30 Jul 2021
Fairtrade becomes a member of the Cool Farmer Alliance
Farmers are on the front line of climate change. For millions of farming communities worldwide, the impacts of changing weather patterns are a daily reality. Their crops are directly threatened by such developments and therefore putting their livelihoods at risk.
Solutions to climate change are beyond complex, but it is clear switching towards more sustainable ways of production is an imperative if we are to rise above it. However, it would not be fair for farmers to burden all the costs of doing so when considering they often still struggle to earn a living income. There is no climate justice without social justice.
At Fairtrade we believe it is not possible to separate the two, and that’s why we take a holistic approach, working on both social and environmental issues.
To further deepen our work and support on climate matters, in June 2021 we joined the Cool Farm Alliance. A not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to enable millions of agricultural practitioners globally to make more informed on-farm decisions to reduce their environmental impact.
‘By becoming a member we are looking to improve the positive impact of producers through carbon sequestration, agroecology and agricultural practices that further lead to poverty alleviation and the protection of biodiversity’ says Juan Pablo Solis, Fairtrade International Senior Advisor, Climate and Environment.
The power of informed on-farm decisions
As part of their work, the Cool Farm Alliance develops and runs the Cool Farm Tool, a decision support tool to help farmers around the world measure the impact of their agricultural practices. This is crucial to better identify opportunities for climate mitigation and ecological balance.
Currently used in across 146 countries, the metrics covered by the tool are several. From greenhouse gases to water use, food loss andwaste as well as biodiversity.
At Fairtrade we are currently commissioning several studies to determine the carbon or water footprint of our products across various regions. We now have case studies and estimations for bananas, flowers and sugar, with cotton and rice in the pipeline. For all of these, we we were piloting the Cool Farm Tool to determinethe Green House Gas emissions at farm level. With the insights we aim to better identify hotspots and areas of improvement at product level, which could lead to new opportunities for income diversification and climate mitigation projects.
‘We are thrilled that Fairtrade is joining the Cool Farm Alliance. Together the two organizations can work at the juncture between poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation, a juncture long known to be critical to the success of both efforts” says Daniella Malin, Deputy General Manager of the Cool Farm Alliance.
In the future, we are also looking forward to further assess how the use of this tool could help Fairtrade farmers and workers take even more informed decisions, and reduce their vulnerability against environmental risks.
For more information on Fairtrade and the Environment, visit the dedicated page
About The Cool Farm Alliance
The Cool Farm Alliance (CFA) is a not-for-profit membership organization, drawn from corporate food & drink companies, farmer representatives, NGOs, consultancies, software providers and research organisations who collaboratively work together toward sustainable agriculture. For more information visit coolfarmtool.org.