Coffee, Bananas and Chocolate; a Luxury You Can’t Afford?

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Coffee, bananas and chocolate could soon become luxuries only the rich will enjoy as they becomes more difficult and expensive to buy.

Climate change

is making crops like these harder and harder to grow. Combined with deeply unfair trade, communities growing these crops are being pushed to the brink. 

Experts predict that by 2050:

 As much as 50 percent of the global surface area currently used for coffee farming may no longer be suitable, due to the changing climate.

Many cocoa-growing regions in Ghana and  Côte d’Ivoire will become too hot to grow the crop. And they produce over half of the world’s cocoa.

Adverse climate conditions will trigger a drastic reduction in banana yields in 10 countries, including India, Brazil and Colombia.

Fairtrade Africa

As the Chair of Fairtrade Africa, Mary Kinyua, told world leaders at the global Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020;

 ‘We’re not going fast enough… The weather is changing now… As a matter of justice and a matter of science, action on the climate crisis cannot be delayed any longer.’

Speaking in Kenya on behalf of the 1.7 million farmers and workers represented by Fairtrade, Ms. Kinyua delivered a powerful message: 

‘We cannot expect – and it is not fair to expect – producers to absorb the costs of more sustainable methods of farming when they’re not even able to earn a living income or living wage. The price they receive for their produce is far too low. This needs to change, and it needs to change fast.

Fairtrade producers have told us that climate change is the biggest threat to their livelihoods. They and their communities are the ones on the front line of the climate crisis, despite having contributed the least to cause it. It is a grave injustice.’

Farmers face critical situations. More frequent erratic weather; intense droughts, floods and storms. The loss of fertile land, the emergence of new pests and the spread of crop diseases. The climate crisis threatens their security and homes. Their access to food, their health and wellbeing, and their ability to earn an income.

The good news.  

More people choosing Fairtrade means extra income, power and support for those communities.

By making the small switch to Fairtrade, we can all support producers in protecting the future of some of our most-loved food and the planet. 

Trees are being planted in Latin America and the Caribbean. Nicaraguan coffee farmers are investing in water tanks and wells. Banana farmers in Columbia are part of Fairtrade run training; The Productivity Improvement Programme. This is has introduced more sustainable farming methods. In Ghana Fairtrade cocoa co-op Kuappa Kokoo is teaching their farmers how to improving their soil and plant for shade and biodiversity.

As Sadick Abanga, one of the co-op famers says,

‘I didn’t know I was punishing the land: now because of this project I’ve seen the benefits, there are more nutrients in the soil’

You can read the full reports from The Fairtrade Foundation ‘A climate of crisis: farmers, our food and the fight for justice’ and Endangered Aisle: How climate change is threatening the future of the UK’s favourite foods