Fair Trade Keswick | AGM 2023 & Ghana Chocolate Talk from Joanna Pollard, Lancashire Fair Trade
Keswick and District Fair Trade Campaign promote Fairtrade both locally and internationally. Keswick is now recognised as one of the country's leading centres of Fairtrade.
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AGM 2023 & Ghana Chocolate Talk from Joanna Pollard, Lancashire Fair Trade

04 Jul AGM 2023 & Ghana Chocolate Talk from Joanna Pollard, Lancashire Fair Trade

At our AGM yesterday the current officers of the Campaign and members of
the Committee were re-elected:
Chair Anne Davies
Treasurer  Tom Rennie
Secretary  Jo Alberti
Committee Members:  Anne Baird and Bernadette Fagan.

I gave a review of local activities which you will know about, and
also referred to the positive assessment of current sales of Fairtrade
products which I wrote about to you all earlier this year.  I then gave
some information from Fairtrade  International Report 2021-2 about
global sales. Sales of Fairtrade bananas are stable.  Early in 2022, in
the face of depressed banana prices, seven Latin American governments
took the unprecedented step of calling for shared responsibility, fairer
prices for farmers, and the use of the Fairtrade banana pricing
methodology as a reference in the industry. The response to this advocacy
will be seen early in2023 as annual contracts are set.  Fairtrade
producers’ coffee sales are relatively stable with a slight decline of
three percent, as out-of-home coffee purchases were still affected by
COVID-19. Rising global market prices were largely offset by spiking
costs of fertilizer and transport, which have further increased in 2022
along with the cost of living. Fairtrade cocoa producers recorded
significant sales growth of 37 percent in 2021. Sugar sales ‘ticked
up’, but sales of tea are still declining.

Joanna Pollard, chair of  Lancashire Fairtrade then gave an inspiring
illustrated  talk entitled Ghana: the past and present of fair trade.
Joanna spoke with passion, and her talk demonstrated to us her energy
and commitment. She started by looking at the involvement of Britain in
the slave trade: signs of the horrors involved are retained; a salutary
reminder of the beginnings of our relationship with West Africa.  She
continued this theme of exploitation with images of the surplus  clothes
from the UK which are sold in markets in Ghana: what is often left are
piles of discarded polyester- effectively plastic –  which ends up at
landfills and in bodies of water, polluting entire ecosystems.

When it comes to chocolate, she gave us figures: 32 million families in
Ghana are dependent on growing cocoa and the average amount earned by a
Ghanaian cocoa farmer is £280 per year. Out of £20 we pay for chocolate,
the farmer receives £1. The Fairtrade price and premium go some way to
ameliorate this shocking statistic. Fairtrade is also helping cocoa
farmers with the challenges of climate change: as Joanna put it, the
weather has turned upside down, with rain and dry weather exchanging

Joanna’s engagement with the communities she has met and befriended in
Ghana is also directed at helping them, especially the children, become
more aware of the part that chocolate making could play in their lives.
Most people in cocoa growing communities cannot afford to buy chocolate
for their children. Chocolate has a Name aims to encourage the learning
of chocolate making and to incorporate the story of chocolate into the
curriculum.  This initiative helps all those involved to place value on
their product. 11/6/23. Jo Alberti

Fair Trade Locally. Fairer Trade Worldwide.