Climate Change

Fairtrade and Climate Change

There is sometimes a misconception that the Fairtrade Mark looks after the producers while other ethical marks look after the environment.

In reality looking after the producers and looking after the environment are inseparable. The producers have far more reason than anyone else to care for the environment because it provides them with their living. Farmers work with their land and want to pass it on to their children. Unlike multi-national businesses they can’t simply move on somewhere else if the environment is degraded by misuse.

If the producers fail to care for their environment it is usually simply because they are so desperately poor that they have to do whatever it takes to survive. Haiti ,for example. has lost almost all its forest because the Haitians are so poor that they have no alternative but to cut down the forest for fuel. It is poverty that degrades their environment.

Fairtrade empowers the producers and enables them to plan for the future and therefore to care for their environment. This is why Fairtrade is now one of the requirements for churches that wish to take part in the eco-church movement.

The Fairtrade Foundation emphasises the connection between Fairtrade and the environment . A recent video dealing with cocoa production in West Africa is entitled Guardians of the Rainforest. Another video entitled Patrick’s Virtual Visit deals with the way that Fairtrade tea farmers in Kenya using the Social Premium to deal with the problems of climate change.These and other similar videos can be found on the Fairtrade Foundation website –


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