For two weeks each year thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.
Fairtrade Fortnight in 2019 focused on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in our chocolate. £1.86* is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p** a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.
For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.
This is why we at Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa. If we can work together with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies necessary, then we can make it happen.
We made a huge noise in 2019 with 4000 campaigner events reaching 1 million people, 10,000 new supporters joining us on our journey, and businesses and MPs making their voices heard on the issues of living incomes. On 7 August 2019, Ivorian Independence Day, Fairtrade campaigners joined Fairtrade Foundation staff at 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition with more than 50,000 signatures calling for Boris Johnson to back cocoa farmers fighting for a fairer deal through UK-funded aid projects, business and human rights legislation, and joining international efforts that unite governments, chocolate companies and civil society to achieve living incomes.
*WIP estimation based on the Living Income Community of Practice
**This is the estimated daily income per household member based on a typical cocoa farming household
There’s a link here to Fairtrade Fortnight’s website https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/Fairtrade-Fortnight