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Cocoa-operative chocolate is helping change lives

Cocoa-operative chocolate is helping change lives

02 March 2020

For many of us Fairtrade chocolate is just a delicious sweet treat, but did you know chocolate is actually helping change lives for people in developing countries?

And every time you buy Fairtrade chocolate from us, you’re helping to support farmers, growers and producers create a better and fairer life for themselves and their communities.

Fairtrade means worker’s wages are protected. A set minimum price for trade means that regardless of the rise or fall in the market, farmers and workers will be able to cover production costs. This protection ensures they can have an assured and stable income and plan for their future. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme that offers such a unique minimum price protection for farmers.

We’re proud to have been behind the Fairtrade movement since it began 25 years ago. From tea and coffee, to wool and household gloves, from wine and flowers, to bananas and chocolate - together, we’ve led the way in ethical shopping and stocked an array of Fairtrade products.

Look out for the Fairtrade mark

By making simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. When you buy products with the Fairtrade mark, you support farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and their communities.

 

What difference does buying Fairtrade make?

Short answer: a lot.

For shoppers here in the Channel Islands, it may be a case of nothing more than deciding between product varieties, but by choosing Fairtrade it ensures that the farmers across the world are able to make a livelihood for themselves and their families. 

It means that a producer can start making a profit, which can help them buy better tools and resources, meaning they reap a bigger crop and can employ and pay workers in their local communities. In turn the local employment rate goes up and local families can afford to pay for their children to go to school.

Meet cocoa farmer, Awa Traoré Bambara

Living on the Ivory Coast as part of a farming community, Awa explains how Fairtrade created opportunities which were not always available before for generations like her parents.

She said: ‘My mother was a cashew producer and my father produced cocoa. I was the only girl in a family of eight children. My mother did not have the opportunity to go to school, but the money she earned — as well as her support and encouragement — gave me that opportunity instead.’

From that opportunity, Awa joined the Fairtrade School of Women’s Leadership and enrolled on a 12 month course that taught her business skills, human rights as well as the role of women in the economy. She is now breaking long-held stereotypes in her native African community.

‘Today, at the age of 30, I am the director of our cocoa co-operative, overseeing 2,343 farmers, 90% of whom are men,’ she said. 

‘In African society, women are generally marginalised and don’t have access to education. People often say that a woman’s place is at home, looking after their children. They’re expected not to speak out, and to be deferential, so it’s very difficult for them.

‘Today, I have confidence in my abilities, trust my own judgement and tell myself I can do anything.’

The future is very much bright, full of promise – and cocoa – for Awa and her community.

‘I love Fairtrade so much. It is the future for cocoa farmers around the world like me,’ she said.

Help be part of the future of Fairtrade

The Fairtrade Foundation is a charity and rely on donations to continue the work they do.

No matter whether you do something big or small, you can help make a difference.

Here’s some ways how you can help be part of the future for Fairtrade:

1. Fundraise for Fairtrade

Why not hold your own bake sale for friends or colleagues using Fairtrade ingredients?

2. Join the Fairtrade steering groups 

Both Jersey and Guernsey have Fairtrade groups devoted to campaigning for Fairtrade.

3. Choose Fairtrade

The next time you buy a bar of chocolate, a jar of coffee, a bunch of bananas or even a bottle of wine, why not buy the Fairtrade option? It’s one of the easiest and simplest ways that you can support Fairtrade.

 

Find out ways in which we support Fairtrade here.