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Has Fairtrade Helped Cocoa Farmers in Developing Countries?

Introduction “Has Fairtrade helped cocoa farmers in developing countries? ” “Fairtrade – Trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries. ” Cocoa has help the world allot – not just the tens of thousands of Fairtrade cocoa farmers around the world. From the bitter frothy drink loved by the Mayans, to the family-sized boxes everyone fights over at Christmas or well, just about anytime. But the cocoa has to be grown by someone. Ghanian farmers get cheated by buyers. They rig the scales to make the cocoa seem to weigh less.

This means the farmers get much less money and the buyers don’t have to pay that much for the cocoa. This leaves the farmers with little money to keep their farm up and running and keep growing cocoa, let alone stay alive. Fairtrade is a way trading in which farmers do not get cheated, the prices are fair and the farmers get extra money for investment in business and their lives. In my essay I will write about exactly what Fairtrade is, how it helps, and who organizes it. I will also write about the lives of some cocoa farmers and compare unfairtrade farmers’ lives to fairtrade farmers’ lives.

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I will write about how cocoa is produced and problems faced by the cocoa farmers aswell. What is Fairtrade? Fairtrade is an organization in which farmers can sell there product for a fair price and have good lives and have good working conditions. To identify a Fairtrade product (meaning the ingredients have been bought from a Fairtrade source), the product will have the Fairtrade badge on them. Fairtrade generally exports from developing countries (e. g. Ghana, which is one of the main cocoa growing countries. ) to developed countries.

There isn’t just Fairtrade cocoa – there are more than 3000 Fairtrade products on sale, from fruit to footballs. They mainly invest in cocoa, coffee, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, flowers and gold. The Fairtrade Foundation is one of the main organizations that promotes this type of trading. Fairtrade is very popular. Consumers worldwide spent ? 1. 1billion on Fairtrade Certified Products in 2006. 42% up from in 2005. (Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International) Allot of people prefer Fairtrade products to others because some people think that you might get a better quality.

This is because the farmers are more able to look after the farm properly. They also like it because the money they pay for it is going to a good cause. What is a cocoa farmers daily life like? A typical cocoa farmer (not Fairtrade) wakes up quite early, around 5:00 am. They might do a few household chores to make sure the house stays tidy. they have a quick breakfast of other things that they grown in the farm and things they find. Sometimes the farmers farms can be a few miles away. They will have to walk this there and back in very hot conditions.

Cocoa farmers will spend most of the day on the cocoa farm and make sure they get all the cocoa they can. The common cocoa farm is about 10 acres of land, without fences to protect it. After tending to the farm and a long walk back home, some famers face another long walk to the well to collect water. Normally a farmer will have to visit the well 5-7 times a day. In some towns, it costs money to collect water so they can keep the well running. Farmers may also have work to do on other farms. After a long day the farmer and their family have supper then they go to sleep.

What are some of the problems they face? Cocoa farmers have allot of problems in daily life. The obvious one is getting tricked by buyers. But farmers go through allot of other things. Workers might harm themselves while cutting the pods of the trees. Also people might try to steal cocoa pods as the farms are generally unguarded. Aswell as trying to feed the family, farmers have to pay for school fees, doctors fees, clothes, transport and medicine – these are all very expensive. They also have to try and make savings but this is very hard when a farmer only earns about ? 160 a year.

Also when the buyers pay them sometimes they get payed in vouchers, or cheques which aren’t useful at all to famers. The money that a farmer gets varies allot so they can plan ahead in their lives. The price of cocoa on the world market continues to fall and this means they get less money. How are cocoa beans harvested? To harvest the cocoa pods, the farmers cut the pods from the tree, then carefully slice them open and scoop out all of the beans, they also scoop out the pulp that covers the cocoa beans. (This can be used to make cocoa butter and allot of people use it for a skin moisturizer. After they have done that, they leave the beans to ferment under banana leaves for five days. This is what gives chocolate its distinctive chocolatey taste. Then they dry the beans on a drying rack under the sun. During this process they check the beans to see if there are any bad ones. The next stage is weighing the sacks of beans. This is where they get cheated by the buyers. The farmers get unfair prices and are paid little. But with Fairtrade, farmers get a fair price for all the work they do. What is a fairtrade farmers life like?

A Fairtrade farmers life is much better than normal famers. First of all the payment is allot more. Farmers don’t get tricked by the scales and get the right amount of money. Farmers also get money to put into investing in their farm. they also use it for paying for food, school fees, doctors fees, transport, farm machinery, clothes, and keeping there house in a good standard for living in. This way farmers can grow to their best ability and therefor earning more, which can be put into more investment in the farm, going through a cycle, forever expanding their quality of life.

Examples of how Fairtrade has helped: The Fairtrade Foundation has helped famers enormously in countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivore. There are about two million cocoa farmers in Ghana and Fairtrade has helped thousands of those famers. Kuapa Kokoo is a farmer-owned cocoa buying business and is 100% Fairtrade. Ghanaian farmers formed Kuapa Kokoo in 1993 with 2000 members. Today there are more than 45,000 members in over 1000 villages. Everyone of these famers has good life and a substantial amount of money all thanks to Fairtrade. Kuapa Kokoo gets ? 00 per tonne of cocoa beans extra from Fairtrade for community projects to help farmers buy clean toilets, better wells, better housing, and just generally improve their standard of living. All the Kuapa Kokoo farmers get an equal share of any profits made, this way they can all have good lives, instead of one getting loads of money, and the rest getting hardly any. The famers also get payed quickly and sufficiently meaning the famers never run out of money. Fairtrade offers educating in how to grow good quality cocoa and marketing. Conclusion “Has Fairtrade helped cocoa farmers in developing countries? ”

I think it is obvious that Fairtrade has helped developing countries like Ghana allot and that the cocoa industry wouldn’t be where it was today without Fairtrade. I think that Fairtrade has opened a door for the famers. They can expand their business and can have good lives. If the cocoa industries in developing countries start producing more money because of Fairtrade then this will help the economy and the country will become more developed. I think how Fairtrade is helping developing countries is great and will help the developing countries allot. Bibliography The Fairtrade Foundation Papapaa Wikipedia | Fairtrade


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