From that night at the Melbourne Comedy Festival when Josh Thomas did the promo for Fair Trade Easter eggs, I have started to take notice of what exactly Fair Trading is.
The Fair Trade Australia website says, “Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”
I knew the concept existed before, but I never really looked into it. We are so far removed in Australia from problems in other countries it is hard to imagine that people employ children, put them under horrible working conditions and then under pay them.
I found this article, where a man asks Nike to print ‘Sweatshop’ on his shoes as his personal I.D. Nike refuses, giving him all different responses in regards to his request. Read it for yourself here. I thoroughly enjoyed the final email.
The Fair Trade Australia website also goes on to say that Fair Trade allows poorer, weaker producers to improve their position through the sale of these products.
Products sold under the Fair Trade banner include coffee, nuts, cotton and chocolate.
An ABC News online article, Aussies urged to play fair this Easter, says,
“Australians are being urged to consider the plight of exploited child workers when they bite into their chocolate eggs this Easter.
Only 3 per cent of the world’s global chocolate supply is ethically certified to have been harvested without the use of forced, child, or trafficked labour.”
So who bought fair trade chocolate this Easter? I know I didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t realise its importance.
Alarming figures reveal the extent of child, or for that matter any, slavery that still exists in the 21st Century.
This website sets out the figures, and estimates that 50% of slaves in the Ivory Coast, which supplies much of the worlds cocoa, are children. That is as many as 400,000 children that are being held in slavery for people like us to consume the delicious sweet of chocolate. I dont know about you, but I would happily give up this treat if I knew it would stop the children from being enslaved.
Read a story from the website here.
Next time I go shopping, I will buy Fair Trade products. Even though I am at uni, I still have a conscience.