Monday, December 6, 2004

Make Trade for Farmers! Sell Fair Trade Certified Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee are two of my favourite things, but I worry about purchasing these products when I hear stories of the desperate poverty in which so many small cocoa and coffee farmers live. But there is hope this holiday season - Fair trade.

Fair trade offers a real solution to the crises of poverty and child labour - including child slavery - experienced by many small farmers in the developing world.

Trade truly is a human rights issue, and I hope you'll join me in calling on major retailers and producers to support Fair Trade Certified products this holiday season. Thank you for receiving "Eye on Human Rights" from Care2 and ThePetitionSite, and please act today.

In this issue:

1. This Holiday Season - Make Trade Fair for Farmers!

2. Urge M&M/Mars to Sell Fair Trade Certified Chocolate


Family farmers around the world are suffering. But we can solve this problem by changing unfair trade policies. Our tax dollars supposedly support family farmers. But, in fact, they're predominantly benefiting a small number of wealthy, industrial-sized farms.

What's more, large government payouts lead to overproduction. Crops are dumped onto the world market and sold for less than the cost of production. That drives prices down, often making it impossible for family farmers in developing countries to make a living and feed their families.

This holiday season, join the tens of thousands of people who are participating in Oxfam's Fast for a World Harvest and take a moment to email President Bush. Call on him to do his part to help end hunger by reforming U.S. farm policy:
2. Urge M&M/Mars to Sell Fair Trade Certified Chocolate Petition:

There's nothing sweet about child slavery.

Companies like M&M/Mars, the world's biggest chocolate company, make huge profits selling chocolate. Their products are favourites among children around the world. However, chocolate is no treat for the hundreds of thousands of child cocoa labourers who work on their poor families' farms or even as slaves on cocoa farms far from home.

The U.S. chocolate industry has agreed to work to end child slavery by 2005, but their plan involves "voluntary standards" and does not guarantee fair and stable cocoa prices, which is the only way to end child slavery and exploitation for good.

The solution? Fair trade. Fair trade guarantees a minimum price per pound (a living wage), prohibits abusive child labour and forced labour, requires independent monitoring, and promotes environmental sustainability. But M&M/Mars has refused to sell Fair Trade Certified chocolate.

Chocolate lovers everywhere - we have the power to make a real difference in the lives of poor children in cocoa-producing nations! Please urge M&M/Mars to do the right thing, and commit to selling Fair Trade Certified chocolate:

Thank you for caring today,
- Rebecca,

Care2 and ThePetitionSite team
1. This Holiday Season - Make Trade Fair for Farmers!
2. Urge M&M/Mars to Sell Fair Trade Certified Chocolate

By Care2 and Eye on Human Rights posted 6 December 04


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