Behind the headlines about the proverbial ‘baddies of Brussels’ banning bent bananas and curly cucumbers lies a wealth of EU food standards that we rely on in the UK to assure the safety and quality of our food. It’s not a sexy subject, but I for one am glad that there’s reams of very boring, very detailed rules and regulations that protect us from anything from food poisoning from a high street fried chicken shop to beef imported from the USA where, unlike here, it is legal to give cows extra hormones to make them grow faster.
Liberation followers will already know that the majority of the world’s supply of brazil nuts come from Bolivia…the rest come from Brazil and Peru. At Liberation we buy Fairtrade brazil nuts from our shareholder small-scale brazil nut gatherers who live in the remote Amazon rainforest region of Bolivia. This week our Operations Manager, Angela and Chair of the Board of Directors, Richard have made the long journey to visit the brazil nut gatherer communities. When we say a ‘long journey’, we mean they set off from Heathrow last Saturday and had their first meeting with brazil nut gatherers on Tuesday! Brazil nut gatherers know all about arduous journeys.
Our MD, Kate Gaskell and Chair, Richard Cooper were delighted to welcome Dyborn Chibonga (NASFAM) to London last Sunday who is in the UK to visit our friends at Fair Trade Wales as part of Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations.
The price of brazil nuts is expected to increase considerably over coming months as experts in Bolivia highlight climate change as the underlying factor causing a low crop this year, as reported in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper.
As Fairtrade Fortnight fast approaches, we’re reminded of the millions of farmers in developing countries who work tirelessly to provide food we depend on daily but are often not paid what they rightly deserve.
Mei Mei was blown away by the power, humour and enthusiasm of the women farmers that she met in Nicaragua. Here, some of them tell her about the Fairtrade premium funding training courses they’ve attended recently.