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Small-scale farmers 'need climate change backing'

International Fair Trade Movement says those most affected by climate change are not having their voices heard

Small-scale farmers 'need climate change backing'

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The International Fair Trade Movement has called on the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to introduce transparent, fair and binding mechanisms for trade justice in order to achieve climate justice in their negotiations at COP24.

More than 500m small-scale farms provide over 80 per cent of the food consumed in the Global South. They, along with rural workers, are among the groups most affected by the devastating impacts of climate change, but their voices are not being heard in climate change negotiations.

The International Fair Trade Movement said that it was strongly urging the Parties of the UNFCCC at COP24 to recognise fair trading policies and practices as an important component of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Their joint Policy Paper, “Trade Justice: A key component of building smallholder farmers’ climate resilience”, outlines five concrete steps needed to urgently transform the global economic system so that it works for people and planet: transparency & binding regulation; financial support; farmer-focused training and technical expertise; investment into agronomical research; and tax justice.

“Smallholder farmers are on the front line of climate change," said Lannette Chiti, senior climate change advisor, Fairtrade International. "They contribute to global food security and to their national economies, yet they are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. There is, therefore, an urgent need for large-scale action to support these farmers to confront the challenges of climate change”

Erinch Sahan, chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), said: “The poorest are hit hardest by climate change, a problem they did not cause. Now they suffer through increasing crop failures, water shortages and natural disasters.

"As a community of enterprises that exist to serve these people, the WFTO calls on world leaders to embrace bold climate action," Sahan added. "We, as 330 enterprises across 70 countries, remain steadfastly committed to our communities and we invite world leader to join us."

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