WEST Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger joined more than 50 other Parliamentarians to launch a campaign aimed at protecting farmers behind some of Britain’s best-loved foods from the harmful effects of climate change.
Mr Liddell-Grainger gave his support to Fairtrade Fortnight which is highlighting the growing challenges climate change brings to farmers and agricultural workers overseas who grow popular products such as tea, coffee, cocoa, and bananas.
A programme of events was launched at a virtual ‘meet the producer’ event when MPs heard from Fairtrade farmer Patrick Kaberia Muthaura, who shared first-hand accounts of the impacts of climate change on his tea farm in Kenya.
Mr Muthaura appealed for policy makers to ensure that finance went to farmers and workers like himself who had the expertise and knowledge to adapt to the changing climate.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said he was pleased to support the efforts of the Fairtrade Foundation and the Fairtrade all-Party Parliamentary group to alert consumers to the threats climate change was presenting.
He said: “In this country we are still seeing relatively little impact apart from more intense storms and the earlier arrival of spring. But this campaign links every consumer directly through the food chain to those parts of the world where problems like water shortages and more extreme and violent weather events are already threatening production.
“The unfortunate reality is that farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected by it.
“Fairtrade plays a valuable role in supporting farmers to respond to the environmental crises unfolding in their communities.
“However, it is important that we all play our part in tackling climate change.
“Shopping for Fairtrade goods is a simple yet effective step that we can all take to enable farmers to have better incomes vital for protecting their bananas, coffee, cocoa and other crops from climate threats like drought, floods and rising temperatures.”