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    Fairtrade Fortnight - She Deserves

    Monday, 2 March 2020  |  Joanna

    Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 24 February to 8 March.

    The theme is "She Deserves" and focuses on the cocoa industry in West Africa. 

    Here are some facts about our favourite chocolates:

     

          2 million cocoa farmers across West Africa are struggling to survive, earning as little as 74p per day, despite working grueling days, exposed to the          volatility of the global cocoa market. 

     

    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.    

     

    The £4bn a year cocoa industry must do more to ensure cocoa farmers earn more than the 74p per day - less than half of a decent living income which is a human right.   

     

    Cocoa exported under Fairtrade terms now brings in 22% more revenue for cooperatives following on from the 2019 Fairtrade Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premium 20% increases.  

     

    If the cocoa industry bought more on Fairtrade terms than the 6% currently bought, more Fairtrade farmers could be much closer to earning a living income. This is why Fairtrade is calling on shoppers to support cocoa farmers by buying Fairtrade. 

     

    Farmers like Rosine Bekoin who visited York last week. This is her  story:

     

    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.