4 things to know about Fairtrade Fortnight

The 27th annual Fairtrade Fortnight kicks off on 21st February, bringing together the British public, campaigners, politicians, businesses, and Fairtrade farmers and workers to raise awareness of the need for trade justice.

During Fairtrade Fortnight 2022, we’re highlighting the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in the communities Fairtrade works with, many of whom  live in low-income countries on the front line of the climate crisis.

Want to know more about the campaign and how to get involved? Read on.

1. The first Fairtrade Fortnight was organised by the Fairtrade Foundation in 1995 

Following persistent appeals for fairness in trade from Mexican small-scale coffee farmers, the Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

Three years later, the first Fairtrade Fortnight took place, in 1995. It was a chance for a diverse set of communities across the country to come together and raise their voices to highlight the vital role that Fairtrade plays in trade justice.

 Fairtrade Fortnight is held during two weeks over February and March each year.

Since that first Fairtrade Fortnight, the annual event has grown from strength to strength, and now involves over 425 Fairtrade communities across the UK, with thousands of community groups, MPs from across the political spectrum, dozens of businesses, and retailers, as well as celebrity supporters.

2. Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 marks the return of the Choose The World You Want festival

The festival returns for a second year to highlight how Fairtrade is the simple choice we can all make to support farmers and workers  who bear the brunt of the climate crisis in low-income countries. The Fairtrade Foundation hopes people will engage with Fairtrade Fortnight once again this year, as part of their ongoing efforts to protect people and planet.

The online festival, which runs for the two weeks of Fairtrade Fortnight, will feature around 40 virtual events designed to engage, inform, and educate people about the harmful effect of the climate crisis on farmers and food supplies.

Expect big names like actress and Fairtrade patron Adjoa Andoh; chef and fellow patron Allegra McEvedy MBE; the CEO of Ashden, Harriet Lamb CBE; Antiracism Educator and Sustainability Advocate, Angel Arutura, and many more.

Event registration is now open and new events are being added each day. Book your tickets. This isn’t one to miss! Donations welcome.

3. Fairtrade Fortnight is the perfect opportunity to teach young people inequality and climate change

Through learning about how we are all connected through the things we eat, drink and wear, young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills to shape a more compassionate and sustainable world.

If you’re new to the topic of Fairtrade and the climate, check out our Climate, Fairtrade and You topic packs. They are full of assemblies, lesson plans and activities to help your  pupils or children learn about climate change and its impacts on farmers around the world. If you want to take your children’s learning a step further, check out our new film and lesson series that launched earlier this year Through this series, young minds will learn why trade justice is necessary for climate justice, and how we can all act for a fairer future.

This teachers’ guide has been produced to support teachers and educators in the UK to use the four-part film series,  with primary and secondary classes. Through this series young people will:

:: Discover the historical inequalities at the heart of the climate crisis
:: Connect with farmers affected by extreme weather
:: Learn why trade justice is necessary for climate justice
:: Understand how to act for a fair future.

Supporting Fairtrade doesn’t have to end after Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade Fortnight might only run for 2 weeks of the year but commitment to Fairtrade doesn’t have to end when Fortnight does. Supporting Fairtrade year-round is easy.

Inspired to act?

CAMPAIGN: Join us in demanding a fair deal for the farmers and workers who produce our everyday foods and goods. Fairtrade campaigners speak up about the rights and needs of farmers and workers in countries disadvantaged by our fundamentally unfair global trade. We explain why it’s so important we choose Fairtrade, and why we must persuade politicians and businesses of the need for radical change to win a fairer future.

JOIN: With thousands of local campaigning groups across the UK, including Towns, Schools, Universities and Faith Groups, there are lots of ways to get involved with Fairtrade in your community. We run campaigns with local community groups aimed at boosting awareness and understanding of international trade issues. The groups also promote the buying of Fairtrade products as a way for everyone, no matter who they are, to use their purchasing power to make a difference to the lives of farmers and workers.

DONATE: Donations – large and small – from people like you have always been a crucial part of Fairtrade’s strength. The generosity of Fairtrade supporters has helped to grow Fairtrade, build the Fairtrade movement, and advocate on behalf of farmers.

FUNDRAISE: From coffee mornings to running marathons, supporters across the UK are finding fun and creative ways to raise money for Fairtrade. Whether you fundraise in a group or on your own, at school, university or in your community, we’re here to support you with great ideas and resources!