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Latest news from Baildon Fairtrade group

BAILDON FAIRTRADE GROUP REPORT JULY 2020

Good News from the home front:

1   Just a year ago, Bradford Council unanimously renewed its commitment to Fairtrade Community Status.  This means it will actively promote Fairtrade, including the use of Fairtrade teaching materials in local schools and colleges.  In a conference call, members of Bradford Fairtrade Zone met with Ian Westlake, Head of Procurement, who is committed to implementing the Council’s resolution to purchase Fairtrade products wherever possible, and to the inclusion of Fairtrade considerations in any contracts going out to tender.

2  Local churches, Baildon Methodist Church and the Parish of Baildon, have both recommitted to Fairtrade Church Status. The Fairtrade Foundation:  Once again, congratulations on becoming a Fairtrade Church and thank you for supporting positive change for people and planet. In order to achieve this status, the churches have confirmed that the tea, coffee and sugar used are all Fairtrade, that other items are Fairtrade wherever possible, and information about Fairtrade is shared in as many ways as possible.  Both churches support Fairtrade through regular Traidcraft stalls and members of both churches are active members of the Baildon Fairtrade Group.

3 Home deliveries: Many of us are discovering the range of companies doing home deliveries of groceries and other items. Have you tried a home delivery from Traidcraft?  They offer a wide range of groceries – not just chocolate – which includes Zaytoun products.  Have a look at their web-site.  We have been delighted with the 2 deliveries we have had.

Matters of concern:

1 News of concern from Zaytoun about the Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley:

The latest newsletter from Zaytoun states that ‘as the world’s attention is diverted during the COVID pandemic, under the new ‘Unity Deal’ Israel has been escalating plans for land confiscation and annexation in the Jordan Valley area of Palestine’s West Bank. This planned land theft has been condemned internationally.  In the UK, nearly 140 MP’s signed an unprecedented cross-party letter calling on the Prime Minister to place sanctions on Israel if these plans are carried out.’

Many producers of olive oil for Zaytoun will be affected by this action.  We can continue to support them by purchasing olive oil and other Zaytoun products.

2 COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis is a global humanitarian challenge. Fairtrade continues to work to advocate and support small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries. The farmers and workers Fairtrade serves are some of the most vulnerable and the least prepared for a pandemic.

In Kenya, tens of thousands of workers on Fairtrade certified flower farms have lost their jobs, with no local work alternatives and there is concern about the long-term financial stability of flower farms if shipments do not resume soon.

The drop in retail sector sales has resulted in a sharp decline in demand and price for cotton.  And some fashion companies in the West are refusing to honour their contracts to buy clothing already made, for example, in Bangladesh.

You can read more in the attachment to this report.

3 NESTLE AND KITKAT

After a decade of buying Fairtrade cocoa and sugar, Nestle have announced that KitKat will no longer be Fairtrade.  This means 27,000 farmers from co-operatives in Cote D’Ivoire, Fiji and Malawi will lose nearly £2m in Fairtrade premium each year – despite Nestle reporting global profits of more than £10bn last year.

We need to make sure that the voices of farmers losing these benefits are heard loud and clear.   Please join over 240,000 others and sign the Fairtrade Yorkshire petition – and share it widely!

To read more, please see attachment to this report.

 

 

 

Posted on July 3rd, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Nestle abandons Fairtrade after a decade. KitKat will no longer bear the mark

Update: Thursday 23 July

With the petition now standing at over 275,000 signatures, Nestle has met Joanna and Mark, current and previous Co-ordinators of Fairtrade Yorkshire. Before the meeting we asked some of the signatories what they wanted Nestle to hear. One comment in particular stood out:

My great-great grandfather, Henry Isaac Rowntree, started H.I.Rowntree & Co, later Rowntree & Co. Remind them that KitKat was a Rowntree product and that Rowntree was a Quaker firm, based on Quaker principles of fairness and honesty. Fairtrade matches those principles. The farmers who produce the cocoa for Nestle are as much their workers as those directly employed and are owed a duty of care.

Key Points

Nestle’s plan is for all their cocoa to be independently certified as sustainable by 2025. Because they have been working with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ – which have now merged and will be called Rainforest Alliance – they have chosen to work only with them in the future. This means their relationship with Fairtrade on KitKat will end in October 2020. We asked if the implementation could be postponed until after the pandemic, but the answer was “No.”

Around 10,000 cocoa farmers who form 8 co-operatives in Cote d’Ivoire currently supply Fairtrade cocoa to Nestle. Around half of these already have both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certification. When a company buys cocoa from a Fairtrade farmer they don’t have to buy it on Fairtrade terms. They must do so if they wish to use the Fairtrade mark on their packaging, but until the last decade it was not unusual for farmers to have to sell most of their crop on non-Fairtrade terms. In October 2020 it is likely that some or many of the farmers who are currently only Fairtrade certified  will not have had chance to gain Rainforest Alliance certification. Nestle has agreed that it will help pay for these farmers to gain certification and for those who have not yet achieved it, they will pay a premium on the 2020 harvest – not the Fairtrade premium, but a lower Rainforest Alliance premium. The Rainforest Alliance plans to introduce a minimum premium of $70 per tonne by 2022. At present they require buyers to pay a sustainability premium but there is no minimum. In contrast the Fairtrade premium is set at $240 per tonne.

Nestle says it will end up paying $180 per tonne in premiums. This is lower than the $240 per tonne Fairtrade premium. The Fairtrade premium is paid direct to co-operatives where the money is allocated based on a democratic vote. Nestle has promised to give Fairtrade Yorkshire a breakdown of the $180 premium – how and to whom it is paid and who decides where it is spent.

The key feature of the Fairtrade system is the minimum price guarantee. Currently this is $2400 per tonne. It is likely that the price of cocoa – plus the legally required Living Income Differential – will not drop below this for the 2020 harvest. But in 2017 cocoa prices dropped by 40%. Farmers will not be able to plan long term if they cannot guarantee what price they will receive for their harvest. Bear in mind that on average cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire earn just 74p per day.

Nestle also appeared before the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fairtrade whose co-Chairs, Holly Lynch and Jason McCartney both represent Yorkshire constituencies. They covered all the same concerns as we did in our meeting but also raised the concern that if, as a lot of the petition signatories suggest, people start to boycott KitKat because they are no longer Fairtrade, workers in Nestle’s Yorkshire factories which produce KitKat are at risk of losing their jobs which, particularly in the current employment climate, would be devastating.

Read the the APPG’s press release

Keep KitKat Fairtrade campaign

Kit Kat was invented in York in 1935. A billion bars a year are still made in the city and Nestle has offices here. From its earliest  beginnings in York, Rowntree like many of the city’s Quaker chocolatiers was known as a good employer, providing pay, working conditions and housing and healthcare far beyond what other employers at the time were doing. Fairtrade now does the same thing for people who live in desperate poverty in low income countries growing the food we eat. Which is why we in Yorkshire were delighted when in 2010 Nestle announced that KitKat – its best selling brand – would bear the Fairtrade mark, meaning all the cocoa and sugar which Nestle sources for KitKat is bought on Fairtrade terms.

In the past ten years, cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, like Rosine who visited Yorkshire in March, and sugar farmers in Fiji and Malawi have benefited from increased prices and community premiums which have transformed their lives and the lives of their families. Nestle intends to source all its sugar from European sugar beet farmers which means around 10,000 small scale sugar farmers losing out. The brand plans to continue buying from its cocoa farmers but not on Fairtrade terms which means 16,000 farmers losing the premiums which they allocate democratically based on their communities’ needs. It’s undemocratic and risks sending the message that cocoa farmers don’t deserve to make decisions about their own lives.

The Black Lives Matter protests have successfully brought the issue of violence against people of colour into mainstream conversation. Black lives matter wherever those lives are lived and reducing the already low incomes and right to self determination of some of the poorest black people in the world will be devastating.   To take and implement this decision in the middle of a global pandemic is unconscionable.

The Association which represents fair trade producers in Cote d’Ivoire have written a letter to Nestle to  ask them to reconsider. You can read more including the letter here.

You can read Joanna’s opinion piece in the i newspaper here.

Please sign the petition to Keep KitKat Fairtrade and share it widely with your networks.

Sign the petition

UPDATE; Friday 3 July – We now have over 240,000 signatures on the petition. Thank you to everyone who’s signed and shared.

The Ethical Trading Initiative published an interesting blog post about the issue. Is Nestle Building Back Worse?

Nestle has published this page on its website to deal with the issue.

My comments: Rainforest Alliance is a really good organisation, and for cocoa brands which don’t currently have any independent certification for their suppliers, it’s a good choice to ensure their farmers are Rainforest Alliance certified. Lots of farms – coffee as well as cocoa – are “triple cert” – Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic, and the majority of farmers who currently supply Nestle on Fairtrade terms will already meet Rainforest Alliance standards. From September, Rainforest Alliance will be applying new sustainability standards. This will coincide with Nestle’s move to Rainforest Alliance.

However, Nestle is moving away from the more rigorous Fairtrade certified cocoa standards to Rainforest Alliance. Having the same symbol on all your products might be tempting from a branding point of view but it doesn’t help the farmers who will be paid less for their work.

“Our aim is not only to make sure farmers receive a fair price for their cocoa but to also make sure that we are tackling key social and environmental issues including child labour and deforestation.” 

Fairtrade has always been about much much more than paying a fair price to farmers. Tackling social and environmental issues is also at the heart of Fairtrade, and tackling the endemic problem of the worst forms of child labour on West African cocoa farms has always been one of the guiding principles of Fairtrade. Rainforest Alliance’s new sustainability standards focus on child labour and deforestation after some criticism about certifications for farms which were encroaching on rainforest (ironically) in Cote d’Ivoire.

“Farmer income is based on some variables that we do not control. This includes the annual price of cocoa, which the Ivorian and Ghanaian governments will only confirm shortly before the new cocoa year begins, as well as the portion of the Fairtrade premium that the farmer receives, as this is decided by each individual cooperative. The amount we spend on premiums and investment in additional projects with the farmer cooperatives in the year ahead will significantly exceed the Fairtrade premium we would have paid.”

This is the key paragraph for the farmers who will be working with Nestle. With Fairtrade there is a minimum price for cocoa guaranteed at $2,400 per tonne. This has been calculated to cover the cost of production and applies whatever the market price for cocoa happens to be. So if Nestle really wanted to guarantee what price they pay their cocoa farmers they could continue with Fairtrade. Recently the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana introduced the Living Income Differential which adds $400 per tonne to prices paid for cocoa grown in these countries, regardless of who the buyer is. The money is put into a pot to compensate farmers when the cocoa market price falls. This will mean that the price should be more or less the same as the Fairtrade minimum for the next couple of years, but if there is another collapse like 2017 when prices dropped by 40% this will severely impact farmers.

The Fairtrade premium is paid directly to the farmer who pools it with other cocoa farmers in her community and they decide democratically how their community should best use it. There is no need to explain what they plan to do, to apply for the money. This is their money and Fairtrade understands that they know best how to spend it. The Fairtrade premium is $240 per tonne – 30% higher than the $180 per tonne Rainforest Alliance premium which Nestle says it will be paying. Nestle has committed to extra payments over the next two years but communities need to be able to rely on a steady income long term. What Nestle is proposing feels more like charity than fair trade.

The elephant in the room is sugar. Nestle has made commitments to the cocoa farmers but none to the sugar farmers. The decision to source all their sugar from European sugar beet will have a devastating effect on sugar farmers like these in Fiji whose plight Australian media are reporting.

For more information about the differences between Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certification – and others, you can download the International Guide to Fair Trade Labels by clicking below.

international-Guide-to-Fair-Trade-Labels-2020-Edition

 

Posted on June 23rd, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade during lockdown

It’s often said that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, but all evidence shows that it does affect some people worse than others. People who can’t work from home, who live in overcrowded or unsanitary conditions, and who have underlying health conditions are worse affected. All of these apply to the people who live in low income countries and who fair trade is designed to support and help. There have been some fantastic responses from Fairtrade organisations around the world, and very quickly the rules were changed so that the Fairtrade premium can be used by communities to pay for hand sanitisers, Tippy Taps and training for essential workers to help them stay safe. Many are also supporting workers and their families who are unable to work.

Howard and Webster at an event organised by the Fairer World shop in York

In 2018 Howard and Webster – two rice farmers from the Kilombero rice project in Malawi – visited Yorkshire. Howard was recently in touch with JTS who have said this:

Sadly, Covid 19 has now arrived in the developing world to make life even tougher than it already is for our producers. Howard Msukwa, a producer of Kilombero rice in Malawi, advised us that at the weekend there were “25 active cases of Covid-19 and 3 deaths so far”. They are at the very beginning of this pandemic and so JTS have been asking all our vulnerable producer partners what support they need in the current crisis. 

KASFA rice farmers in Malawi and Eswatini Swazi Kitchen from The Kingdom of Eswatini, have told us that their main need at this time is for simple handwashing facilities and soap. Therefore we have set up a Total Giving page to raise funds to supply these basic necessities.  

Together, we can help the most vulnerable people fight this global pandemic. Let’s give them a chance.

The best thing we can do is to continue buying fair trade products. Some countries have total lockdown meaning that they are unable to export any goods at all. Most fair trade suppliers are supporting their workers with orders even though they are unable to receive the goods. Most non-supermarket shops are closed in the UK or have moved to offering limited “Click & Collect”, local delivery or selling online, so it might be a little bit harder to find your usual fair trade products, but please continue to support fair trade farmers, suppliers and retailers as much as you can.

You can check out our list of Yorkshire outlets selling fair trade here: Fair Trade Detectives.

 

Posted on May 5th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 events around Yorkshire

Fairtrade Fortnight events are going on all over the region.

NORTH YORKSHIRE

27 February – 6pm – SOFA SESSION Spurriergate Centre, York. This is our flagship event for Fairtrade Fortnight 2020.

Speakers include: Cocoa farmer Rosine Bekoin, Rachael Maskell, York Central MP, Sarah Wakefield, Food Sustainability Manager, Co-op, Sophi Tranchell, Managing Director of Divine Chocolate, Sophie Jewett of York Cocoa House and the Fairtrade Foundation’s Julia Nicoara, Director of Public Engagement.


Rosine Bekoin, a mum of five, is one of the 25 percent of women in Côte d’Ivoire who does own her own land. She runs a 2.5-hectare farm, which she inherited from her mother and is a member of CAYAT cocoa co-operative. Rosine used to sell her cocoa to local middlemen but struggled to make a decent living. After joining the farming co-operative CAYAT, she received training in quality and good agricultural practices helping to increase her production by 50 percent. This was a welcome boost to her income, which she put towards building a new house. She also found the training on women’s rights as part of the Women’s School of Leadership transformed her entire outlook on life, and has seen her advocate for other women ever since.

Rosine Bekoin, said: “Before the Women’s School of Leadership, I was full of doubts. I’ve never been to school before, and I can’t even speak French properly. On the first day, I couldn’t understand anything. On the second day I thought, if I look inside myself, I have potential. Then I woke up and I joined in. Today, I’m strong. I’ve changed all those misconceptions, and I can stand proud and say I am capable and can do things on my own. Before I was an invisible woman. I’m so grateful I was taught about what was hidden inside ourselves. I am a leader today for many people because I am very confident.”

Now, through her role as secretary of the women’s society, Rosine is helping more than 400 women who are collectively investing their Fairtrade Premium in income diversification projects, such as a communal vegetable garden. Growing food crops to sell locally provides a good source of additional and independent income, particularly for the women who don’t own land. Ever entrepreneurial, the group is expanding into chicken rearing too, which has a positive effect for their fellow farmers. They are able to buy bags of organic fertiliser produced from the chickens at a much reduced rate.

Click here to download the poster: FF20_Flagship_events_leaflet_York

Click here to download the press release for this event.2. Press release She Deserves regional events

28 February 10-30 till 12noon BIG BREW Fairtrade coffee morning at Fylingthorpe Methodist Chapel.

28 February – 1-2pm – FAIRTRADE TEA WITH COUNCILLORS – Celebrating 10 years of Scarborough as a Fairtrade Town, Scarborough Town Hall

29 February – 10am FAIR TRADE & LOCAL CRAFT FAIR Friends Meeting House, Malton

29 February – 9.30-1.30 POP UP SHOP & ACTIVITIES Skipton Library

29 February 10.00a.m-12.00noon FAIRTRADE COFFEE MORNING at Cayton Methodist Church, Scarborough.

29 February 2.00pm-4.00pm FAIRTRADE AFTERNOON TEA St Andrews URC, Ramshill Road, Scarborough.

6 March – 7pm FILM SHOWING The Kite Runner, Clements Hall, York

7 March 10.00a.m -11.30a.m. FAIRTRADE COFFEE MORNING at Scalby Methodist Church, Scarborough.

EAST YORKSHIRE

18 February – 9.45 COFFEE MORNING All Saints Church, Pocklington

26 February 10-12 FAIRTRADE CELEBRATION Guildhall, Hull

3 March LORD MAYORS TEA Guildhall, Hull (invitation only for local campaigners)

WEST YORKSHIRE

22 February – 10-1 BIG BREW St Edmunds Church, Leeds

1 March – 8.45 – 9.45 BREAKFAST Bradford Cathedral – Book your place here.

4 March – 5.30-7.30 FAIRTRADE KIRKLEES GALA Huddersfield University Book your ticket here.

5 March – 6.30-8.30 CURRY NIGHT WITH FAIR TRADE KILOMBERO RICE The Flying Duck, Ilkley  £6 per head. Contact hils38@aol.com to book.

7 March – 10.30-1.30 COFFEE MORNING Methodist Centre, Chapel Allerton, Leeds

7 March – 10-3 FARTRADE STALL Albany Arcade, Halifax. Poetry Competition winner to be announced at 11am by Holly Lynch MP.

7-8 March 11-3.30 POP UP FAIR TRADE STALL The Gallery at The Manor House, Ilkley

19 March – 11-3.30 FAIR TRADE FAIR Leeds University

SOUTH YORKSHIRE

26 February – 7-9pm PALESTINIAN FARMER VISIT  Showroom cinema, Sheffield. Find out how Fairtrade helps Palestinian farmers growing for Zaytoun.

THROUGHOUT FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT

Skipton based fair trade company Namaste is donating £1 to Child Rescue Nepal for every £10 spent during Fairtrade Fortnight. Click to visit their website 

Posted on January 14th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Donate to Fairtrade Yorkshire

Fairtrade Yorkshire is entirely run by volunteers and receives no outside funding.

This means we have to ask for sponsorship from local fair trade businesses, or donations from individuals and groups.

We now have a PayPal account where you can make donations. If you are in a position to support our work around Yorkshire please consider giving a donation so we can continue our work promoting Fairtrade across the region.

Donate

Posted on January 14th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Don’t Give Up on Fairtrade in Lent

Don’t Give Up On Fairtrade this Lent
Lent is a time when many of us choose to make a small sacrifice for a few weeks. For lots of us this includes giving up chocolate, which has the added benefit of making our Easter celebrations that bit sweeter, but have you considered the impact of your choice on the millions of cocoa and sugar farmers who rely on our chocolate consumption for a living.
Fairtrade Fortnight starts on the Monday before Ash Wednesday and we’re asking you not to give up on the Fairtrade farmers this Lent. By pledging to make sure all the chocolate you eat this Lent is Fairtrade – and talking to others about your choice – you can help support farmers around the world to have a better life.

When we ask Fairtrade farmers what they want us as campaigners to do, the answer is nearly always “Buy our goods!”
So while giving up chocolate for Lent might feel like the right thing to do, it leaves cocoa (and sugar) farmers out of pocket.
So this year we’re saying “Don’t Give Up On Fairtrade this Lent”
By making sure you only eat Fairtrade chocolate in Lent – instead of giving up altogether – you can help farmers around the world.
Because the Easter message is partly that one person can save the world and Fairtrade is a way for you to be that one person.

So instead of refusing all chocolate by saying “Sorry, I’ve given up chocolate for Lent” now you can say “I’ve pledged only to eat Fairtrade chocolate during Lent” and start a conversation with someone who may not know how important Fairtrade is to farmers.

You can download our leaflet below and this Fairtrade Fortnight look out for stories from the cocoa farmers themselves to help you explain why you’re not giving up on Fairtrade this Lent. Some of these will be “storybombed” by Fairtrade campaigners and supporters, some will be in the national and local press and some will be available on the Fairtrade Foundation website and social media.

Dont Give Up on Fairtrade – download the leaflet

Posted on January 14th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Bradford Cathedral celebrates 10 years of Fairtrade support

Bradford Cathedral has become the first cathedral to re-commit as a Fairtrade place of worship,

Bradford Cathedral’s commitment to Fairtrade began with an award back in 2009, spearheaded by
Canon Andy Williams and his wife Jennie.
The cathedral continues to focus on Fairtrade by ensuring all its tea and coffee provisions are
Fairtrade as well as running a stall every Sunday after the morning Eucharist selling a whole range
of goods including chocolate, cooking oils and biscuits, as well as seasonable items like advent
calendars.

Click the link below for more details

Bradford cathedral Renewal publicity with latest photo

Posted on January 9th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Yorkshire branded Fairtrade logos

You may have noticed that the Fairtrade Yorkshire logo looks slightly different from other Fairtrade places logos. We have added a white Yorkshire rose to the image.

We have produced a range of Fairtrade places logos for the 38 Fairtrade places in Yorkshire to use if they wish to which also incorporate the white rose.

Click on an image below then save to download it or email joanna@fairtradeyork.com if you would like me to send it to you by email.

Posted on November 27th, 2019 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fair Trade Detectives

How many times have you visited a town or village and looked in vain for a cafe where you can get a Fairtrade cup of coffee or a shop selling delicious Fairtrade chocolate to satisfy your cravings? Perhaps you’re going Christmas shopping in a Yorkshire city and want to know where you can buy fair trade gifts for your loved ones. Well – at Fairtrade Yorkshire we’re here to help.

Our brand new web resource turns you into a fair trade detective – and helps you find fair trade goods wherever you are in the region.

Whenever you find fair trade goods in Yorkshire, upload the details to the website (it won’t be instant – just in case people take advantage!) and help others find the Fairtrade and fair trade goods we love.

Click here to go to the fair trade detectives website

The criteria are: it can be a shop, cafe or a regular stall for example in a church. They must be selling goods with the Fairtrade mark, or sourced from members of WFTO or BAFTS (UK Fair Trade Network).

If you’re a group wanting to promote the Fairtrade Detectives scheme at local schools and events we have pens and leaflets for you to give out. Simply contact us to order what you need.

Look for these marks.

Posted on November 1st, 2019 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Yorkshire Conference – Ilkley 26 October

Our special mini-Conference aimed at Places of Worship was a great success.

Around 40 people gathered in Christchurch, Ilkley for an afternoon of networking, brainstorming and celebrating Fairtrade’s 25th year. Deputy Mayor of Ilkley, Ros Brown was there cutting our amazing cake.

 

 

 

We were delighted that Tim Aldred, Head of Policy at the Fairtarde Foundation was able to join us and he explained how Fairtrade fits into his own faith and the life of faith communities around the world.

 

 

 

We shared ideas for making a splash in Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 and thought about how we can incorporate fair trade into our own communities and parishes. You can read a summary of ideas here. Summary of ideas to promote Fairtrade

 

 

 

We are grateful to the Ethical Jeweller, Shared Interest and Co-operative Wealth who all brought stalls.

Posted on November 1st, 2019 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News