To celebrate hosting the 9th International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Bristol Fairtrade Network has teamed up with Plastic Buddha to create a fantastic film on the Conference theme of ‘Fairtrade and Sustainability’ It shares how Fairtrade is not just about creating better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers – it also helps protect the environment.
Narrated by Lucy Siegle from The Guardian, the film outlines that Fairtrade helps producers achieve meet environmental credentials before acquiring certification. These include:
- Applying sustainable irrigation practices, sourcing water responsibly and reducing its use over time.
- Handling agrochemicals safely and minimising their use
- Requiring a maximum use of renewable energy and reporting on carbon emissions
- Forbidding cutting down rainforests and encouraging protecting trees and biodiversity.
- Encouraging farmers to go organic (55% of Fairtrade producers are now certified as organic).
These environmental standards become even more important when you realise that producers are already feeling the impact of climate change. Magda Reza, a coffee farmer in Peru, says: “It’s raining too much here…This is a consequence of climate change.” Fairtrade is, therefore, also providing advice, support and training in climate adaptation ideas.
While ‘buying local’ is a key message of the environmental movement, Fairtrade offers a way to buy goods that are not available locally – like tea, coffee, sugar or chocolate – while knowing that your money is still supporting global environmental, social and economic responsibility.
Ian Roderick, Director of the Schumacher Institute, says: “Fairtrade is at the heart of a balanced relationship between people and planet. Bristol has shown itself to be dedicated to developing its sustainability – but this will only truly happen if we make sure that other communities at the far ends of our supply chains are just as green and resilient as we are.”
Watch the film to learn even more and hear from those who are benefiting from Fairtrade’s dedication to environmental protection.