TRADE WITH GHANA

Mid Formartine Fair Trade Group in Aberdeenshire have written to the UK Secretary of State for Trade regarding the unintended impact of Brexit on trade with Ghana.

Many retailers import Fairtrade bananas because they are environmentally sustainable and critically, they sustain rural world farmers by fair prices as part of the supply chain. Guaranteed minimum prices allow farmers to invest and grow food sustainably. The Fairtrade mark is a consumer’s guarantee that Fair prices and incomes go to places like Ghana and not simply into importers profits.

However, Brexit, has meant the UK has imposed tariffs on imports which had not existed before and endanger the livelihoods of many producers as vulnerable farmers can no longer trade profitably.

Formartine’s Fairtrade group have joined the campaign from the Scottish Fairtrade Forum to persuade the UK government to reconsider.

Dear Secretary of State,

I am extremely concerned about the immediate impact of Brexit on Ghanaian Fairtrade farmers. 

On New Year’s Eve, the UK and Ghanaian governments issued a Joint Ministerial Statement which said the parties had “reached a consensus on the main elements of a new trade agreement.” It went on to state that this “provides the basis to replicate the effects of the existing trade relationship between the UK and Ghana”. 

However despite this, I understand Fairtrade certified bananas from Ghana arriving into the UK since 1st January are being charged a tariff of £95 per tonne, therefore making a loss on every shipment.  I am very worried that this cost may be borne by farmers and workers at the bottom of the supply chain whose livelihoods are already precarious.  The UK accounts for 40% of Ghanaian banana exports so I urge the government to resume tariff free trade urgently and to compensate the importers for the losses incurred to date.

Yours sincerely

 Vicky Allan

On behalf of the Mid Formartine Fairtrade Group

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