Trade is a matter of life and death for many of the world’s poorest people.
But the rich and powerful are pursuing trade policies that put profits before the needs of people and the planet.
Choosing to buy Fairtrade products as an individual is an important way to ensure that the people who have made those products are being treated fairly. Raising awareness of the difference Fairtrade can make is also vitally important. Getting your canteen to stock Fairtrade products is a big step towards making a difference to more people. Doing all of this is crucial if Fairtrade is going to have an impact on farmers in the developing world.
But, despite the massive growth in sales of Fairtrade labelled goods the unfair trade rules that helped to create a situation where the poorest 40% of the world’s population receive less than 5% of global wealth remain.
Imagine: All of the schools and colleges in the country showing that they were serious about Fairtrade and putting an end to poverty by getting Fairtrade Status. Not only would this make a massive difference to the Fairtrade farmers and their communities, it also shows the UK Government that it is time to put an end to unfair world trade.
In the meantime the examples of unfair trade continue. Rich countries give $1 billion a year in aid for agriculture in poor countries while they spend $1 billion a day subsidising their own agriculture.
The support given to rich countries in subsidies means they can sell their goods for less than the cost of production — undercutting producers in developing countries, and driving down world prices. Poor farmers are driven further into poverty; many lose their livelihoods altogether.
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