Today, over 2 million children still work in hazardous conditions in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana; and the average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire lives on less than 40p a day.
The Fairtrade Foundation has produced ‘Don’t Feed Exploitation’ – a hard-hitting film that hopes to remind people to not be swayed by pretty packaging and question where their food comes from. It will form the central pillar of the 23rd annual Fairtrade Fortnight initiative (27th Feb – 12th March) and looks to tackle exploitation head on.
Indeed a recent survey revealed 70% of Brits said they want to make sure that their food and drink is not produced in exploitative conditions, yet the problem is still widespread.
Michael Gidney, CEO of Fairtrade, offers a reason for the disparity: “When we reach for our everyday foods without necessarily questioning what lies behind them, seduced by nice packaging or attractive products and brands, we may be unconsciously feeding exploitation.”
To show how buying Fairtrade can make a difference, the film, ‘Don’t Feed Exploitation’, sees young children, working for the fake ‘Farley & Bell’ home produce delivery service, turning up on customers’ doorsteps with a food delivery.
With its pretty packaging and friendly street sales staff, customers were easily drawn into buying from the service earlier. Real reactions were caught on camera before the stunt was revealed. In this way the film brings the realities of child exploitation – one of the most serious consequences of unfair trade – closer to home.
Unfair trade is particularly pertinent in 2017 when, following Brexit, the UK will need to renegotiate more than fifty international trade deals; and no one knows yet what this will mean for farmers and workers in poor countries.