Category Archives: Development

Growing Strength to Grow Food

0-1-0-rice_sacks-573x429“Instead of foreigners sending us food, they should give us the chance to do our own agriculture so it can survive.” So said Rony Charles, a rice grower and member of the Agricultural Producer Cooperative of Verrettes, in Haiti.Giving domestic agriculture the chance to survive would address four critical needs:

1. Creating employment for the majority, estimated at 60% to 80% of the population;[1]
2. Allowing rural people to stay on their land. This is both their right as well as a way to keep Port-au-Prince from becoming even more perilously overcrowded;Addressing an ongoing food crisis. Today, even with imports, more than 2.4 million people out of a population of 9 million are estimated to be food-insecure.
3. Acute malnutrition among children under the age 5 is 9%, and chronic under-nutrition for that age group is 24%.[2] Peasant groups are convinced that, with the necessary investment, Haiti could  produce at least 80% of its food consumption needs; and
4. Promoting a post-earthquake redevelopment plan that serves the needs of the majority, unlike the one currently promoted by the U.S. and U.N. which is based on the growth of sweatshops. See “Poverty-Wage Assembly Plants as Development Strategy in Haiti”.

via Growing Strength to Grow Food: Haitian Farmers Win US Food Soveriegnty Prize.

What 11-Year-Olds Get—and Adults Forget—About Child Labor in Chocolate

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Marie was only 11 years old when she spoke at the “Raise the bar, Hershey!” rally in 2010. She’d seen videos of children in Ivory Coast and Ghana lugging around heavy sacks of cocoa beans and wielding machetes to open cocoa pods. She heard that these malnourished children in forced labor are often whipped or beaten. And she knew that wasn’t right.So Marie started a Fair Trade group at her middle school in San Francisco. She began telling everyone she could about the chocolate farmers who don’t earn a living wage, and the children kidnapped to work on plantations.

via What 11-Year-Olds Get—and Adults Forget—About Child Labor in Chocolate by Katrina Rabeler — YES! Magazine.

What’s Fairer than Fair Trade?

This is a great article which breaks down some of the problems with Fair Trade and poses some possible solutions. Also discovered in the article that a Mennonite started the fair trade movement.

There is today a far wider, more exciting range of chocolate bars available than we knew even a decade ago, and consumers can exercise a certain amount of ethical practice in buying them. Putting faith in a blue-and-green Fairtrade label alone is, perhaps, too simple. Through their different models, Fairtrade-certified companies, direct-trade companies, and artisanal producers are pushing each other to rethink standards for the entire chocolate industry.

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via What’s Fairer than Fair Trade? Try Direct Trade With Cocoa Farmers by Kristy Leissle — YES! Magazine.