These are tough times for all of us trying to balance our budgets. We all have to find ways of cutting corners so we can continue to feed our families. For some of us that means buying less food, for others that means buying cheaper food. But what is the real price of cheap food?
- The public wants cheaper produce;
- The supermarkets want to attract customers by keeping prices lower;
- The supermarkets therefore pay lower prices to their suppliers;
- And right at the end of the chain, the farmer suffers.
Nowhere is this more evident in developing countries which either cannot afford to pay its farmers subsidies, or choose not to do so.
These are tough times for us; but even tougher times for millions of farmers and workers in developing countries – many of whom are older people. Despite producing approximately 70 per cent of the world’s food, over half of the world’s hungry people are smallholder farmers themselves, who struggle to earn a decent living from their crops. Unfair trade means they still only receive a tiny proportion of the price we pay for food.
Age International – and the Enough food for Everyone IF campaign, of which we are a part – believes that farmers can continue producing food for their families and their future IF they receive a guaranteed fair price for their crops. Choosing fairtrade products is one easy way to support them. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers the safety net of a fair price today and a little extra to invest in tomorrow.
Farmers can continue producing food for their families IF they receive a guaranteed fair price for their crops. IF they receive more, they can invest more and grow more, thus guaranteeing more food for people beyond their families and their communities.
Fairtrade Fortnight, 25 February – 10 March
Fairtrade Fornight (25 February until 10 March) is the perfect time to take steps to think about the food we eat and the people who grow it.
IF you buy products with the Fairtrade Mark, farmers and workers can earn enough to provide for their families and invest in their communities.
IF you already buy Fairtrade bananas or coffee, try something new this Fairtrade Fortnight – from tea, sugar and pineapples to ice cream, nuts and flowers (remember that Sunday 10 March is Mother’s Day!) This will help ensure more farmers and workers receive a better deal from trade.
IF we can get more people asking for Fairtrade, more companies will start to trade on fairer terms with developing countries.
IF you share your Fairtrade goodies with friends and family, we can spread the message even further.
Buying fairtrade produce does cost a little more money – but it also reduces poverty and suffering in some of the poorest countries in the world.
The question should not be ‘Can I afford to buy fairtrade produce?’ but ‘Can I afford not to?’