From Monday 25th February for two weeks it is Fairtrade Fortnight. This is an annual event that promotes all things fairtrade, raising awareness and campaigning for a better deal for the producers of the food we enjoy in developing countries. Each year there is a special focus and this year the spotlight is on cocoa and the people behind our chocolaty treats.
Buying Fairtrade chocolate is really important - fairtrade producers receive a fair market price for their cocoa and a premium, which is typically spent on strengthening cooperatives and investing into the community e.g. on clean water, healthcare or improved housing. Buying fairtrade also ensures that no child labour was used in the production of your chocolate.
More sales on fairtrade terms means farmers will be more able to make ends meet. However fairtrade is not the only solution to producer poverty. As only a fraction of cocoa produced is sold on fairtrade terms more needs to be done to ensure that all cocoa farmers receive living incomes. This is the focus of the Fairtrade Foundation's 2019 campaign. They see that there is a need to work with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the changes needed to support cocoa farmers and pay them a wage that they can live on.
In The Vine during Fairtrade Fortnight we'll have petition postcards that call on our government to lead the way in making a living income for cocoa producers a priority. Please come in a pick one up.
To mark Fairtrade Fortnight we will also have some extra special chocolate treats made with fairtrade ingredients on sale. We'll have a 20% off offer on all our Fairtrade chocolate bars - both Divine and Traidcraft. We'll have some chocolate tasting days so that you can sample some of Traidcraft's chocolate range. Then on Saturday 2nd we'll have a special Bake-off style fundraiser in aid of Traidcraft exchange - see our events page for more details.
We'll be taking donations towards the work of Traidcraft Exchange throughout the fortnight as well as at the fundraiser.
Please show your support for cocoa farmers - you can find more information on the campaign in The Vine from the 25th.