Judith met farmers from the Ivory Coast, Rwanda and the Dominican Republic in Parliament this week as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.
Judith said: “I am delighted to support Fairtrade Fortnight and the She Deserves a Living Income campaign which celebrates the hard work of women cocoa farmers and calls on all of us to do more to increase their incomes. I know that there are many people in Bradford who support Fairtrade and will be out there buying and gifting Fairtrade chocolate and other goods to help farmers get a better deal.”
The Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign She Deserves a Living Income is shining a light on the poverty facing cocoa farmers in West Africa, where 60% of cocoa is grown, who earn as little as 74p per day and are unable to pay for essentials like food, send their children to school or buy medicine if they fall sick.
A new report from the Fairtrade Foundation, launched at the event in Parliament, reveals women cocoa farmers often carry the greatest burden and yet get the least reward. It calls on the government and businesses to ensure farmers earn living incomes by 2030 in line with the UN’s Global Goals to end poverty.
At the event in Parliament this week, Awa Traoré, director of Fairtrade cocoa co-operative, CAYAT, spoke about how a living income of £1.86 could transform the lives of cocoa farmers, and why it is vital to empower women. Ms Traoré said: “Women are very important in the development process. If you want to change the lives of producers, you have to focus on women. In our community we use the Fairtrade premium to redress the balance: to train women, to teach them how to read and write to empower them and we have developed activities that create income for them.”