The Fairtrade Foundation has launched a new campaign calling for urgent action to support the 500m smallholder farmers who produce 70% of the world’s food, but are currently half the world’s hungry people. The report to launch the campaign, ‘Powering up Smallholder Farmers to Make Food Fair’, says that, even when smallholder farmers are producing cash crops at the sharp end of lucrative international supply chains, the global food system still fails them.
The campaign launches a five-point agenda for action and is calling on David Cameron to use his influence, when the UK hosts the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June, to put smallholder farmers into the heart of governments’ trade policy and international and national business practice. Until June 2013, the Fairtrade Foundation will be gathering momentum via a unique virtual ‘mini-marcher’ campaign, the first-ever petition of its kind.
The Fairtrade Foundation’s new CEO Michael Gidney says: “Fairtrade sales continue to confound expectation in the midst of the current tough economic climate. The UK public have developed a lasting appetite for food and goods traded on fairer terms with producers, and forward thinking businesses are responding energetically to this by providing a wider range of products.” Read the facts here.
In the first-ever petition of its kind, members of the public can log onto the Fairtrade Foundation website to turn themselves into foldable ‘mini-marchers’ in order to call for a better deal for smallholder farmers. Thousands of tiny figures, including dozens of celebrity ‘mini-marchers’, are set to hold their first demonstration in Parliament Square on Monday, 4 March. Jonathan Ross, Bruce Forsyth, Harry Hill, Allegra McEvedy and Eddie Izzard are among the many famous faces whose personalised ‘paper protesters’ are joining the campaign, which is expected to secure tens of thousands of public supporters. The final petition will be delivered to David Cameron at World Fair Trade Day in May before the G8 meeting the following month.