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The #ichwillfair (‘#Iwantfair’) campaign takes on initiative during COP26 to highlight fair trade.
Just in time for the United Nations’ climate conference COP26, fair trade organizations and the ‘Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supplychains’ (INA) launched a joint communiqué for fair trade. The conference serves as communicative anchor of the #ichwillfair campaign. Although the focus points of fair trade are primarily social and ecological justice in global supply chains, climate change is closely tied to the situations of smallholders and their fields.
Thus remains the expansion of agriculture in tropical regions the most severe threat to forests. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an estimated 5 million hectare (about 20,000 square miles) was converted annually into farmland between 2005 and 2017. Oftentimes, smallholders are forced to extend their acreage as previous revenues are insufficient to secure their livelihoods. Nonetheless, the responsibility for addressing this problem lies not with producing countries alone: Tropical deforestation and transformation of ecosystems are primarily fuelled by international trade.
The campaign by fair trade organizations and INA aims at raising awareness amongst the German citizenry on their consumption’s effects on the global climate. It does not aim at telling them that they carry the world on their shoulders, but that they are a little tool in the machinery of international supply chains. With their shopping behavior, their political voice and personal engagement in their group of friends and family, everybody is able to improve the world – bit by bit.
Such is the message #ichwillfair communicates nationwide since October 2021. Megalight-posters in the train stations of seven German cities promote the message to the public. Radiospots encourage listeners to follow up on the topic. Information can be found on the www.ichwillfair.de website as well as the social media channels of #ichwillfair. Besides, several podcast-hosts explain the connection between fair trade and climate change in their shows.
The INA, together with organizations such as ‘Forum Fair Trade’, the ‘association of fairtrade shops’ (Weltladen Dachverband), Fairtrade Germany, the working group of ‘one world’ (Eine Welt) national networks and GEPA use the joint hashtag #ichwillfair since 2020 in order to promote fair trade in Germany.