Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Challenge - Make Every Cup Matter!

"Before you've finished your breakfast this morning, you'll have relied on half the world"   - Martin Luther King Jr.
This is my favorite of the many Martin Luther King Jr. quotes that came raining down on my facebook wall last week.   It asks us to stop and ponder the relationship we have with the unseen producers, artisans and farmers across the globe - the people who sewed your shirt, picked your coffee beans, crafted your jewelry, cultivated your cocoa and picked your morning banana.  Do you think they received a fair wage, had the privilege of decent working conditions or could provide their children with an education?  Unfortunately, the answer in most cases is no. 
There are an estimated 1.4 billion people living in poverty and existing on less than $1.25 per day.  Did you know that 15,000 children aged 9 to 12 in the Ivory Coast alone have been sold into forced labor on conventional cotton, coffee, and cocoa plantations and that 284,000 children in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon are working in hazardous tasks on conventional cocoa farms?
Pretty awful right? But what can you do? Surely it's beyond your control. Not so!
You can buy Fair Trade products and vote with your dollars.
Fair Trade is a highly effective way to help producers help themselves. Fair trade is not about charity. It is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor.
So where do you begin?  
How about with the 2011 Challenge: Make Every Cup Matter?
Can you pledge to make every cup of coffee or tea that you drink a Fair Trade Certified cup?  We know that finding fair trade can be somewhat of a scavenger hunt, so how about simply committing to converting your daily cup of coffee and tea this year? You can now find Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea in nearly every grocery chain, in most coffee shops and in many restaurants. 
Just remember that every purchase matters.  With fair trade products you get quality products that improve lives and protect the planet. What you spend on day-to-day goods changes an entire community’s day-to-day lives.
So let me leave you with this one last Martin Luther King Jr. quote:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

1 comment:

My Nguyen said...

nothing like a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. to start off the day!