Sunday, January 11, 2009

EQUAL EXCHANGE Launches Small Farmer Campaign

Equal Exchange’s new campaign, Small farmers. Big Change: Creating a Green and More Just Food System represents a path to bringing justice to the food system and health to the planet. This co-operative business is now creating additional ways consumers and producers can join together to reduce our environmental footprints, conserve natural resources, and demand agriculture and trade policies that actually benefit small-scale farmers and consumers, instead of large corporations.

Why should consumers care about small farmers? While 25 – 30% of the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming are estimated to come from the industrial agriculture sector, the sustainable farming practices of small-scale producers actually help cool the planet, protect the environment, and restore local eco-systems. Organic farming, reforestation, soil and watershed protection, and the use of stoves that convert organic waste into methane gas are just some of the ways in which small-scale farmers are keeping our food, our bodies, and our eco-systems healthy.

However, small-scale farmers face tremendous challenges. Many of our agriculture and trade policies are designed to favor large agricultural corporations. The subsidies, credits, and tax incentives the government awards to agribusiness dramatically undermine the ability of small farmers to compete in the marketplace. Additionally, global warming causes changes in weather patterns which affect crops and crop cycles. Unusual storms have become more frequent and severe, causing a loss of lives, homes, crops and livelihoods.

Equal Exchange’s new campaign involves education, environmental and food security partnerships, and political action. Our new blog offers articles and opinions on agricultural, trade, and environmental issues that affect small farmers and consumers. Through the blog, we will also keep consumers informed of key legislative areas and other opportunities for political action in which we can influence trade and agricultural policies that benefit producers, consumers, local communities and our planet.

Equal Exchange is also inviting consumers to directly support the environmental protection and food security projects that small-scale farming co-operatives are implementing in their communities. Toward this end, we have created the Small Farmers Green Planet Fund. How can you help?
• Purchase Equal Exchange’s Organic Love Buzz coffee. For every 12 oz. package sold, Equal Exchange will donate 20 cents to our Small Farmers Green Planet Fund. 100% of these funds will go to support the green projects of our farmer partners.
• Food co-operative members and consumers can purchase Equal Exchange’s Organic Co-op Blend. For every pound purchased, Equal Exchange will donate 25 cents to the Small Farmers Green Planet Fund.
• Make a tax-deductible donation to Grassroots International and send it to Equal Exchange, 50 United Drive, West Bridgewater, MA 02379. Write “Small Farmers Green Planet Fund” on the check.
• Visit www.SmallFarmersBigChange.coop to read about these projects and our campaign, as well as to offer your thoughts and opinions. Sign up to receive Action Alerts on key legislative and other political actions.
• Support domestic small-scale farmers by purchasing produce from local farmers, and fairly traded coffee, tea, and chocolate from small-scale farmer co-operatives abroad.

Visit the Equal Exchange website to read about some of the exciting projects the Small Farmers Green Planet Fund will support this year.

1 comment:

natureadvice said...

Hi Susan..
Initiative taken by you...is worth for an example for others..really appreciate that people would join the campaign of equal exchange. I would like you to update the initiative taken by your team on https://www.justmeans.com ..a website which help & educate people more care toward's nature..also have topic related to in educating people on CSR, green jobs, low carbon, ethical consumption, clean technology, waste management & global warming issues.