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Old 02-12-2006, 08:24 PM   #16
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First of all - I am a working class person.

I barely have enough to pay my rent let alone wear something as petty as a diamond.

Second, these cocoa plantations are not owned by little poor farmers who would lose their livlihood if fair trade practices were instituted.

These farms are part of international agribusiness who operate with very little oversight.


Third - where is the Christian ethic here?

Some of the most callous comments and attempts at caustic humor are being done by those who have ad naseum professed their "christian" beliefs.

AM I TO ASSUME THAT CHILD SLAVERY IS IN SYNC WITH YOUR BRAND OF CHRISTIANITY?

I expect these kinds of off hand remarks when we're talking about something harder for people to relate to like the environment or animal welfare, but when you turn your backs on the horrible existence of some of the world's poorest children who are forced to work in slave-like conditions to make your Hershey bars (or your kids') then I am completely baffled!

So much for taking care of the least of these, I guess.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:26 PM   #17
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I don't want to eat something that I know has been produced off the slave-like labor of little children!

-------------------------------------------------------


Here is some more info on the situation in the Ivory Coast regarding child labor on cocoa producing plantations:


http://www.laborrights.org/projects/...coa_063004.htm




Chocolate and Child Slavery: Unfulfilled Promises of the Cocoa Industry

International Labor Rights Fund
June 30, 2004


It is estimated that America spends $13 billion a year on chocolate. However, in the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that this favorite American product is tainted with the labor of innocent young children.


The fact that child slaves are used in the harvesting of cocoa beans in Cote D'Ivoire, the world's major supplier of cocoa, is undisputed. The US State Department estimates that there are approximately 15,000 children working on cocoa, coffee, and cotton farms in the Cote D'Ivoire. In June 2001, the ILO also reported that trafficked child labor was used in cocoa production in West Africa. Media reports have unveiled stories about boys tricked or sold into slavery, some as young as nine years old, to work on cocoa plantations in Cote d'Ivoire. ILRF has verified these reports through our own independent investigations conducted in 2002 and 2003, and has interviewed children who have escaped from the cocoa plantations.


Cote d'Ivoire is the largest exporter of the world's cocoa beans, providing 43% of the world's supply. The US imports the majority of these cocoa beans, for use in chocolate candy, marketed by such top brands as M&M/Mars and Hershey.


The chocolate industry has acknowledged that child slaves are harvesting cocoa in Cote d'Ivoire. In response, in late 2001 the chocolate industry, as represented by the Chocolate Manufacturers' Association, proposed what is now commonly referred to as the Harkin-Engle Protocol. The Protocol calls for the development of industry-wide labor standards, and ultimately a voluntary-based system of corporate reporting, monitoring, and certification. It also provides for the creation of an industry-funded foundation that will oversee specific programs directed at alleviating child labor in the cocoa industry.


July 1, 2004 marks the two-year anniversary of the establishment of a Joint Foundation, and three years since the signing of the Harkin-Engle Protocol to eliminate the worst forms of child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa. Basically the Protocol has bought the industry three years of time before they must make good on their commitment to implement acceptable, voluntary, industry wide standards of public certification by July 1, 2005. With one year remaining, the industry has not made substantial progress toward this goal and the hope for a credible monitoring and certification system is diminishing.


On June 17, 2004, the chocolate and cocoa industry, at the request of Senator Tom Harkin, conducted a public briefing to provide a review progress made toward implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol and elimination of child labor in cocoa production in West Africa. Representatives from the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation provided the formal briefing, and additional representatives from Hershey Foods and the International Cocoa Initiative were on hand to take questions from the audience. Child labor and fair trade advocates raised a number of questions about progress toward monitoring, certification and the elimination of child labor. Unfortunately, none of the representatives on hand were able to answer these fundamental questions.


------------------------------------------------------

There is more in this report on the above-mentioned link.


Blessings always for the children of Africa.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:33 PM   #18
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I think it's rather of outrageous for you to question a person's faith based on the fact they may have a slightly different view of the effectiveness of fair trade than you.

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Old 02-12-2006, 08:34 PM   #19
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oh christ I doubt nbcrusader is turning his back on the world's poorest children or something...try not judging people while we're on the subject of "christian" values.

these kids are not working on cocoa plantations for the fun of it, you have to address the root cause which is the extreme poverty...and exploitation of workers/unfairly low wages are only one aspect of that problem.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:13 PM   #20
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The following poem is dedicated to the estimated 40 million slave children world wide. The visualization for this poem is based upon the slave children of Africa who toil the cocoa fields picking beans. The beans are sold world-wide to various chocolate manufacturers. The poem expresses, of course, what the children visualize, blinding them the harshness of their true existence. Eventually this poem will be written into a song. The vocalists will be a chorus of children world-wide...perhaps maybe from UNICEF. This will be just a part of “Dance!Sing!Fun!” a 2002 World-Wide Children’s Charities Event.

WHAT THEY SEE

Should our eyes see the sunshine,
The fields all are green,
What appears are the flowers
dancing the wind.

Our mothers and fathers
speak with us now,
Telling their stories for us
children to hear.

Tomorrow is coming,
we will wait for the day.
The white bird called “freedom”
will fly us away.

To join once again our own families,
We’ll dance and we’ll sing again,
Like our fun memories.

Should our eyes see the moonlight,
The fields are now still,
What appears are the stars
twinklin’ on high.

Our mothers and fathers,
the angels above,
Will join in our prayers
as our heads are now bowed.

We’ll dream of tomorrow,
We’ll wait for that day.
The white bird called “freedom”
will fly us away.

We’ll join once again our own families,
We’ll dance and we’ll sing again,
In Love ever bound.

-----------------------

I wrote this 8/28/2001...........it is quite obvious the project never came to be.


carol
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:19 PM   #21
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
So we feel better about our FAIR TRADE, while how many families will be forced to "do something else".

What part of FAIR did they get?
It seems their current situation is also, at best, unfair.

It's not a matter of feeling better, it's a matter of building infrastructures to allow those communities to do profitable business without slavery.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:24 PM   #22
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Originally posted by AliEnvy


It seems their current situation is also, at best, unfair.

It's not a matter of feeling better, it's a matter of building infrastructures to allow those communities to do profitable business without slavery.
There are some current efforts in place to build agricultural communities whose crops make their way to the US. Starbucks, for instance, pays above market prices for its coffee and is directly involved with overall growth and development of these communities.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
I don't want to eat something that I know has been produced off the slave-like labor of little children!
Then I hope you've never had a cup of coffee, a slice of pineapple, or a fresh banana.

Like always, we've got to pick our battles, so to speak. I've refused a diamond engagement ring, but I simply can't afford to shell out hundreds of dollars for Edun clothes. Just because someone eats chocolate doesn't mean they support child labor or aren't a practicing Christian. If you find that mentality appropriate, where do you draw the line? What products are OK to still use and consume and what ones aren't? Is it OK to buy a plane ticket and hotel room to see a U2 show, or should that money have been donated to charity? And who gets to be the judge of what is considered "Christian ethic" and what's not?

Pick your battles. If boycotting chocolate works for you, great, but I find it pretty rediculous you'd challenge the religious convictions of someone you don't even know based on whether they like chocolate.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I think it's rather of outrageous for you to question a person's faith based on the fact they may have a slightly different view of the effectiveness of fair trade than you.

Thank you. This is not the first time this has happened to members of the board by this individual.
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:15 PM   #25
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Thank you. This is not the first time this has happened to members of the board by this individual.
Yet somehow it is always overlooked....because of

Remember the source....

Some where envious of the Katrina victims because they were going to get help....

Christian ethics my
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:20 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
First of all - I am a working class person.
...that buys Edun clothes?
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:23 PM   #27
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:27 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
There are some current efforts in place to build agricultural communities whose crops make their way to the US. Starbucks, for instance, pays above market prices for its coffee and is directly involved with overall growth and development of these communities.
Hopefully the chocolate industry leaders will make good on their promises as well.
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:34 PM   #29
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Ah, another thread of global issues for um...Americans.

Um, thanks?
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Old 02-13-2006, 03:13 AM   #30
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Will you select which families get to continue with their cocoa business once prices are raised and less chocolate is purchased?
Why should the prices be raised? Just for the reason that the choc producers don´t lose their profits? gimme a break. The producers have to admit they promoted child labour, pay fair prices to the farmers (raise them), and barter with transport (reduce them) and, most important, with food chains.

In Europe the prices have risen tremendously with the Euro. Four years ago the typical candy bars were sold for 14.90 (schillings, our national currency before of the Euro - would be about $ 1.20), now they cost € 1.89 (probably about $ 2.20, and about 26 freaking schillings).

Inflation rate for this particular product was 90% in 4 years.

Who pocketed the 90% - the cocoa farmers?
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