Nick Thomas-Symonds has shown his support for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight campaign, which is raising awareness of the need to protect the farmers behind some of Britain’s best loved foods from the harmful effects of climate change.
During Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 (February 21 – March 6), the Fairtrade Foundation is running a campaign highlighting the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and agricultural workers overseas who grow popular products such as tea, coffee, cocoa and bananas.
The Torfaen MP was among 55 MPs who recently participated in parliamentary events held to mark Fairtrade Fortnight.
On February 22, a virtual ‘Meet the Producer’ event took place, hosted by Fairtrade APPG co-chairs Holly Lynch MP and Jason McCartney MP. MPs heard from Fairtrade farmer Patrick Kaberia Muthaura, who shared first-hand accounts of the impacts of climate change on his tea farm in Kenya and spoke about the need for commitments at the COP26 summit to be realised. Mr Muthaura also urged policy makers to ensure that finance goes to farmers and workers like him who have the expertise and knowledge to adapt and mitigate to the changing climate, but who lack the funding to do so.
On March 1, the Fairtrade APPG held a second event, this time in Portcullis House, Westminster. MPs were invited to drop in and have their photo taken with a Fairtrade photo frame, sample Fairtrade tea from Waitrose and Greenypeeps, and pick up Fairtrade facemasks created by sustainable clothing company Neutral. At the event, MPs had the opportunity to hear more about the importance of involving farmers and agricultural workers in plans to tackle the climate crisis.
Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “I am proud to support Fairtrade Fortnight this year. As we know, the climate crisis is the biggest threat to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers in low-income countries worldwide. Farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected by it.
“Fairtrade plays a valuable role in supporting farmers to respond to the environmental crises unfolding in their communities. However, it’s important that we all play our part in tackling climate change. For instance, shopping for Fairtrade goods is a simple yet effective step that we can all take to enable farmers to have better incomes vital for protecting their bananas, coffee, cocoa and other crops from climate threats like drought, floods and rising temperatures.
‘I am delighted that so many constituents, schools, communities and businesses here in Torfaen support Fairtrade’s mission to make trade fair, and are committed to using Fairtrade products where they can.