Making meaningful differences in farmers' lives around the world
Here's a few thoughts and over-generalisations:
- I should think we (this group) are mainly white males from rich countries
- we want to do something to help those less fortunate, especially perhaps in our chosen field - chocolate
- Fairtrade is now an established brand and as such has more power than it probably realises and could use this to be stronger and introduce a "Fairtrade 2"
- but it won't
So what can we do?
- why is it us that has to do something?
- will anything we think up work in anything other than a small way?
- any revolution that works has to start from below to be sustainable not handed down from above
- so how do we encourage/allow cacao farmers to have more control?
- how can farmers organise themselves
What would I propose then?
- I just said "it ain't me babe" (thanks Bob) but maybe we can encourage farmers to organise and do a deal with them
- you promise to treat your workers in a decent fashion
- you organise into a group of farmers all promising to self-regulate how you treat your workforce
- we agree that we will pay extra for these guarantees
- and also announce that we will be checking and have the power to stop dealing with individuals or the whole group if anyone is seen to be taking the piss ('scuse my language)
- this relies on personal contact and sites such as this to disseminate our own findings
- and we make it easy for people to see who is in this rough coalition because we want it to work and we want it to raise awareness and we want to increase the profit margin for farmers
- start a fund to give farmers mobile phones and see just how much that changes their awareness of market prices and the better deals we can offer
Just thinking aloud - let's get something started!
Red Star Chocolate