Read her post here. Invisible Voices on the subject here. There is a serious side to what Fair Traders do and why they do it. If you are not moved by the plight of third world farmers and don't see the Fair Trade Premium as worth the cost, consider these moving stories of children in Ivory Coast.
Ivory Coast and its Exports
(quoted from Food Museum Blog)
- Ivory Coast is located on the southern coast of West Africa.
- Its exports include: cocoa, gold, rubber, palm oil, coffee, and tropical woods.
- The cocoa trade drives one-third of Ivory Coast’s economy.
- Ivory Coast provides 43 percent of the world’s cocoa beans. Ivory Coast is the top grower of world’s cocoa beans: 1,290,000 during the 1999-2000 growing season.
- There are approximately 600,000 cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.
- Ivory Coast is the world’s fourth-largest Robusta coffee grower (after Vietnam, Indonesia, and Uganda). Coffee and cocoa crops are often grown together, so the taller cocoa trees can shade the coffee bushes. On some farms, the same workers harvest both crops.
Sources: Knight Ridder; Port Import Export Reporting