NAIROBI (Reuters) - Black smoke was seen rising and several blasts were heard on Monday in the area of a Nairobi shopping mall where Islamist militants are holed up with hostages, a Reuters witness said. …
Green America: Hershey’s, 8 years is a long time…
I normally don’t repost full articles, but I thought this one from Green America was excellent. Please consider this article when purchasing your Halloween candy.
In light of Hershey’s announcement last week, to go 100% Certified by 2020, a lot of our members have raised concerns about this timeline. Why so long? Especially since we have known since at least the year 2000 about the problem of the worst forms of child labor on cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast, and the industry has already missed so many promised deadlines to address the issue.
While the announcement was an important step for Hershey to take, especially the acknowledgment that child labor is an issue in its supply chain, the announcement alone does not translate into progress. Hershey has not in fact changed any of its sourcing policies yet, so it does not mean we can all go out and stock up on Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Hershey’s announcement remains incredibly vague, both in terms of what certification bodies it intends to use, and how it intends to transition its cocoa to certifications over the next 8 years: 8 years being equivalent to an entire childhood or adolescence. If you have a five year old of your own, it means no s’mores with Hershey chocolate until they are 13. (assuming Hershey makes true on its commitment). And if you are a child who has been trafficked from Mali or Burkina Faso to do backbreaking work in the Ivory Coast, it could be your whole life.
The Raise the Bar, Hershey campaign is pressing Hershey for more information as we speak. Beyond what certification system(s) the company intends to use, we expect Hershey to share a concrete timeline for how quickly and when it will transition from conventional cocoa to certified for all its products. Without firm, progressive deadlines, and public reporting, their commitment is worth nothing.
Via a recent email-action to Hershey leadership, and our own dialoguing with the company, we are pushing hard for them to commit to fair trade certification, with specific benchmarks as they transition. We need Hershey to commit to reporting out on progress, and to meeting the quickest deadlines possible for moving each of their major products to certification. Some brands claim it requires several years to transition their entire supply chain because the cocoa they need to source is not yet available, or not available in the amount/quality they need. Hershey’s announcement last week seemed to come abruptly, without a lot of details, in direct response to our campaign work with Whole Foods (which agreed to drop Hershey’s Scharffen Berger chocolates from its stores until Hershey takes steps to address child labor). My hunch is that Hershey may not have a true timeline or plan yet, it just chose 2020 in order to be on par with its main competitor, Mars, that committed to going 100% certified by 2020 back in 2009. Once Hershey knows what it needs, it needs to make a progressive timeline and stick to it.
For now, for this Halloween, and the next few years, we need to avoid Hershey products and continue to press the company to move forward with its commitment. We urge you to support the companies that were founded to help cocoa growing communities worldwide. These sustainably sourced chocolate companies offer chocolate miniatures that are perfect for trick-or-treaters, using all-natural, Fair Trade, GMO-free and/or organic ingredients:
Alter-Eco Chocolate Minis: alterecofoods.com/products/chocolate
Coco-Zen Chocolate “Halloween shapes” & Minis:
Divine Chocolate Medallions: divinechocolateusa.com
Endangered Species Chocolate Organic Bites: chocolatebar.com
Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate Minis: equalexchange.coop/chocolate-bars
Unreal Candy: getunreal.com
Fair Trade Fashion Friday - Kitenge Bow Maxi Dress by One Mango Tree
This statement maxi dress is part of our new partnership with Kampala Fair - another fair trade business in Uganda focusing on apparel items. We love their work so much, we decided to bring a capsule collection to you via One Mango Tree. The bow maxi dress has an adjustable tie at the shoulder.
The maxi is made from kitenge, a light-weight cotton fabric purchased locally in Ugandan textile markets. (Source: OneMangoTree.com)
About the company:
One Mango Tree is a social business using fair trade and design to create sustainable jobs for artisans. Their handbags are made by women in Northern Uganda, providing much-needed income to a region recovering from more than 20 years of war. Their apparel collection is made from organic cotton jersey, a beautiful fabric made from seed-to-sown in Uganda. In an effort to create more local employment and lessen One Mango Tree’s environmental impact, products are designed entirely from materials available in the local market.
Clarisse Kambire’s nightmare rarely changes. It’s daytime. In a field of cotton plants that burst with purple and white flowers, a man in rags towers over her, a stick raised above his head. Then a voice booms, jerking Clarisse from her slumber and making her heart leap. “Get up!”
The man ordering her awake is the same one who haunts the 13-year-old girl’s sleep: Victorien Kamboule, the farmer she labors for in a West African cotton field. Before sunrise on a November morning she rises from the faded plastic mat that serves as her mattress, barely thicker than the cover of a glossy magazine, opens the metal door of her mud hut and sets her almond-shaped eyes on the first day of this season’s harvest. (Follow her journey in videos, photos and more here.)
(via Rock Center - Tracing your gold: Fair trade activists fight for responsibly mined gold)
A new film called Blood in the Mobile takes a look at the shocking reality of cell phone production and the procurement of the minerals used to make cell phone parts. The film focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo, where children mine minerals in abysmal conditions and are charged a “tax” to work by armed guards…
An interesting and eye-opening topic. I will have to check out this doc when it comes out. I never thought my phone has a link to the wars in Congo.
A great series from Ben & Jerry’s. Witness how fair trade can really make a tangible impact on producers’ lives.
Fair Trade Uganda - Episode 1
Explore the benefits of Fair Trade on a journey with us through Uganda where we source our Fair Trade Vanilla. See how Fair Trade impacts communities first-hand and what it means to the local farmers. First, learn a little about what Fair Trade means and how Fair Trade Vanilla gets its start.
Ben & Jerry’s – Wow, I’m continually impressed by Ben & Jerry’s commitment to fair trade. At a networking event, I had the privilege of meeting one of Ben & Jerry’s executive leaders for a brief moment. I asked, “Did your company’s commitment to fair trade – and in general, the heart of Ben & Jerry’s – change at all when Unilever took over?” And the answer was an unequivocal “No.”
I discovered this video series from Ben & Jerry’s Twitter feed. Thanks for creating such uplifting and informative videos. And for those who know me personally, I have a special place in my heart for Uganda.
Eat ice cream, send kids to school. Sounds like a win-win to me!
If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the episodes, go to Ben & Jerry’s.
One of the worst humanitarian crises is unfolding right now as famine and severe drought ravage Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and the surrounding region in Africa. Without rainfall, 11.6 million people have been affected by this natural disaster as water dries up and crops and animals perish. People continue to be uprooted from their homes by drought and hospitals and camps overflow with refugees.
Urge the United States Congress to provide emergency funding to help victims of the drought and famine. Ask your legislators to keep this devastating famine from becoming a forgotten crisis.
DevEx’s Person of the Week
DevEx’s Person of the Week
This is such a great story - solar power at work!
Doussou Konate has never attended school. But in the small village of Keur Simbara, Senegal, the 57-year-old mother of six helps set up environment-friendly lighting systems that provide four hours of electricity per day.
Konate was one of seven Senegalese women who travelled to India two years ago to receive training as solar power engineers at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan.
In the villages of Keur Simbara and Keur Daouda, 50 households have now been equipped with a solar panel, a fixed lamp, a solar lantern, a ligh-emitting diode flashlight and a plug for charging cellphones, AlertNet reports.
“When night falls, everybody lights up their lamp and you can go anywhere you wish because everything is clear. It is just wonderful,” Konate said.
She added: “This is very important for the children who go to school … Before they had to hurry to do their homework while the sun was still up or study using candles and torches, but now they can study at any time of the day, even at night.”
My favorite band, Jars of Clay, has completed their 1,000 wells goal. Much kudos. Love them even more. And even better, now 1000 wells are provided for countless communities in Africa.
More than 700,000 people in Africa are drinking clean water today thanks to multi-platinum Christian band Jars of Clay.
The group recently met their goal of providing clean water to 1,000 African communities through the organization they founded, Blood:Water Mission, and its 1,000 Wells Project.
Haseltine even challenged people this Halloween to donate $1 for every Justin Bieber costume they saw.
Good news out of Africa!
A well-shot, well-produced video featuring one photographer’s return to a charity:water well in Rwanda.
Bombing in Kampala, Uganda
Somalia’s Child Soldiers - Funded by the US Taxpayer