Emancipation Proclamation or the Bittersweet Truth About the Cocoa Trade

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What are the strengths, limitations and challenges of ethical and socially responsible business practice? Discuss with reference to case studies of your choice. -------------------------------------------------

Emancipation Proclamation or the Bittersweet Truth about the Cocoa Trade

In April 1791 William Wilberforce introduced the first parliamentary bill to abolish the cross Atlantic slave trade. Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 outlawing the ownership of another human being.

In our present days, over 200 years later, according to Amnesty International there are 12 million people, mostly women and children enslaved worldwide. This hidden world of slavery exists right under our noses, within the boarders of our countries and most people wouldn’t even believe it’s real and possible under modern conditions. As customers and potential business owners it is our humanitarian responsibility to take action through our choices, to raise awareness and to say NO to slavery.

One way to do that is to buy Fairtrade.

The average British family spends around £130 a year on their 1.8 children’s chocolate treats. The 11-year-old Aly Diabate was sold into slavery for the same amount of money in 1999. He was forced to work 100 hours a week harvesting cocoa beans. He never tasted chocolate and was repeatedly beaten as a punishment. He was held locked into a shed with 18 other boys and was only let out to work.

We live in financial times: ask any business owner and the main concern will be the profit. Morality and education might not always come first on the global and well demanding market of cocoa trade. To confront injustice and poverty and care for those in need, us customers and business owners must forge a strong alliance for Fairtrade, to tackle the needs of the vulnerable and marginalised in the community. Only so can a business become sustainable and claim to be ethical. The reward might not always come in a form of higher profit. Our investment will be harvested by the following generations-literary.

Divine’s story began in 1998 with the launch of the first ever farmer-owned chocolate company teaming up with the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana. Committed to Fairtrade Divine does not cheat the cocoa traders by using the wrong scales or offering the lowest possible price for their product. Their trading is see-through, accountable and democratic and fair which has resulted in about 40.000 farmers joining in the company in approximately 1300 village societies.

Divine aims to challenge the authority of the global supply chain, empowering the farmers producing the cocoa.

By us consuming Fairtrade products we are helping underdeveloped countries to develop. It does make a difference for business owners, small businesses and the workers, hence the workers’ families. Therefore buying a Fairtrade product we are helping a community and furthermore a whole country to develop. The benefits of Fairtrade go beyond and above economic justice:

Both ends: farmers and consumers benefit from the concept of Fairtrade.

The communities will flourish with money transparently reinvested in education and growth. A strict certification criteria ensures that the product will be free of genetically modified organisms and will have reduced use of agrochemicals. The customer will rest assured that the chocolate they purchased is the highest quality. The farmers involved in Fairtrade are granted the power to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of their communities. As previously mentioned, Divine’s business model was a first on the market where farmers were given the ownership of the company. Furthermore Kuapa Kokoo has an opportunity to provide input into decisions about how Divine is produced with two representatives being actual directors on the company's board, and one out of four board meetings every year is held in Ghana. As...
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