Fairtrade Fortnight

26th February 2020

The UK is a nation of chocoholics, but many of us don’t know the bitter truth of exploited farmers behind much of the sweet chocolate we enjoy.

Over the next two weeks, Fairtrade Fortnight is calling for cocoa farmers to be paid fairly for their work and earn a living income.

She Deserves

This year Fairtrade’s nationwide ‘She Deserves’ campaign is highlighting the hidden inequality experienced by the women and girls behind the multibillion global chocolate industry. In West Africa, where 60% of the world’s cocoa is grown, the average woman cocoa farmer earns as little as 23p a day.

In Côte d’Ivoire, despite carrying out 68% of the labour, which involves planting and harvesting, hacking cocoa pods, fermenting, drying and bagging up the cocoa beans as well as domestic duties in the home, women have fewer rights than men, get less money than men and are often landless.

Fairtrade’s industry-leading standards, innovative programmes and ground-breaking research are changing this for some. Fairtrade is striving towards equality for women and is enabling women farmers to earn better incomes and become leaders in their fields.

Julia Nicoara, Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation says: “Many of us don’t know the bitter truth of exploited farmers behind much of our chocolate, with women doing much more of the work for much less of the pay. This Fairtrade Fortnight, our campaign is ‘She Deserves Fairtrade’, and we’ll be telling and hearing the stories of some of the inspirational women cocoa growers. Help us write a different story for the cocoa farmers behind our chocolate; choose Fairtrade and support a different future where poverty and inequality have no place in our chocolate.”

The campaign will be supported by inspiring women from the arts, food, civil society, business and politics including Hollywood actress and Fairtrade Patron Adjoa Andoh, chef, writer and restauranteur Fairtrade patron Allegra McEvedy, the award-winning poet Jackie Kay CBE, sustainable chef Melissa Helmsley, MP Rachael Maskell, chef Mary-Ellen McTague, academic Dr Lesley Orr, from Edinburgh University and Cathryn Higgs, Head of Food Policy, the Co-op. Fairtrade patron Nick Hewer and chef Tom Hunt will also lend their support.

Julia adds: “We can easily feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems and how to make a difference. Choosing Fairtrade is a very simple way to fight poverty and ensure farmers are getting a better deal. Only Fairtrade protects farmers from the volatility of market price crashes that trap many cocoa growing communities in poverty. Fairtrade guarantees farmers get a higher than market price when the market crashes, plus an additional sum to invest in their communities, getting them closer to a living income. This means they can send their children to school, develop their communities and grow their businesses.”

Get Involved

For more information about the campaign and how to get involved, visit fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight. There are plenty of ways to get your chocolate fix at The Pantiles this fortnight, including:

  • Some of the UK’s most popular chocolate bars contain Fairtrade cocoa including Mars BarsMaltesers and Ferrero Rocher. Head to Sweet and Stripe to enjoy these sweet treats.
  • Brands Clipper and Cafédirect both offer delicious Fairtrade drinking chocolate and instant hot chocolate products.
  • Enjoy a Mork Hot Chocolate at Framptons in The Pantiles. Mork Chocolate is a small business with over ten years of professional experience. All Mork ingredients are 100% traceable, ensuring the integrity and quality is maintained from ground to cup.