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Posts Tagged ‘Fair Trade’

Lending a Helping Hand, Globally and Locally

May 6, 2015

4.22.15_EarthDay2In today’s busy world, it’s easy to lose sight of just how important it is to help others. Feeding those who are hungry, assisting small farmers in developing countries attain self-reliance and sustainability and giving those who are less fortunate hope for a better life are key elements of Mayesa’s mission. (more…)

What is "Fair Trade" in the Chocolate Industry?

December 26, 2013

cacao farmerThe definition of  “Fair Trade” is:

A trading partnership, based on respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.

What exactly does this mean and why is this a big deal?

In 2000 journalists began documenting the continued practice of forced child labor in the West African cacao trade, a source of 70% of the world’s chocolate. Since the Ivory Coast in West Africa alone produces 40% of the planet’s raw cacao, its beans are mixed into almost every brand of mass-produced chocolate.

Large global corporations such as Hershey and Nestle have historically done little to address the problem of slave labor, and most cocoa on the world market is bought “blind,” through importers and brokers.

Besides the slave labor issue, cacao farmers are often forced to sell their harvest to middlemen who rig scales and misrepresent prices.

Fairly traded cacao is monitored by independent, non-profit, certifying organizations that guarantee that the chocolate was produced and traded in a socially responsible manner, specifically that:

1.  International Labor Organization Conventions on child labor and forced labor are adhered to.

2. The cacao beans were bought directly from a democratically controlled co-operative of small scale farmers, which helps them gain more control of their livelihoods and ensures farmers a higher percentage of cocoa export revenues.

Organic cacao has a built-in aspect that makes it somewhat automatically a fair trade product. Organic farms are subject to their own independent monitoring system that checks labor practices.

Also, as of now, cacao beans are not organically grown in the Ivory Coast, which is where the vast majority of the reports about exploitation and slavery in the chocolate trade are centered.

Mayesa purchases its organic cacao beans through Fair Trade from farmer co-operatives in Peru. Knowing this you can enjoy your delicious healthy chocolate drink feeling as good about the way the chocolate was grown and harvested as you do about the way it tastes.


Photo Credit: telegraph.co.uk