Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on 5 June, engaging governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues. World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to invest in repairing the environment; for educators to inspire students to take action; and for youth to build a greener future. This year, millions of people will be celebrating digitally, worldwide, with the theme of “Ecosystem Restoration”. This means preventing, halting and reversing this damage – to go from exploiting nature to healing it. This 2021 World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity.
Of course, World Environment Day is not specifically Fairtrade, but protecting the environment has been a priority for Fairtrade from the very beginning. Fairtrade organisations not only work to implement fair prices for farmers, safer labour conditions and higher standards, but also invest in protecting the environment. For example, Fairtrade helps farmers “become better stewards of the land,” by implementing strict environmental standards to encourage farmers to help protect their eco-system. The overall result is environmentally friendly policies that ensure safer working conditions for farmers, including focussing on the quality of soil and conserving water, improving biodiversity and carbon emissions, prohibition of genetically modified organisms and harmful chemicals and waste management. The Fairtrade Standards also promote training for farmers, which can include advice on switching to environmentally friendly practices, such as developing nutrient-rich soils that support healthy plants and encouraging wildlife to help control pests and diseases. Fairtrade can provide access to finance, support and expertise in tackling climate change, supporting long-term environmental sustainability.
So why don’t you enjoy this summer by choosing to buy Fairtrade products which are not only good for you and your conscience—but also the planet!