This blog updates at least weekly on any of the days below with the topics as follows:
On a Monday-Maniac Mondays = All Things that are All Things! Generally thoughts, ideas or tools we think can be useful to the personal or professional life.
On a Thursday-Tumultuous Thursdays = All Things Metaphysical
On a Friday-Funtastic Fridays = All Things Fun! (cartoons, stories about the Purple Elephant and the Little mouse...)
Studious Saturdays = All Things about the craft of fiction writing. Also we will give you little snippets about how our fantasy fiction novel in progress is going. Sometimes this can be told as a cartoon. We will be doing nanowrimo this year as well.

Also our Advent calendar will be happening this year as usual! Look for an interesting and new format!

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Friday, 19 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Fri 19 Dec = Fairtrade Products!

On this day of Advent I give you Fairtrade products! The thing that kicked off this blog is coffee and later on chocolate and cocoa was often discussed on this blog for this year. So it is fitting that my gift to you on this day is to discuss fairtrade products and in particular fairtrade coffee, cocoa and chocolate.

First of all to discuss it we should first of all define it...I often find that a good place to start and puts everyone on the same page especially those lurking in the corner afraid to admit they don't know what the thing means and ashamed for some silly reason to simply ask - "What does fair-trade mean?".

If they did ask it though some lovely person would have then said to them according to the official Fair Trade Foundation's website :
'Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. '

And today I plan to share with you The Fairtrade Foundation's site honour roll of fairtrade coffee, cocoa, chocolate and hot chocolate. And here they are:

-Hot Chocolate

Interesting to note that Cadbury whose Cocoa I offered to you on Wed is not on the honour roll. However they recently this year broached their own sort of agreement. Many a blogger and news columnist out there have been going on about how they did it just cause it secured their economic interest and their long term financial viability plans. You know not cause they really cared about the poor farmers and all! But I say...SO WHAT?! I mean yea it would be lovely if they really did care but what if the future way to do business means it has to be fair... What if it is how the world is getting when there will be no business but good ethical business it would be the only business we know!? :) Cause to me that is what the future will bring if all the consumers become conscious and say it is how it has to be! Social entrepreneurship will soon become what all entrepreneurship is! Either way if two hands are clapping so what if Cadbury didn't broker this agreement from the bottom of their heart but to secure survival and long term profitability? Cause what is important is both them and the farmers and us the consumers or the eaters are all happy ?! :)

And according to Cadbury's main corporate site. Here's Cadbury's approach:
'The Cadbury Approach

In 2008 we announced the establishment of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, to secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of around a million cocoa farmers and their communities in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. This ground-breaking initiative, which will be carried out in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners, marks 100 years since the Cadbury brothers first began trading in Ghana and aims to support the development of sustainable cocoa growing communities. Cadbury is initially investing £1m in 2008 as a seed fund to establish the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, with annual funding levels rising to a steady rate of £5m over the next several years.

The majority of the Partnership funds (70%) will be invested into farming villages in Ghana. Ghanaian cocoa trades at 10% above the global market price due to the quality of beans. Cadbury recently funded research by the Institute of Development Studies and the University of Accra into "Sustainable Cocoa Production in Ghana" which showed that the production of some cocoa farms is only 4-6 sacks a year, and so it is an improvement in productivity that is critical to improving incomes of farmers.
The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership aims to:

1. Improve cocoa farmer incomes: by helping farmers increase their yields and produce top quality beans
2. Introduce new sources of rural income: through microfinance and business support to kick start new rural businesses and introduce additional income streams such as growing other crops
3. Invest in community led development: to improve life in cocoa communities e.g. supporting education through schools and libraries, supporting the environment through biodiversity projects, and building wells for clean, safe water
4. Work in partnership: developing a pioneering model which will be led from the grass roots. Farmers, governments, NGOs and international agencies will work together to decide how the funding is spent and work with local organisations to turn plans into action

In summary, we are trying to reach a huge number of farmers with the principles of Fairtrade - such as collaboration and community engagement - and we're working with a range of partners. We hope that this partnership way of working will inform development work in the future.'

Hey! Sounds good to me on paper or Web 2.0! So let's not complain about the approach let's follow up and see if the approach is followed...and if they don't...take action by getting involved on here.But hey it's Christmas and this is my Advent calendar gift to you and since for sure we know that the company that Cadbury gobbled up Green&Black has the chocolate bar that was the first ever FairTrade product in the UK 14 years ago- Green and Black's Maya Gold Dark Chocolate Bar I also gift it to you! I've eaten it a couple times and it is absolutely divine by the way!You can check it out and US readers can buy it here.

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