas Marketing & Category Director at Ecotone UK, comments:  

“At Clipper, we’re proud to have supported millions of Fairtrade workers over the last 27 years and together with Fairtrade we call on world leaders to take action on this important issue.” 

One of the founding Fairtrade brands, Clipper buys tea on Fairtrade terms directly from its tea estates and contributes to the Fairtrade Premium which supports farmers to use sustainable farming methods. It was the UK’s first Fairtrade tea company and today is the world’s largest. 

Other Fairtrade signatories include retailers such as Co-Op, Waitrose, and M&S, as well as brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Greggs and Cafédirect. 

In the pledge, developed by Fairtrade as part of its Be Fair With Your Climate Promise campaign, the companies commit to four key areas of action and call on other businesses to do the same: 

  1. To pay fair prices to producers – farmers and workers should not have to choose between tackling poverty and building resilience to the climate crisis. ‘Our Fairtrade commitments are critical to achieving this,’ say the companies.
  2. To be long term partners with farming communities, listening to the experience of farmers, sharing their own expertise and investing in the urgent transitions farmers need. They will back a shift in food production and supply to one that is resilient to the changing climate, including backing nature-based solutions. They will support farmers as they work together to cut the emissions embedded throughout their supply chains.
  3. To “know and show” their climate impact, by measuring carbon emissions embedded in their supply chains, assessing the climate risks faced at farm level, and publishing the results. The companies say they want to raise awareness about the challenges and the practical solutions, setting a high bar for other businesses.
  4. To speak out, calling in public and private for Governments to set and deliver ambitious targets for emissions reduction and climate finance which puts farmers and agricultural workers first.

The business pledge follows the publication of an open letter from 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean earlier this week.  

The letter warns governments that their lack of action is threatening farmers’ livelihoods and global food supplies, and deepening poverty. Furthermore, the letter calls out the broken promises from world leaders. It demands that the promised $100 billion climate finance is not only paid, but that those funds reach farmers and workers directly to ensure they can withstand the growing challenges of climate change, including by planting more trees and investing in more resilient crops. 

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