Fairtrade Fortnight 2023 – in the wake of climate change

Courtney Duncan
Thursday 2 March 2023

Fairtrade Fortnight in the wake of climate change: the celebration of ethical and sustainable production and consumption

Every year Fairtrade Fortnight provides a dedicated space for people around the world to discuss, share, and acknowledge the importance of fair trade. Climate change and global warming has long been a topic of conversation and has also drawn people together with urgency. As the climate change conversation has grown and various conflicts have started or worsened, the plight of farmers and the precedence of Fairtrade has seemingly diminished – particularly in media.

However, ethical trade is intricately linked to both climate change and global geopolitics. To bring Fairtrade back into the fold, this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight theme looks to highlight these connections.

Did you know?

Many of the foods we consume and love are at risk. Climate change is causing growing seasons to become unpredictable and is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (i.e., flooding, drought, cyclones, etc). While this affects farmers and producers worldwide, these changes are being witnessed and are often felt most in the tropics and by those who are already vulnerable. Inconsistent harvests and poor yields means farmers who are not protected by Fairtrade wages receive drastically low, to no income. Buying Fairtrade enables farmers to be guaranteed a set “fair minimum price” throughout hardship or fluctuating market prices. To find out more, watch this two-minute video: What Is Fairtrade?.

How can I get involved? – Upcoming Events

This year the Environment Team has put together a suite of activities and events, allowing you to learn more, get creative, and enjoy Fairtrade products. Take a look and come along!

Fairtrade and Climate Change Photo Exhibition

1 to 3 March – Upper floor of the student union

We have curated a selection of photos to touch upon how climate change is affecting farmers’ lives and the innovative farming techniques they are using to overcome some of these challenges. This photo exhibition will be available for you to peruse freely; please stop by whenever you can.

Fairtrade Conversations: Power, Data, and Supply Chains with Dr Mary Popple

7 March, 7pm to 8pm – Meeting Room, Student Union, St Mary’s Place, KY16 9UZ

Join us for an engaging talk with Dr Mary Popple, chair of the board of directors at Just Trading Scotland (JTSand member of the St Andrews Fairtrade Town Campaign. We will examine what it means to run a Fair Trade business that puts small food businesses and small-holder farmers in the Global South at its centre. Please register here: Fairtrade Conversations: Power, Data, and Supply Chains – Transition St Andrews

The Chocolate War film screening, and Q&A with the director and featured human-rights lawyer

10 March, 6,15pm – Buchanan Lecture Theatre, Union Street, KY16 9PH

We are proud to announce that we will be showing The Chocolate War, an in the field and in the courtroom documentary following human-rights lawyer, Terry Collingsworth, as he explores the chocolate industry. We have the privilege for the director of the film, Miki Mistrati, and Terry to join us for an online Q&A immediately after the film. Watch the trailer.

The Chocolate War is nominated for a Cinema for Peace Award, for Best Documentary at the Warsaw International Film Festival, selected for the Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin, Toronto Food Festival, nominated as Best TV documentary at Rai´s Prix Italia and selected for Films for future Festival in Zurich.” (Source: The Chocolate War (thechocolatewarfilm.com))

Dinner with Veg Soc: celebrating rice

12 March, 7pm – The Chaplaincy Centre, Mansefield, 3 St Marys Place, KY16 9UY

Enjoy a wonderful dinner of Nigerian jollof rice, with side dishes of beans and green leaves (Ndiwo) inspired by Malawi traditional dishes. A coconut rice pudding will follow for dessert, with some fruit on the side. These dishes will be cooked using Kilombero Fairtrade rice, supplied as part of the 90kg rice challenge from Just trading Scotland. This challenge is a tangible way for people to engage with Fairtrade, as the cost of 90kg of Kilombero rice is enough to send a child to secondary school for a year. Everyone attending will receive a free 1kg bag of rice to take away. Please register for the event online: Fairtrade Vegan Dinner tickets | VegSoc | FIXR

Fairtrade Crafting Session

14 March, 8pm to 10pm – 601, The Union, St Mary’s Place, KY16 9UZ

Various crafty, arty, and sustainable societies from the University of St Andrews are coming together with Sustainable Saints and the United Nations Association to craft, taste test chocolate, and learn about Fairtrade cotton. This event is open to anyone and will provide: clothes upcycling, sewing, knitting, embroidery, illustration, banner making, chocolate and banana bread taste testing activities, and more. Join us for this wholesome event and to support Fairtrade.

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