In equator lands,
Sacks of sun-roasted jewels,
Cocoa farm’s triumph.
Tokens of passion,
Chocolate gems tantalize,
Sold at bargain price.
Black, turquoise, and green
flames on chocolate wrappers.
There is a story behind these three haiku: growing, harvesting, extracting, and drying cocoa beans requires hours of labour that are under-compensated. Most of the work is carried out on small family-owned farms– over 70% of cocoa comes from West Africa.
Under the fair trade system, farm organizations provide safe working conditions, eliminate child labour, and earn a fair market price. Did you know that when you purchase a conventional chocolate product, your treat may have originated from the labour of a child–and that the price you pay does not reflect fair value? For this reason, I generally buy chocolate showing the blue, green, and black fair trade logo. I purchased the examples shown above in major chain stores. (Please be assured–I gain no financial reward from promoting these products–they are shown only as examples.)
If you are interested in finding out more about fair trade chocolate, these links may be of interest:
Ontheland fair trade page—provides a brief description of the international fair trade system and links to major fair trade organizations all over the world.
My post about the Kuapa KoKoo Farmer Cooperative in Ghana, featuring four brief videos. Kuapa KoKoo fair trade cooperative supplies cocoa beans to a major chocolate manufacturer in the United Kingdom.
Child labour on Nestlé farms: chocolate giant’s problems continue, a report from the Guardian, September 2015.
The haiku in this post are in response to Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge #83. The prompt words are ‘gem’ and ‘flame’. Synonyms used are jewel and treasure for ‘gem’; and roast and passion for ‘flame’. Are you curious what other people came up with? Please follow the challenge prompt to find out.
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