With its premium price tag, the cashew should be an opportunity for developing economies; however, farmers typically earn tiny sums for their work, their income is subject to the fluctuations of the international commodity markets, and they are often exposed to harmful chemicals. That is the verdict of a campaign by Traidcraft. “It’s time the EU took action and set up a regulator with the power to stop abuses by retailers that result in extremely low pay and appalling working conditions.” says Lisa May, Head of Policy at Traidcraft.
You can read Traidcraft’s report “Cashing in on Cashews” here, and their latest briefing on cashews here. There is also a good visual presentation here. All Traidcraft’s materials are packed with useful information, figures and statistics.
The Guardian covered the story on Saturday, their article contains some interesting insights into cashew farming in India and Ghana – the full story is here.
Now’s your chance!
AskMalawi is a partnership of 3 Fairtrade farming Communities in Malawi who will answer your questions about life in a rural farming community.
The project is facilitated by the Malawian participatory media charity Story Workshop along with the Fairtrade Foundation. The project is funded by Comic Relief and the online content was developed by digital partner Reading Room.
You can find AskMalawi at http://www.askmalawi.tv
On Thursday, the Fairtrade mark was launched in India. This is an important step in the development of the movement as more and more countries that have traditionally been producers of Fairtrade goods are increasingly also becoming consumers of Fairtrade goods.
The trend reflects a growing concern for inequalities within countries as well as inequalities between countries. India is a huge market and so an increase in demand for Fairtrade products there could have a significant impact in some of its poorer communities.
There is an article about the launch of the Fairtrade market in India in the Guardian – see this link
Did you miss the Fairtrade Foundation’s annual Supporters’ Conference? We did! Which is a great shame, as it is always an interesting, informative and enjoyable event.
However, the Fairtrade Foundation have just uploaded the post-conference information on their website. This includes an overview of the programme and presentation slides with titles such as “Making Tea Fair” and “Using Social Media in Your Campaigning”.
You can find the post-conference information here
In light of our recent posts about Fairtrade metals, there is an interesting article on the Guardian website about Fairtrade gold mining in Africa.
If someone talks about mining, the image that springs to my mind is a large-scale operation, probably owned by a multinational company. However, the article states that over 15 million people worldwide are employed in small-scale mining, and gives an insight into mining life in Africa.
You can read the article through this link.
On 15th October, Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of Fairtrade International, was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge University – the first time the college has given the honour to a woman.
Trinity Hall, founded in 1350, said the award recognized Lamb’s “global reach and influence as CEO of Fairtrade International and her commitment to social justice.”
Lamb, aged 52, read political science at Trinity Hall in 1979-1981, before doing development work in India.
She joined Fairtrade International in 1997 with the aim of improving life for banana growers in Central America and became Chief Executive in 2012.
Professor Martin Daunton, Master of Trinity Hall, said the college prided itself on its engagement with its alumni and with the wider world.
“Many of its alumni are active in public life around the world and we are delighted that Harriet Lamb will be more closely involved with our community,” he said.
“As Executive Director and subsequently Chief Executive, she has raised the profile of the organisation, an organisation that Trinity Hall is committed to support. We support her commitment to social justice.”
Harriet Lamb praised Fairtrade producers, as well as campaigners across the UK for putting Fairtrade on the map, including students and staff at Cambridge University and the Cambridge Fairtrade Group. I think that’s us! Thank you Harriet!
Recently we blogged about Fairtrade platinum at local jeweller Harriet Kelsall.
Meanwhile, Fairtrade International has unveiled its new standard and pricing for gold, silver and platinum and new ways of working with the jewellery industry at a landmark round table in London on 9 – 10 October 2013.
The meeting in London also introduced Fairtrade’s ecological support programme and laid out early plans for the development of new centres of excellence for the training for small-scale miners in how to become a responsible Fairtrade gold mining organisation.
Ugandan gold miner Simon said: ‘For years we were mining haphazardly, digging shafts without proper support. We had pits that kept collapsing all the time, as the walls collapse in the rain. We hope through Fairtrade we will learn how to do things differently.’
For their dangerous work finding this precious metal, his mining group get less than $1 a day: ‘It’s not enough to live on, let alone make the vitally needed investments in safer equipment and practices.’
Small-scale gold mining is one of the world’s most disadvantaged sectors and provides an economic lifeline to over 15 million miners and seasonal income for one hundred million workers. They are open to exploitation at the bottom of complex supply chains and their access to international markets is limited, meaning they rarely receive a fair price for their gold and struggle to survive.
Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers, businesses and consumers. This gives small-scale miners the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future.
Fairtrade gold programme co-ordinator Greg Valerio adds: ‘For me Fairtrade is the best gold story in the world and all players in the jewellery industry need to get behind it. Too often we are unaware of our power to change people’s lives, of our connection with people across the world as we treat ourselves to a new piece of sparkling jewellery here in the UK.’
‘As a result of the changes we are already seeing more gold being bought on Fairtrade terms, which means more alloyed and fabricated gold will become widely available and cost effective for Fairtrade licensees to buy, resulting in more products on sale to consumers. The market has been asking for a simplified labelling scheme to maximise potential. We have listened to our partners and believe the new Fairtrade precious metals marks will help build greater market share and consumer awareness.’