Nature is in crisis. Climate change and biodiversity
losses are a daily experience for millions of farming families and
communities worldwide. A sustainable environment should be the norm.
However, the severity, frequency, and intensity of meteorological events
have been rising and affecting livelihoods worldwide.
Higher temperatures, drought, floods, cyclones and hurricanes, crop
diseases, soil depletion, and forest degradation are current reminders
of how our livelihoods and food security are threatened. A sustainable
environment is crucial for the more than 500 million small-scale farming
families who depend on agriculture activities for their livelihoods.
Consumers, retailers, and traders rely on farmers to produce the food,
fibres, and fuels we need to satisfy the basic needs of a growing global
Climate change and environmental degradation aren't fair. Often,
those with more exposure to environmental risks are hit the hardest.
Nobody knows this better than Fairtrade farmers and producers, some of
whom struggle to keep productivity levels high while experiencing unfair
markets and weak landscape governance.
How Fairtrade addresses climate change and the environment
Fairtrade aims to promote sustainable food production and environmental protection through a unique, two-pronged approach.
By adhering to the Fairtrade standards and to be certified as a
Fairtrade producer, farmers must improve soil and water quality, manage
pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, and protect biodiversity. This allows farmers to improve
their land and develop nutrient-rich soils which support healthy plants
and encourage wildlife to help control pests and diseases.
Building farmers' skills and knowledge through technical support is
also crucial. Being part of Fairtrade means having access to training
and information and being better aware of environmental issues and the
impact these have on their lives and crops.
On the production side, Fairtrade supports and incentivises
agroecology principles to transition toward more resilient farming
practices and implement climate change adaptation plans.
On the commercial side, Fairtrade is actively involved and advocates
for better climate justice in trade by reviewing legislation that aims
to tackle the negative impact of trade practices on the environment.
This also includes working with traders and retailers to be accountable
for their climate commitments and environmental due diligence.
Additionally, Fairtrade offers the possibility to generate Fairtrade Carbon Credits through the Fairtrade Climate Standard– in partnership with the Gold Standard
– to enaxtle farmers and workers worldwide to access carbon finance to
help tackle climate change's effects. Farmers get a double benefit from
Fairtrade Carbon Credits because they get a minimum price to cover the
costs of setting up and running a project. In addition, they can use the
Fairtrade Premium on every credit sold to invest in climate adaptation.
The clock is ticking. There must be climate justice and trade justice!
Climate change is one of the most significant challenges we face. Fairtrade helps farmers adapt, mitigate and become more resilient and supports businesses and consumers to be part of a more sustainable supply chain.
Fairtrade's Policy Position for sustainable agriculture is
the result of an extensive consultative process, including inputs
provided by 25 key informants from the Fairtrade system, 230 Fairtrade
certified producer organizations, and 13 external peer reviewers/experts
in the field of human rights, economy, gender, agronomy, forestry, and
public health. It concludes with the consensus that Fairtrade must
transition toward embracing agroecology to operationalize the 25 policy
positions.Learn more here.
Fair Climate Fund – A social venture founded by ICCO in 2009 to invest in climate projects in developing countries that produce carbon offsets after passing through globally recognized standards.
The Gold Standard Foundation – The Gold Standard is an award winning a standard and certification body working to maximise the impact of climate and development initiatives. The organization is Fairtrade International's partner in developing the Fairtrade Climate Standard.