Five awesome reasons to eat Fair Trade chocolate
Samantha Bartlett 2 April 2015, 03:07PM
1. Fair Trade ensures farmers make a decent profit
The average cocoa farmer receives less than $2 a day for their work – sometimes far less – and live underneath the international poverty line. By comparison, Fairtrade International guarantees Fair Trade farmers a minimum price for cocoa, which ensures the farmers always have a stable income and enough to save for the futures. Farmers receive the same minimum price for cocoa even when global prices fall, which protects them from economic downturns.
2. No forced or slave labour
In addition to ensuring farmers fair prices, Fair Trade does not use any form of forced or slave labour in its production process. This often stands in stark contrast to the rest of the cocoa industry where the use of slaves on cocoa farms in West Africa – producer of over 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa – has been widely reported.
Slave labourers can often be subjected to physical violence by employers as a method of coercion but Fair Trade combats this disturbing violation of human rights by ensuring all cocoa producers work freely and are appropriately rewarded for their work.
3. No child labour
In West Africa, the use of child labour is common, with 40 per cent of child labourers in the Ivory Coast being denied an education. As a result, most will struggle to ever escape the cycle of poverty.
In many cases, child labourers work in hazardous environments, under conditions of slavery. Fairtrade International ensures that when you buy Fair Trade chocolate, you are not supporting child labour. Fairtrade International standards state that children under the age of 15 cannot work on cocoa farms and the organisation encourages all children to pursue their human right of an education as a top priority.
4. Freedom of association
Fairtrade International allows all labourers to join independent unions, giving people the tools to collectively negotiate to better their working conditions. The organisation also encourages workers to join democratically run cooperatives that help workers engage with one another and raise concerns in a democratic environment. A non-discrimination policy is enforced at all levels of such cooperatives, ensuring that all workers’ rights are protected equally.
5. Empowering women
Fair Trade empowers women by ensuring female cocoa farmers earn the same amount for their labour as men, leading to a community-wide impact on alleviating the symptoms of poverty. Women are also commonly awarded leadership roles within Fair Trade cooperatives which has a number of positive knock-on effects such as more respect for women within their communities and empowering women to take leadership within their homes.
This long weekend, make sure you consume chocolate ethically. Eat some delicious Fair Trade chocolate and support workers’ rights
Read original story from http://www.amnesty.org.au/features/comments/36910