As usual, you'll have to go over there to read the full post. This is just a teaser, and an outlet for all the things I didn't manage to fit into the post at BB&B. For instance the demoralizing statistics on fair-trade chocolate versus definitely-not-fair-at-all-trade chocolate (the fair-trade one only accounted for about 1% of the market share in 2005, the most recent number I could find). The latter often uses child labour, many of which are the victims of human trafficking and slavery.
As if this was not enough, cocoa production also contributes to deforestation, as the coca trees often compete with rain forests for space. The cocoa tree itself is also a fragile plant, which holds an important part in the ecosystem. With deforestation, the cocoa tree is endangered too, and farmers will constantly need to chop down new areas of forest to plant new cocoa trees. Thus it is a vicious cycle.
All this reading made me want to stop eating chocolate and go hug a tree (if it hadn't been for the fact that I once heard that trees were actually hurt by hugging...). Instead I wrote a blog post (or two, actually, since this one probably also counts with all its depressing facts) about it - so maybe you can find the inspiration to stop eating chocolate and (not) hug a tree.
No. I'm not pointing any proverbial fingers (not even the middle one, though the cruelty in cocoa production does seem to warrant it). I bought a packet of chocolate myself today (though in my defense, it was before all the researching took place...), and there isn't as much as a hint of any fair-trade emblems or rain forest frogs on it. Thus I am pretty sure I would be tossing cocoa beans in a glass house...
We should all be buying only fair-trade. We should all recycle, and while we're at it, we should floss our teeth and make our bed every morning. It is when I realize I fail on most of the above I wonder if I'm a faux idealist - if I am not willing to change myself, then how can I expect the world to change?
|At least I can advertise. Buy fair-trade!|
|And if you see this little guy on your products, you can be sure it didn't kill any trees.|
If you want to read more, I found this pretty cool blog - The Frog Blog - which is where the Rainforest Alliance shares info about new initiatives. One of them, the REDD+ is a UN programme to reduce emissions in developing countries by providing a financial initiative (so there is environment and development). As for fair-trade, you find lots of useful info on both the Fairtrade International and World Fair Trade Organization. For instance, you can here see lists of products that are fair-trade, so that the next time you go chocolate shopping, you have a choice.