Ilkley Fairtrade Fortnight 2019
Ilkley Fairtrade Group and Soroptimist International Ilkley are busy preparing for two Fairtrade Fortnight events taking place this weekend.
On Saturday, 2nd March, members will be helping at a special Fairtrade afternoon tea at St. John’s Church, Ben Rhydding, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Traidcraft. Traidcraft was one of the organisations which helped create the Fairtrade Foundation charity in 1991, and pioneered ethical trading partnerships with farmers and workers in developing countries. The event runs from 2.30 - 4pm and is open to all. In addition to the home-made cakes and scones on offer, there will of course be a Traidcraft stall with fairly traded goods, as well as Fairtrade chocolate tasting. The Soroptimists are fund raising to support the Meru Herbs women’s co-operative in Kenya, and will have Meru natural, exotic jams and sauces for sale. Meru Herbs follows fair trade principles and aims to empower women and alleviate poverty.
On Sunday, 3rd March, the two groups are running one of the community stalls at the Real Food Ilkley market, to increase awareness of their work and to raise funds for good causes. They will be raffling Fairtrade products kindly donated by the Ilkley Co-op stores. The Co-op is the UK’s largest convenience retailer of Fairtrade products which provide better prices, working conditions and terms of trade to their suppliers in developing countries.
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight has seen the launch of the Fairtrade Foundation’s three year campaign to introduce a living income for all. The new campaign, ‘She Deserves a living income’, focuses on cocoa, and in particular on the women in the cocoa industry in Cote D’Ivoire. A cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn £1.86 each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire has to live on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty. For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.
Rosine Bekoin, who features on this year’s campaign posters, is a mum of five, cocoa farmer and member of the CAYAT Fairtrade co-operative in Côte d’Ivoire. She joined the co-operative in 2016 and is now the secretary of the Women’s Society. Together with 400 other women in the group, they have invested the Fairtrade Premium in better cocoa production training and diversification projects so they don’t have to rely so much on fluctuating cocoa prices, which have plummeted in recent years. Rosine saw her cocoa production increase by 50% between 2017 and 2018, thanks to the training.
Karen Palframan, chair of Ilkley Fairtrade Group, said “we are hoping lots of people will come to the events this weekend to learn more about the dire state of the cocoa industry in West Africa and what we can do about it. One simple action is to swap to Fairtrade chocolate, and other Fairtrade products, so we can help Rosine, and millions of farmers like her, work towards earning the income they deserve”.
Ian Brown, Bolton Bridge Rd Co-op store manager, Karen Palframan, Chair Ilkley Fairtrade Group