Fairtrade is the only label that guarantees economic, social and environmental standards. We promote Fairtrade as the global equivalent of buying local for those goods that cannot be produced locally, encouraging businesses to stock and people to buy Fairtrade products, in close liaison with the Canterbury District Fairtrade Network
In 2015 we held our first public event in Whitstable for Fairtrade Fortnight, ‘an evening of sensual delight’ with Divine chocolatier Erik Houlihan-Jong. In 2016 we are hoping to work with local schools and hold a public event linking Fairtrade with local and sustainably produced food.
Five ways that Fairtrade promotes environmental sustainability
1. Most Fairtrade is produced by small-scale farmers in developing countries who farm more sustainably, tend to spend their income on local goods and services and are more likely to employ local people. Find out more about Fairtrade farmers at the Fairtrade Foundation.
2. Fairtrade farmers have to adhere to a set of Environmental Standards regarding the use of chemicals, waste disposal and the use of natural resources such as water, soil and trees. These Standards are independently monitored and incremental. Over half small Fairtrade farmers now farm organically.
2. For poor farmers to reduce their reliance on oil-based chemical fertilisers and unsustainable fuel sources, they need to invest in alternative technologies. It is often the Fairtrade premium (additional funding for community development) that enables them to make these investments.
4 By intercropping traditional crops with cash crops that grow naturally in the rainforest such as cocoa, bananas and brazil nuts, farmers are able to make a living from the forest without destroying it. The security offered by Fairtrade status means that the forest is less likely to be destroyed by logging or for rearing cattle.
5. Products grown naturally in warm climates have a lower carbon footprint than similar products grown intensively nearer to home, even taking transport into account. Nearly all Fairtrade products are transported by ship, which has a carbon footprint a hundred times lighter than air or road freight. one exception is flowers, which are transported in the hold of passenger planes, but Fairtrade flowers grown naturally in Kenya and flown to the UK have a carbon footprint five times lighter than flowers grown under artificial conditions in the Netherlands, despite the distance travelled.