Climate Change is Not Fair: Fairtrade takes action

08 September 2010

According to the Global Humanitarian Forum, approximately 325 million people are affected by climate change every year. Studies indicate that this number is expected to double within 20 years. And the impacts will be worst for those living in the least developed countries and island states.

Climate change is not fair.

In fact, developing countries that have contributed the least to this growing problem are currently the most affected. The effects can be seen in the devastating landslides that affected Guatemala or the widespread flooding in Pakistan.

The entire Fairtrade system, including FLO, producer networks and labelling initiatives, is taking steps to address this global issue. A working group was created and a research study was commissioned to assess challenges and opportunities for Fairtrade producers, products and regions.

Staff from FLO also held workshops with producers in Peru, Kenya, and Thailand to present Fairtrade’s Climate Change Strategy and gather information on the challenges faced by producers.

FLO and its partners have identified two strategic priorities to guide the work on climate change, including:

  • Enabling producers to face challenges by adapting to the consequences of climate change and mitigating their own environmental impact;
  • Positioning the Fairtrade system as an important tool for addressing climate change challenges by advocating for policy changes and building consumer awareness of the issues surrounding climate change.

FLO and its partners are committed to completing a variety of activities by the beginning of 2011, including:

  • Development of a Producer Support Program for climate change adaptation and mitigation based on input from Fairtrade producers around the world;
  • Partnerships to address challenges faced by producers, at the level of gathering information and field work;
  • A plan for advocacy work on climate change;
  • And carbon footprinting to develop a carbon reduction plan for FLO operations.

To learn more about Fairtrade’s work on climate change, please read our position paper, “Climate Change and Fairtrade: Why Is It Time to Make the Links?” (PDF)

For more information on Fairtrade’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, please contact, Carlos Canales at

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