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For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks, mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.
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In 2022, our online Choose the World you Want Festival will return from 21 February to 6 March. Last year’s festival saw campaigners, shoppers, students and businesses come together in a show of support for the farmers behind our food on the front line of the climate crisis. From online panels to bake-offs and coffee mornings over 50 virtual events took place as part of our virtual festival, with supporters sharing the power of Fairtrade and what needs to happen next to ensure farmers and workers are put front and centre of conversations on how to tackle the climate crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever how interconnected we are globally. This interconnection is at the very heart of the Fairtrade message and is where your role begins. You are part of the Fairtrade movement, and you have the power to drive long-term change, not only with your shopping choices but with your support in spreading the message.
Since last Fairtrade Fortnight we have seen the G7 and COP26 take place. Over 33,000 campaigners joined 1.8m Fairtrade farmers and workers in backing the Be Fair With Your Climate Promise challenge to world leaders at the UN COP26 summit. But frustration came as the wealthiest nations failed to recognise the urgent need to invest in farmer expertise by delaying their promised $100bn annual funding to the most climate vulnerable countries until 2023. That isn’t good enough.
“A frustrating conclusion to a summit filled with hope.” This was the verdict of Mary Kinyua, Fairtrade’s lead COP26 delegate, and a Fairtrade flower farmer representative.
Climate justice was never going to be won or lost at one conference in Glasgow. But where the COP26 agreement fell short, we need to increase the pressure for urgent action.