Fairtrade launch their Fairtrade Fortnight this week, to raise awareness of the issues facing smallhold farmers across the world. They have released an excellent report detailing the issues and suggesting solutions which you can read at: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/includes/documents/cm_docs/2013/F/FT_smallholder%20report_2013_lo-res.pdf?dm_i=5QB,1B64U,64RVIN,4FROH,1 It details how most smallhold farmers are totally disenfranchised and kept in poverty by unbalanced economic strengths that are not regulated. Many big businesses and governments have an interest in the perpetuation of this system. Only by humansing our approach to ways of doing business will this situation become reformed and offer a real exit from the poverty trap most smallholders find themselves in. The key solutions that they suggest for improving the lot of smallholders are the following: a) Empower the farmers by giving them a voice, so their claims have a chance to be heard b) Pay smallholders a fair price for their produce, rather than abuse unbalanced economic bargaining power c) Ensure agricultural methods are sustainable, so that benefits are durable d) Give farmers access to finance- key to a way of life where the investment comes before the sales e) Channel government funding for agriculture towards smallholders rather than multinational agrobarons Well worth a read. How to put in place a structure that allows hardworking individuals a way to escape poverty via their own toil.