This week, the Fairtrade International team is at COP21 in Paris, advocating on behalf of small-scale farmers who are affected by Climate Change.
As crucial climate change talks kick off in Paris, Fairtrade producers from Latin America and Africa are among those flocking to the city to make the voice of smallholders heard in the COP21 debate. They will join the call for a binding climate deal, sharing the resourceful ways they are finding to adapt and calling for more support for small-scale farmers, often among the worst hit by climate change.
Victor Biwot from Sireet tea cooperative in Kenya is one of the Fairtrade producers attending the climate change conference. He and his cooperative have been feeling the effects of climate change for some time. “Climate change is affecting our productivity,” he says. “Farmers can no longer predict when is the best time to prepare their farms or start planting. In previous years it used to work like clockwork, but now you just can’t tell.”
Farmers can no longer predict when is the best time to prepare their farms or start planting. In previous years it used to work like clockwork, but now you just can’t tell.
Victor Biwot, member of the Sireet Tea Cooperative in Kenya
Fairtrade is raising awareness on climate change among producer organizations, and supporting them as they develop adaptation plans. Through expert technical support, field schools, and demonstration sites, producers are learning how to implement adaptation measures in their own farms and communities. Fairtrade producer networks are coordinating the projects and supporting farmers to share best practices.
Victor’s cooperative was one of 22 producer organizations in East Africa to receive adaptation training through one such project, AdapTea.
“Inter-planting trees with tea helps to reduce the effect of climate change,” explains Victor. “The trees provide shade to the tea, and protect it from hail and frost. We are also encouraging farmers to try to grow other crops which are less affected by drought.”
Also in Kenya, women coffee farmers are receiving training to increase the yield, quality, and resilience of their coffee bushes, and also installing bio-gas units to reduce deforestation for firewood.
During COP21 Fairtrade will host a launch event for Fairtrade Carbon Credits and present the first partners in this innovative initiative to support farmers and vulnerable rural communities in their fight against climate change. The launch builds on the publication of the Fairtrade Climate Standard earlier in October, and will enable vulnerable communities to reduce emissions while also strengthening themselves against the effects of climate change.
Find out more about how Fairtrade is addressing climate change.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Vicky Pauschert, Communications Manager, Fairtrade International:
Mobile: +491725416076, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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