Fairtrade town volunteers have visited schools in Clonakilty this week to spread the message of Fairtrade: farmers deserve a fair price for their work. Fairtrade International’s focus this year was on female cocoa farmers, with women producing around 65 per cent of cocoa globally, growing the main ingredient in the chocolate that we love, the goal is to inform consumers and businesses about the real life situation for these women, they are living on less than €1 a day.
Clonakilty is also home to Ireland’s only Fairtrade chocolate producer, Exploding Tree, and Allison, a passionate advocate for cocoa, thinks that it’s only fair that farmers get paid a fair-share. “Farmers in West Africa; in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, grow 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa. The industry in this part of the world was developed to take advantage of slave and child labour, and young people are still smuggled across borders, forced to work with no contact with their families and no access to the basics, running water, education, healthcare, there are still over 30,000 slaves in the chocolate industry in West Africa as documented by the WHO, these are just the facts. Chocolate is something we love in Ireland, we are the third largest consumers per capita in the world, it is a luxury and something we often give as gifts to show our gratitude and love. It only makes sense that it shouldn’t be rooted in injustice. This isn’t about buying any particular brand of chocolate, but about asking all chocolate makers to join in the movement to create ‘100 per cent slave-free chocolate’. A movement coined by radical chocolate brand Tony Chocoloney, check them out they are transforming the industry.”