World Fair Trade Day, Saturday 13th May 2017, will see campaigners, food lovers and supporters across five continents join together to recognise the people involved in trade throughout the supply chain of some of our favourite products, including our tasty and delicious nuts.
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.
Bananas (aka Fairtrade volunteers) were seen to be stalking the corridors of County Hall on Friday, 3 February 2017 as they directed groups of primary school children to the second Lancashire Fairtrade schools conference where Liberation supplied their delicious nuts and leaflets for the goody bags.
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.
Liberation’s shareholder farmers in Nicaragua are a highly organised and enterprising bunch. Similar to our cashew farmers in Kerala they are especially passionate about organic farming, recognising and strengthening women’s roles in farming and income generation and learning to live with increasingly obvious changes to their climate.
Paradoxically, of the one billion people classified as food insecure by the United Nations, about 500 million are smallholder farmers in developing economies. Some of these producers are exporting luxuries such as coffee, cocoa, exotic fruits and sugar for consumers in developed economies. Due to poor and volatile prices coupled with unfair trade rules, they simply don’t earn enough to feed their families all year round and often experience the problem of seasonal hunger between harvests.