Fairtrade Farmers Call for Support in the Fight Against Climate Change

Fairtrade farmers starting to adapt, but urge leaders to free up desperately needed finance

Changing weather patterns are causing huge problems for farmers

Fairtrade farmers are taking measures to adapt but need more finance and support

22 November 2012

Fairtrade producers are calling on world leaders and decision-makers to ensure the most vulnerable get the support and finance they desperately need to adapt to the growing impact of climate change on their farms and communities.

In a statement on the eve of the UN Climate Conference (COP18) in Doha, Fairtrade’s producer networks from Africa, Asia and Latin America & the Caribbean paint the troubling picture of the challenges they are facing.

As small-scale farmers, we are personally confronted by climate change on a daily basis. And as networks representing Fairtrade producers, we are receiving more and more reports from our members who are struggling with its effects. Hail and frost has destroyed tea plantations in the west of the Kenya, causing tea farmers to lose millions of Kenyan shillings. Lower yields and poor quality are causing many coffee farmers in Latin America to abandon their farms. And in Kerala, India, 40 % less rainfall this year threatens to drastically reduce Fairtrade farmer’s coffee and rice yields.

For vulnerable farmers, climate change is a daily reality that threatens their source of livelihood: agriculture. At the same time, lower yields of staple crops are driving up food prices, threatening their ability to feed their families. Action is needed, and fast. Fairtrade farmers are already taking measures to adapt, but still lack resources and technical expertise. Finance, such as Green Climate Fund, has been promised but it is failing to reach those who need it most.

We are doing all we can to deal with the impact of climate change on our very livelihoods. We have planted shade trees to create buffer zones to deal with extreme temperatures and drought. We are applying indigenous methods…We have been able to set up cook stoves that help us save wood, and solar lighting for our communities. But all these things cost money, and need technical expertise. And as the most vulnerable, our efforts to address climate change as well as our demands for support remain largely unheard.

Fairtrade producers are travelling to Doha to put forward these calls for action:

  • We ask the UNFCC and the international community to focus on adaptation as much as mitigation. We have experienced enough of the real effects of climate change, and they can no longer be avoided.
  • We call on governments to ensure adaptation finance is made readily available to those that need it the most: rural, climate-vulnerable communities.
  • We call on businesses to make investments in climate change adaptation at farm level to ensure the sustainability of their supply chains and to enable us to continue producing the food that will feed the world of tomorrow.

Read the full statement from producers here

Fairtrade producers from Africa, Asia and Latin America will be at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP18) in Doha, advocating for more finance to adapt to climate change and explaining how Fairtrade can be part of the solution.

We are hosting and taking part in several events, including a joint press conference and side event with Gold Standard Foundation and FSC, a Fairtrade reception and podium discussions. We will also have a booth in the conference centre and at the Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day. See our events page for a full overview.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Fairtrade producers at COP18, please contact Vicky Pauschert, Communications: v.pauschert@fairtrade.net, +49172 5401676

Read more about the effects of climate change on Fairtrade producers here: www.fairclimatedeal.net

 
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