15 Nov 2022

“Climate justice means using the lens of equity”: A climate conversation with Fairtrade partner Ben & Jerry’s

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, is taking place. Member State delegates, climate activists and civil society actors are all preparing to descend on Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to ensure concrete action to keep global temperatures below the 1.5C° threshold before it is too late.

Fairtrade will be on the ground at COP27 to ensure that fair and sustainable food systems remain at the centre of each and every conversation. That’s because building sustainable food systems is not only fundamental to spearheading the global green transition, but it is also key to ensuring a more equitable future for all – not least for the small-scale farmers in the frontline of climate change.

But what does a fair and sustainable food system look like? And which global stakeholders do we need on board to ensure meaningful climate action? To answer these questions and more, we reached out to members of Fairtrade’s Climate Network – a forum bringing together Fairtrade partners committed to building sustainable supply chains – and spoke to Cheryl Pinto, Ben & Jerry’s Global Head of Values-Led Sourcing, to get her take on building a fair and green future.

Cheryl headshot c1

How does Ben & Jerry’s envision the future of sustainable supply chains? What do you want to see happen?

With the global challenges we face spanning social, climate, and environmental injustice, it is critical that supply chains become more transparent, resilient, and fair in terms of valuing and honouring the essential contributions of all actors.

What kind of value added does partnering with Fairtrade deliver for you?

Ben & Jerry’s has been committed to making ice cream from Fairtrade Certified ingredients since 2005. Additionally, Fairtrade has been great in partnering with us on creative approaches to the projects we have been pursuing jointly.

What does climate justice mean to you?

Climate justice means using the lens of equity when tackling the impact of climate change on those communities who are least responsible for the problem.

Which global actors do we need on-board to make sustainable supply chains a reality?

We need Government and the Private Sector to create such a reality while also leveraging Private Equity and the Corporate Sector.

How do you keep moving forward on your company's sustainability goals in the face of challenges such as the current inflation crisis?

We are all impacted by the current inflation crisis and recognize that this is fuelled by the fragility of our supply chains – the work is thus increasing in urgency.

What do you think consumers expect from you, now and going forward?

Our fans expect that Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be led by our values and strive to uphold human rights and dignity, social and economic justice, and environmental protection, restoration and regeneration. And to do this serving up scoops of “Joy & Justice”

Find out more about the Fair Trade movement’s mission at COP27.