Fairtrade joins forces with Greenhouse PR on new climate campaign for Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Foundation has joined forces with Greenhouse PR, the specialist green communications agency, to create a multimedia campaign which aims to grow visibility and understanding of the role Fairtrade plays in helping farmers overseas adapt to the climate crisis.

‘Choose The World You Want’ is a hopeful, farmer-centred initiative that demonstrates the benefits of buying Fairtrade products to support producers across the world facing the impacts of climatic disruption.

To mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight (21st Feb – 6th March), Fairtrade has commissioned a giant grass painting of Bismark Kpabitey, a Fairtrade cocoa farmer who is a member of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in the Ahafo region of Ghana. Produced by Sand In Your Eye in West Yorkshire, the image depicts Kpabitey holding a cocoa pod aloft, and is designed to help consumers make the link between their food and the people who produce it. Kpabitey recently attended the COP26 climate summit on behalf of Fairtrade.

New research, commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation and run by Opinium, reveals that whilst public understanding of the links between decent incomes for farmers and climate resilience is low, there is a strong public willingness to address inequality caused by exploitative trade and climate change. This follows new research from VU Amsterdam and Bern University of Applied Sciences** that has found that over the next three decades, adverse climate conditions will trigger a drastic decline in banana yields in 10 countries, including India, Brazil and Colombia. Furthermore, a rise of just 2.1°C could leave 89.5 per cent of land used to cultivate cocoa unsuitable by 2050.

The survey also looked at whether increased public awareness around black history and racial equality in the UK over the last eighteen months had had an effect on individuals’ understanding of exploitative trade, and their subsequent response.

Creative use of authentic voices from farmers such as Bismark combined with documentary reportage will take front and centre stage of the campaign, and feature throughout the two-week period. Inspiring impact stories matched with dynamic photography and vibrant colours are used to affirm Fairtrade’s leading position as a people powered engine of change. A website designed to promote the campaign’s virtual festival features modern, eye catching illustrations by artist Camilla Ru across the digital platform.

Central to Fairtrade Foundation’s recently updated brand, the phrase ‘Choose The World You Want’ conveys the power of a global movement working towards a common goal, and invites consumers and retailers to join in making positive change happen.  

Jenny Briggs, Associate Director at Greenhouse said: “Choose The World You Want invites us to use Fairtrade’s scale and integrity to change things. Impactful story telling conveys a modern and vibrant look and feel and reflects an inspiring truth. The majority of people are unaware that cocoa, coffee and banana yields are under threat due to climate crisis. Our campaign creatively conveys the simple message that to choose Fairtrade, is to create ripples cross the world.”

Fairtrade Foundation is once again hosting its Choose The World You Want Festival over the fortnight. This virtual festival will feature a variety of free events to engage, inform and inspire people and businesses about the simple steps they can make to support climate justice for farmers and workers through the power of their purchasing choices.

Fairtrade Fortnight began on Monday 21 February with a screening of a ‘special cut’ of Caroline’s Story, a ground-breaking new documentary by Nyakobi Kahura. The film is part of a series that showcases how the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis are impacting farming right now, and how through working with Fairtrade, producers are already taking action to overcome these challenges. The virtual event will feature a Q&A with Caroline Rono, a Kenyan coffee farmer featured in the film.

The festival line-up includes panel discussions chaired by Fairtrade patrons, including actor and director Adjoa Andoh and chef, writer and broadcaster Allegra McEvedy, MBE, plus film screenings, chocolate tastings, workshops and live conversations with Fairtrade farmers from countries such as Ghana and Peru, who will share their experiences of climate change in their communities and the crucial role that fairer trade plays in climate justice.

At the same time, the Fairtrade Foundation is inviting activists to take part in its Fairtrade Fortnight campaign action, by writing to their MP to ask them to urge the government to deliver on the UK’s commitments to communities in climate vulnerable countries.

The commitments include promises made at COP26 in Glasgow, where the UK government pledged to deliver £500m in extra funding to tackle deforestation (including by helping farmers who are working to prevent deforestation on their land). The government also announced a £65m Just Rural Transition fund to support farmers and agricultural workers in countries disadvantaged by global trade to adapt to climate change. The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for these funds to reach those who need it most as a matter of urgency.

Adam Gardner, Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Fairtrade is so much more than a brand: it’s an entire movement that includes 1.9 million producers, certified UK towns, universities and can be found on over 6,000 products available to buy in the UK. Our Fairtrade Fortnight brand messaging embodies this by letting consumers know that when you choose Fairtrade, you’re joining a community of millions, and your choice has a range of impacts including fairer incomes, empowerment and tackling climate change. You choose the world you want. It really is that simple.

“We’re centring our Fairtrade Fortnight campaign around cocoa farmer Bismark because cocoa brings so much joy to anyone who loves chocolate, but more needs to be done to ensure that farmers growing these products are supported to live and work well and build their resilience to the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Farmers in low-income countries are already using their expertise to tackle climate change, but they urgently need more resources and decent incomes to do so. Through Fairtrade Fortnight, we want to help more consumers to recognise the role they have in helping farmers and workers adapt to climate change. By choosing Fairtrade, they can make a real, tangible difference to the lives of people who grow much of the food we love to eat in the UK.”

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