Great Big Green Week: thousands to plant wildflower seeds nationwide, to ‘sow their solidarity’ with climate-hit farmers
Thousands of individuals and groups nationwide are taking to their communities to plant wildflower seeds as a symbol of solidarity with climate-hit farmers overseas, as part of a national campaign run by the Fairtrade Foundation to mark the annual Great Big Green Week.
The Great Big Green Week 2022 (24 September to 2 October) is the UK’s biggest celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. It will see tens of thousands of people across the country participating in hundreds of events to protect the planet and urging British politicians and decision makers to do likewise.
The Fairtrade Foundation is an official partner of the Great Big Green Week, which is run by the Climate Coalition. To mark the event, Fairtrade is running a ‘Sow Your Solidarity’ campaign, inviting members of the public to sow a packet of native British wildflower seeds in their neighbourhoods. It estimates that some 5,000 packets of seeds are being planted in the coming week.
The Sow Your Solidarity campaign is designed to give people of all ages a practical and accessible way to tackle climate change locally and show solidarity with farmers in low-income countries who are already planting change in their own communities. At the same time, the Fairtrade Foundation is inviting members of the public to sign a Community Declaration to show local politicians that there is real grassroots support for global action on climate justice, as the COP27 climate summit approaches.
Stefan Donnelly, Campaign and Communities Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that thousands of individuals and groups up and down the country are coming together this Great Big Green Week to ‘sow their solidarity’ with farming communities overseas. Communities in the UK care about action on climate change, not just in their local neighbourhoods, but further afield.
“Right now, across Asia, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, communities in low-income countries who did the least to cause the climate crisis are living with the worst effects. Droughts, food shortages and plant diseases are destroying crops. These are often the same communities unable to earn enough for a decent life due to unfair trade and extreme global inequality.
“We believe it is time to end the centuries of exploitation that have caused this crisis. That’s why when people choose Fairtrade, they’re choosing to stand up for climate justice, choosing to show their solidarity with these communities, and choosing to support farmers to access the funds they need to adapt to climate change and invest in climate-smart farming techniques.”
The Fairtrade Foundation’s Sow Your Solidarity campaign is part of its ongoing efforts to challenge governments of the countries that are most responsible for the climate crisis to, at a minimum, deliver on an unfulfilled promise to fund a $100bn climate investment package for communities most affected by climate change.
Stefan Donnelly continued: “At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, the UK Government – along with other wealthy and high-polluting nations – promised once again to fund the work agricultural communities are already doing to take action on the climate crisis. But a year on, many of these communities, including Fairtrade farmers and workers, are still waiting for any support to reach them and waiting to have a say in how that money is spent.
“From planting trees to protecting bees, Fairtrade farmers are already investing in the solutions needed to protect their communities and our food supply from climate breakdown. This Great Big Green Week, we call on our politicians to respect farmers’ expertise, needs and ambitions. We are running out of time to get this right: our global food supply is threatened by climate change. Communities here in the UK are playing their part – now our political leaders need to do likewise.”
Last year over 5,000 events took place during the Great Big Green Week, with more than 200,000 people showing up for the planet in their community and online. To find out more about the Fairtrade Foundation campaign, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/climatejustice