In honour of October being Fair Trade Month, Fairtrade America is launching its third annual campaign to generate awareness of how buying a Fairtrade certified product is a “powerful way to prioritise people who grow our food”. Fairtrade America and National Co+op Grocers are introducing new murals in three major US cities: Atlanta, Milwaukee and Portland.
The murals will display stories of the people who produce goods such as cocoa and tea. In its third year, the campaign brought murals to Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville and Tacoma previously.
The organisation partnered with mural artists and key retailers in these three major cities. This year, the artwork will feature women farmers and raise awareness of key areas including promoting gender equality and climate change. Studies show that without intervention, by 2050 as much as 50% of the area used for coffee farming will no longer be available and cocoa growing regions will become too hot to grow.
“Now, more than ever, we must all do our part to prioritise a fairer deal for farmers,” said Kate Stritzinger, Director of Marketing & External Relations, Fairtrade America. “With these stunning mural portraits of Fairtrade farmers, we hope to remind people across the U.S. that every trip to the grocery store is an extraordinary opportunity to choose the world you want.”
In Atlanta, Fairtrade America partnered with Sevananda Natural Foods Market, to create a mural featuring cocoa farmer Agnes Senesie. Local artist Muhammad Yungai portrayed Senesie, who is a member of a Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperative in Sierra Leone. Some of the cocoa grown by her and her community is used to make a variety of items including Navitas Organics Cacao Powder, Cacao Nibs and Cacao Butter.
“As part of our Superfoods with Purpose commitment, we hope to use our business as a beacon for positive change for human equality, farmer resilience, and planetary health,” explained Max Darcey, Director of Sustainability & Quality at Navitas Organics.
In Milwaukee, Natural Foods will be home to the new mural by local artist Nova Czarnecki celebrating Ranjana Maurya, who joined the Organic India Farmer Producer Company Limited. Tulsi Holy Basil is sold at Outpost Natural Foods.
In Portland, artist Alex Chiu portrayed Deborah Osei-Mensah, a Ghanian cocoa farmer and development officer of Ghana’s Asunafo North Farmers Union. Some of the cocoa grown by Osei-Mensah’s community is used to make Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars.
“Tony’s Chocolonely is an impact company that makes chocolate. We are dedicated to raising awareness of and eliminating inequality in the chocolate industry and hope to lead by example by having direct, long-term relationships with cocoa farmers in the Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana like Deborah and her community,” added Aidaly Sosa, US Head of Marketing at Tony’s.
On top of the murals, Fairtrade is offering consumers a giveaway where three winners will receive one mural art print of the winners’ choosing, a Vitamix blender, a Fairtrade Yeti tumbler and a year’s supply of products from Navitas Organics, Organic India and Tony’s Chocolonely.
The women featured in our murals this year are facing even greater challenges as they navigate the effects of climate change, inflation and the lingering impacts of the COVID pandemic. It is essential that we make choices that will create an environment where farmers can thrive, not just survive,” concluded Kate Stritzinger.
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