Fair trade cocoa
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Fair trade cocoa is an agricultural product harvested from the cacao tree using a certified process which is followed by cocoa farmers, buyers, and chocolate manufacturers, and is designed to create sustainable incomes for farmers and their families. Local collectors and intermediaries purchase and transport the cocoa to exporters and processors.
Many farmers are unaware of the final destination and value of their cocoa. Fair trade cocoa certification was created to overcome these problems. The first fair trade certification of a cocoa product was fair-trade chocolate by the Max Havelaar Foundation of the Netherlands in The Dutch foundation has now incorporated itself into Fairtrade International FLOa nonprofit organization with 25 member countries that use fair trade certification labels.
Inthe issue of forced labour in cocoa production was brought to the public's attention by a series of articles published in the United States by Sudarsan Raghavan, Sumana Chaterjee, and the Knight Ridder news agency.
They fair-trade chocolate interviews with victims of child trafficking for cocoa production. The United States cocoa industry lobbied against this, and the mandatory labeling proposal was reduced to a voluntary system. The publicity surrounding these events increased consumer demand for fair trade certified chocolate.
Although the criteria for fair trade cocoa certification vary amongst different organizations, the following criteria are standard: Fair Trade acts immediately when infractions are found to protect the children involved and secure their safety.
They prohibit the use of dangerous agro-chemicals and GMOs. As ofthere were 62 cocoa-growing cooperatives in the US fair trade system. The producers supplying the U. Inthe amount of fair trade certified cocoa and chocolate products in the United States increased drastically, with a 67 percent increase from However, this is a small percentage of the total market for cocoa products.
Typically, the farmers who grow the cocoa beans only receive 3. Although the market price of cocoa fluctuates, fair trade certification has created a minimum price for which the fair-trade chocolate farmers must be paid per ton. The minimum price set by Fair Trade ensures a consistent minimum wage for farmers.
This gives farmers financial stability and the ability to plan for fair-trade chocolate events. Fair-trade chocolate consumption smoothing yields to a better quality of life for the farmers and their families.
Additionally, the cocoa farmers average age is increasing, currently sitting at about 50 years old. Few young people want to stay in the industry as the wages are so poor they are looking elsewhere for work.
Without increasing fair-trade chocolate, the chocolate supply will fall as the aging population is unable to produce at current levels. These additional funds allow cocoa farming communities to attain programs that create better access to health care and education, support women, and protect the environment.
While men are paid little while working on a cocoa farm, women are often paid less if at all. As a result, women are unable to get loans or a line of credit to increase the quality of their crops and the productivity of fair-trade chocolate trees through investments in equipment.
As a fair-trade chocolate, women are able to invest their farms. This increases agricultural productivity and product quality. Women are also shown to have greater marginal returns than men when given higher fair-trade chocolate. Cocoa farmers continued to harvest their cocoa beans, but the majority of beans were stored in warehouses and not exported.
Some cocoa was smuggled through neighboring countries. In order to obtain fair trade certification, cocoa producer companies are required to follow to fair trade environmental standards. Although the environmental standards for fair trade certification vary by organization, they all include sustainable irrigation practices, crop rotation, reducing carbon emissions, improving biodiversity, prohibiting GMO crops, safe use of only legal pesticides and proper hazardous waste disposal.
In addition to the environmental impacts cocoa farming has on the fair-trade chocolate, the pesticides used by conventional cocoa farming are some of the fair-trade chocolate harmful pesticides used in fair-trade chocolate. The Environmental Protection Agency has released a study on lindane stating the acute effects caused by inhalation cause irritation to the respiratory track as well as seizures and vomiting.
Without proper gear, the farmers fair-trade chocolate prolonged, direct exposure to the chemicals leading to long term health issues for the farmers. By increasing income, farmers can buy and use proper protective gear in order to mitigate these symptoms.
Many Fair Trade certifiers also encourage environmental sustainability and transition to organic farming while demanding safe working conditions for farmers.
Founded inTheo Chocolate was the first bean-to-bar, Fair Trade and organic certified company in the United States. Endangered Species Chocolate, a chocolate manufacturer in Indianahad been fair trade certified up until One caveat fair-trade chocolate this approach is the accountability to Fair Trade practices.
Companies pay money to certifying organizations to receive certification,  and this money is not going to the cocoa farmers. On the other fair-trade chocolate, a company that says that it is following fair fair-trade chocolate practices but lacks fair-trade chocolate fair trade certification may not actually be fair-trade chocolate fair trade fair-trade chocolate. This could lead to a moral hazard of saying the company is implementing Fair Trade practices, charging premium prices, but in actuality, not paying higher wages to farmers.
Due to low wages in conventional chocolate growing, many farmers are unable to hire additional labor to maintain the cacao trees and instead use child labor to fill the gap. Inthere were overchildren in the Ivory Coast engaged in child labor.
This allows more children to attend school and gain an education. Gaining an education is a step towards breaking the cycle of poverty. Carol Off, author of Bitter Chocolate: Global Exchange, an international human rights organization, agrees that fair-trade chocolate trade cocoa is a means of ending the use of child labor in cocoa production.
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Ethical Sourcing in the Global Food System. Fair Trade from the Ground up: New Markets for Social Justice. University of Washington Press.