Retailers and companies get ready to embrace Fairtrade Fortnight, 24 February-8 March

From Fairtrade chocolate to flowers, wine, ice cream and coffee – big name retailers and companies across the UK and Ireland continue to embrace Fairtrade, boosting funds for Fairtrade programmes for communities in the Global South.

Fairtrade’s living income cocoa campaign launched during Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 has already seen impressive support from business. Among the many exciting developments were Waitrose & Partners’ confectionery conversion to 100% FSI cocoa, and their block chocolate continues to be 100% Fairtrade.  John Lewis also converted their confectionery to 100% FSI cocoa. All of their tea and coffee is also Fairtrade, and British heritage manufacturer Whitakers Chocolates are switching to FSI cocoa for Fairtrade Fortnight. 

For Fairtrade Fortnight 2020, the Fairtrade Foundation is engaging the public with a fun ‘storybombing’ treasure hunt, placing 35,000 women farmer stories in local communities spanning Land’s End to John O’Groats. A short celebrity-voiced animation telling cocoa farmer Edith’s story and why shoppers should ask for Fairtrade in store will be boosted online throughout the two-week campaign. Fairtrade’s commercial partners will support both initiatives.

In addition to thousands of grassroots events organized by supporters, five flagship events followed by panel discussions with guest inspirational women speakers in Manchester, York, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Oxford will held across the UK to highlight the inequality experienced by the women and girls behind the multibillion global chocolate industry and these events will tell inspiring stories about individuals who, against the odds, are becoming entrepreneurs and leaders in their local communities in West Africa.

Two of the women cocoa farmers will tour the UK, visiting brands, retailers and businesses and give keynote speeches at our flagship community. They will be telling the public what life is like for the people behind our chocolate, many of whom are trapped in poverty despite working fulltime.  2 million cocoa farmers across West Africa are struggling to survive, earning as little as 74p per day despite working in an industry worth £4bn a year in the UK alone.

Cliona Duffy, senior partnerships manager at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “The UK is a nation of chocoholics, but many of us don’t know the bitter truth of exploited farmers behind much of the food we enjoy. Fairtrade supports farmers to get a better deal, as it is the only certifier guaranteeing a safety net of a set price if the market collapses and extra premium investment on top on every Fairtrade purchase. Demand for Fairtrade chocolate is continuing to increase, so by offering Fairtrade products, you’re doing the right thing for producers as well as fulfilling customer demand.”