Fairtrade Fortnight 2023

Fairtrade Fortnight 2023

Emilia Debrah, 51, Fairtrade cocoa farmer, Ghana

Emilia Debrah has a flair for farming. Even so, her income from cocoa before 2018 was so low that she fell into debt and struggled badly for a while. What turned her finances around, she says, is the support she got from the Fairtrade co-op she belongs to and training as part of a project where she learned to farm her four hectares of land more productively.

She’s now almost self-sufficient thanks to her newly created ‘micro-forest’ and can sell the vegetables she intercrops with cocoa locally. The savings she’s made on pesticides help protect Emilia, and her six grandchildren she cares for, against rising living costs.

[Photo Taken by Chris Terry]


Saddick Abanga, 39, Fairtrade cocoa farmer, Ghana

‘I didn’t know I was punishing the land, now because of this project I’ve seen the benefits, there are more nutrients in the soil.’

Saddick farms nine acres of land for cocoa. He’s been doing this for 18 years and it’s getting increasingly difficult due to the climate crisis. Part of his farm lies high on a rocky, steep hillside, unfriendly terrain for cocoa plants. Saddick’s working on gradually surrounding it with shade trees. This is a technique he discovered after joining an agro-forestry project, which offers farmers training in methods to adapt to climate change by improving soil, planting for shade and attracting biodiversity.

Saddick was able to join because he is part of a Fairtrade co-operative, where in addition to projects like this, farmers can choose to invest their Premium in adapting to the climate and cost of farming crises.

Photo Taken by Chris Terry


Odessa Michelle Grant, Fairtrade coffee farmer, Honduras

Odessa is recharging coffee-growing traditions by bringing down barriers to women earning enough from their crop. ‘…when men handed over part of the ownership of the farms to their wives and daughters, there were a lot of tears, it’s no small thing.’ After her coffee community was badly hit by hurricanes two years ago, redressing the gender balance is giving members hope for the future.

This shake-up of traditional land ownership offers Odessa and her fellow women farmers more power, more independence and perhaps most importantly in the climate and cost-of-living crises, more income. Fairtrade has supported the legal process through the co-operative to which Odessa belongs. It’s paved the way for Odessa to take a seat on the board and inspire other women to come together to market their coffee as an all-woman grown speciality product.

Photo Taken by Sean Hawkey

Source: Fairtrade Foundation