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The Answer to the Coffee Crisis? Coffee drinkers urged to support growers - Two British Members of Parliament MP on Thursday urged coffee drinkers to use consumer power to get impoverished coffee growers a better deal. Coffee Co-op America's Sweatshops. Coffee Campaign Oxfam America. Labor Education in the Americas Project. Coffee-makers' huge profits leave a bitter taste Aid and fair trade organisations accuse the world's major coffee roasters of making huge profits out of impoverished growers in developing countries, whose returns are a fraction of retail prices.
They say the price paid for green coffee is so low that desperate families cannot support themselves Yale News Release , 18 Mar. Most child laborers in Latin America work in agriculture, especially coffee growing, but urban areas are the scene of child labor and exploitation, including child prostitution UN Wire , 13 Mar.
Sale of Fairtrade products doubles [UK] - Sales of goods that promise a better deal for farmers in developing countries have more than doubled in three years, it was announced at the weekend Sainsbury's now sells around 1 million Fairtrade bananas a week, and has own-brand coffee, tea, and chocolate that carry the Fairtrade certification mark.
Last November the Co-op supermarket chain announced it was switching all its own-brand chocolate to Fairtrade. Retail therapy - Awareness of how and where goods are produced has soared - and so has the fair trade movement Now there are more than products, ranging from tea, coffee and bananas to sugar, wine, honey, fruits, juices, snacks and biscuits, chilli peppers and meat.
Coming next are fair trade clothes and textiles, and fair trade footballs To go truly mainstream, though, fair trade must occupy more than a remote shelf in a supermarket. There are the first signs that that is happening as the Co-op and Safeway supermarkets start their own fair trade lines. Kraft criticised over coffee policy [UK] - A Gloucestershire company is being accused of making excessive profits at the expense of farmers in the developing world.
The charity Oxfam says Cheltenham-based Kraft Foods is making billions in profits around the world, particularly from its coffee products, while farmers are facing bankruptcy. BBC News , 4 Feb. Dutch Company Perfects 'Green' Roasting of Coffee Beans - Peeze coffee roasters only use green energy generated from wind, water and solar sources, along with electricity generated from their own solar panel Edie News , on Greenbiz.
Com website, 20 Jan. Investors ally with Oxfam to help coffee farmers - Ethical Funds Inc. Development Program is supporting a project to help farmers offset the global collapse of prices for their crop and a regional drought by developing environment-friendly alternative sources of income. Nicaragua growers open sustainable coffee conference Ivan Castro, Reuters , 11 Nov.
Consumer Demand Still Fueling Wars, NGO Says - A new report released today by the nongovernmental Worldwatch Institute urges better monitoring of trade in natural resources taken from conflict zones, saying that such imports fuel brutal conflicts in the developing world Opium, gems, oil, timber, natural gas, precious metals, coffee and cocoa are among the resources cited as helping to pay for wars over the past 50 years.
UN Wire , 17 Oct. US urged to wake up to "coffee with a conscience" Ros Davidson, Reuters , 15 Oct. Peru jungle farmers raise cups to fair trade coffee Farmers in Alto Incariado have joined up with the local La Florida Cooperative selling coffee carrying the "fair trade" label - a seal guaranteeing consumers that producers comply with conditions like a "decent wage" for farmers, the right to unionize, environmental standards and shunning child labor.
International Starbucks protest comes to town [Berkeley, USA] - A dozen protesters picketed outside the Oxford Street Starbucks Wednesday as part of an international campaign urging the chain to buy more "Fair Trade" coffee from farmers A Starbucks representative at the protest said the company has made significant progress on the issue, selling bags of Fair Trade coffee to customers since October and brewing it once a month in stores since May Coffee Campaign - Take Action!
What's that in your coffee? Plummeting coffee prices have caused a global humanitarian crisis Oxfam America [added to this website on 23 Sep. Coffee companies under fire as millions face ruin - Millions of people in 45 coffee-growing countries are facing economic ruin - and many are going hungry - due to collapsing world prices. Fair trade coffee buzz gaining momentum Missy Ryan, Reuters , 7 Aug. Citigroup backs sustainable business - Financial services giant Citigroup is encouraging sustainable enterprise in Latin America through its work with the World Resources Institute on the New Ventures initiative.
Through a series of competitions open to entrepreneurs across Latin America, a panel of experts selects small and medium sized enterprises whose business ideas promise sustainability while respecting social and environmental factors.
Selected companies attend an international investment forum, and can win access to business mentoring services Entrepreneurial schemes to benefit from the New Ventures initiative include ecotourism operators, and producers of shrimps, charcoal, wood, coffee, and electric vehicles for delivering goods in densely populated cities.
One Argentinean firm is dedicated to the sustainable breeding of the guanaco - a wild Patagonian camelid - for its wool. International Chamber of Commerce, 1 Aug. Jose Romero sought to show that the so-called "third way" of farming - caring for the land, wildlife and workers - was sustainable.
Peter Blackburn, Reuters , 23 July Supporting Science, Supporting Sustainability - Earthwatch Institute's Corporate Fellowship Program places corporate employees in the field with top scientists for the benefit of both the environment and the sponsoring companies [refers to Ford Motor Co. Pete Stark introduced a House [U. House of Representatives] Resolution expressing the sense of Congress that all branches of the Federal Government should limit purchases of coffee to those suppliers that are certified to have paid coffee farmers a fair price for their products.
Office of Congressman Pete Stark, 17 July After gathering 3, signatures, Mr. Young's voter initiative requiring that all cups of coffee sold in Berkeley be Fair Trade, shade-grown or organic has qualified for the November ballot. If it passes, it would make this the only city in the nation with an official coffee policy. Coffee is more than a beverage to most of the world My company -- a Bay Area gourmet coffee roaster that distributes nationwide [USA] -- spends at least four months each year directly aiding providing houses, schools, etc.
Making Fair Trade Work in Mexico - In Mexico, a growing number of coops, nongovernmental organizations NGOs , microenterprises, and campesino groups are proving that fair trade offers a viable alternative to communities struggling to cope with globalization [refers to initiatives relating to agriculture, food, cosmetics, coffee, ecotourism, chocolate, retail; also refers to indigenous groups] Talli Nauman, Americas Program, Interhemispheric Resource Center, July With the help of product labeling--for example, of genetically engineered foods or wood products harvested in a sustainable way--and the use of quality and efficiency standards, consumers now have the choice of more environmentally friendly products.
The study describes six "eco-labeling" programs--covering such diverse areas as seafood, domestic appliances, tourism, and coffee--that award a seal of approval to producers who observe standards designed to ensure environmental protection.
Starbucks changes its brew [Canada] - Starbucks will offer "fair trade" coffee at its Canadian outlets Fair trade coffee has been available at Starbucks in the U. CBC News , 21 May Starbucks' struggle for moral ground: Program to aid poor coffee growers off to slow start Starbucks said it would pay vendors in origin countries a premium price -- up to 10 cents extra per pound -- if they can prove they're protecting the environment and meeting, if not exceeding, the minimum legal requirements for wages, benefits and working conditions But Starbucks' well-wishers and detractors alike say that progress in the first four months of the two-year test program looks plodding at best.
Some criticize the financial incentives as insufficient. Others say the verification process is flawed. Violence against women in the workplace in Kenya: Region's Poor Shortchanged by Trade Rules - Activists - East Asia's farmers, fishermen and women workers are being shortchanged by trade policies that offer few real opportunities to get out of poverty, activists with the international development agency Oxfam here say [includes reference to rice farmers in Thailand, coffee growers in Vietnam, fishermen in Philippines, women in Cambodia's garment industry] Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service , 25 Apr.
Child labourers hit 3 million mark Labour Commissioner Abisai Ambenge Starbucks shares cup of goodwill [USA]: Exec tells DU [Denver University] students, businesses the value of social responsibility Bruce Finley, Denver Post, 12 Apr. Costa Rica has launched a "sustainable" coffee seal: Costa Rica has launched a "sustainable" coffee seal to be awarded to growers who protect plantation ecosystems, save energy, clean up waste-disposal, improve pest and disease control, provide healthy working conditions for pickers and reduce the use of chemicals.
Veronica Vega, Reuters , 12 Apr. Coffee in good conscience: Students campaign for roasters to provide only 'fair-trade' beans [USA] To be certified, third-party monitors must have confirmed that farmers were paid a fair price for their beans.
Jake Batsell, Seattle Times , 17 Mar. ILO launches program to combat child labour in Nicaraguan coffee industry: Bitter taste of Starbucks' success: Starbucks has become a target for environmental pressure groups partly because its socially responsible image makes it an easy target, writes Alison Maitland Alison Maitland, Financial Times , 10 Mar.
Prison Blues; Starbucks, Nike, others profit from inmate labor [at U. Penney, Kmart, Kwalu Inc. Protesters demand Starbucks pay fair prices for beans Starbucks sells Fair Trade coffee in bulk, but does not brew it on a regular basis. Associated Press , 23 Feb. Starbucks braces for another round with eco-protests: Facing mounting pressure from protest groups, Starbucks Corp. Chris Stetkiewicz, Reuters , 15 Feb. Brazil coffee more eco-friendly - grower Rodrigues said that quality was no longer the only issue and that roasters were prepared to pay a premium to help fund projects to protect the environment and aid local coffee communities.
Peter Blackburn, Reuters , 6 Feb. Security Council Debates Action Against Resource Exploitation - The panel [Expert Panel on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] continues to support a moratorium on the purchase and import of coltan, diamonds, copper, timber, coffee and other products produced in D.