Fairtrade Fortnight and the environment
Thursday, 5 March 2020 | Joanna
Fairtrade reduces climate emissions by guiding agricultural producers in developing countries to mitigate their climate impact: to preserve trees and soil productivity, reduce the use of artificial fertilisers and energy, use renewable energy, and improve waste management.
Fairtrade works hard to reduce deforestation. Deforestation accounts for over 15 percent of climate emissions which is more than the total impact of all traffic.
Fairtrade actively promotes both the protection of forests and the planting of trees. Fairtrade Standards prohibit the felling of forests with high conservation value. Farmer cooperatives need to establish a continuous process to map risk areas, raise the farmers’ climate awareness.
Farmer cooperatives often use Fairtrade Premium for planting trees.
For example, the Sireet OEP tea cooperative in Kenya planted over 150,000 trees in 2016–2017. “We are growing trees in our nurseries for farmers to inter-plant with their tea crops. The trees provide shade to the tea, and protect it from hail and frost,” says Victor Biwot, executive director of the cooperative.
Fairtrade protects biodiversity by actively encouraging producers to farm organically and to minimise the use of any chemicals if possible. After deforestation and livestock production, artificial fertilisers are the main climate problem in agricultural production. Pesticides, for their part, reduce biodiversity and pollute the water and soil.
Fairtrade staff on the ground in Africa, Asia and Latin America train farmers to follow the most climate-friendly farming methods, to use waste and to compost and to save water all of which are proven to protect the environment.
Fairtrade is a pioneer in water management. Fairtrade Standards guide farmers to identify their water sources and to improve their water efficiency. If local water resources are overburdened, farmers need to discuss with local people, authorities and other water users to reduce the burden. Fairtrade Premium funds are often used for water-related investments
Buying Fairtrade means you are supporting farmers across the world to protect their natural habitats and wildlife, enrich the soil and learn the most climate-friendly farming methods.