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Come On In to Fairtrade with Suma Wholefoods!

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight we’re inviting friends, supporters and local businesses to share their ideas on how to #ComeOnIn to Fairtrade. Today we welcome Suma Wholefoods to the guest blog. We’re delighted to work with Suma and collaborate on many Fairtrade projects with schools in Yorkshire. And again welcome them as our Conference Champion Sponsors for Fairtrade Fortnight 2018.

 

“It is here again, a time to celebrate all things Fairtrade and the positive actions we can take to help farmers and growers around the world.

 

Fairtrade Fortnight is a time to remind ourselves of the importance of supporting Fairtrade and the reasons why it’s so important to so many people. It can sometimes be easy to forget about the conditions that many growers and producers face daily, out of sight is often out of mind when we are choosing our food in a rush.

 

Take coffee for example. Around 125 million people around the world depend on coffee for their livelihoods, it is the most valuable and widely traded tropical agricultural product. However many of the smallholders fail to earn a reliable living from coffee. Global coffee production varies from year to year; weather conditions, disease and other factors can all result in a market that is unstable. This can have huge consequences for those who depend on it, making it difficult for growers to predict their income and budget for their families. Due to complex supply chains many farmers have little idea of where their coffee goes or what price it ends up selling for.

 

Fairtrade was started in response to the dire struggles of Mexican coffee farmers in the 1980s when world coffee prices collapsed. With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive a minimum price for their coffee, which should cover costs of production and also act as a safety net.

 

There are many other benefits which come with Fairtrade, it improves access to agricultural services such as organic training and premium markets. It also empowers communities to organise into co-operatives, which enables them to negotiate higher prices for their products.

 

The Fairtrade Standard also covers key areas of environmental protection, and promotes training for farmers to switch to environmentally friendly practices. Farmers and workers who participate in Fairtrade can often feel a real sense of control over their future, and that they have a voice and rights which they didn’t have before. Longer term investments are made in education, housing and medical facilities which can benefit whole communities for generations.

 

Of course we don’t always think of all these things when we stand browsing the food and drinks deciding what to buy, but just by making some simple choices we can all contribute to making people’s lives fairer and healthier.

 

Easy products to look out for alongside coffee include cocoa, sugar, tea, herbs and spices, chocolates, nuts and fruits.

 

At Suma we stock a variety of products which carry the Fairtrade mark, assuring you that the farmers and growers received fair payment. Some of the most popular ones include coffees, such as the Bolivia Femenino beans grown by a co-operative of women. Our Fairtrade peanut butter is also a firm favourite and so versatile. If you enjoy baking, why not make it even more satisfying by incorporating some Fairtrade ingredients like sugar and cocoa powder…better yet, why not host a Fairtrade Coffee and Cake event and showcase your talents while supporting Fairtrade Fortnight!”

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