Fairtrade Fortnight: She Deserves A Living Income
Fairtrade Fortnight 2019
25 February – 10 March
For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year the focus is on the women who grow our cocoa!
The fortnight’s campaign is around three things that these female workers deserves. She Deserves running water, She Deserves a doctor, #SheDeserves a living income.
A living income means enough money to live a simple but dignified life, paying for essentials such as clothing, medicine and school. This is not a luxury but a human right. This article from the Fairtrade Foundation explains the difference between a Living Wage here in the UK and a Living income in an international context.
£1.86 is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.
For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.
Fair pay, the right to a decent standard of living, and having the ability to work your way out of poverty is very important to us here at Cynnal Cymru, as a team who are passionate about social justice and as the Welsh franchise for the Living Wage Foundation.
The British Government’s Living Wage does not take the cost of living into consideration in order to meet these goals, it is instead calculated by a median of earnings. The only established rate of pay which accounts for the cost of living is the independently calculated REAL Living Wage. Although, for reasons that are clear the two are often confused.
Standard of living and income security also feed in to wider Sustainability goals including environmental protection and climate change adaptation – the foundations of which are laid out by the Fairtrade Foundation.
How to Get Involved
You can get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight by fundraising, signing and collecting signatures for petitions, organising events and of course, by buying fair trade chocolate.
If you would like to hear more about the Real Living Wage in Wales and the UK and the surrounding campaigns, you can contact our Accreditation Officer for Wales.
To keep up to date on Living Wage issues in Wales sign-up to our newsletter.