Domestic Work is Real Work

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Did you know there is a whole sector of American workers who do not have the right to organize, to overtime pay, or legal protection from workplace discrimination and harassment? Domestic workers, such as those providing care for children and the elderly, are actually exempt from a large number of the employment rights many Americans take for granted. Excluded from the Fair […]

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Hershey Listens…

and Reveals Timeline to Transition to Certified Cocoa Sources Two weeks ago, I attended the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG) hosted by the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.  I was disappointed in what I heard from the Hershey company. Five months after Hershey’s October 2012 announcement of plans to certify the company’s cocoa supply chain by 2020, all Hershey had to offer the CLCCG was its minor support of  CocoaLink, a text messaging program for farmers in Ghana.  It remains to be seen whether or not CocoaLink is effective in preventing child labor, as their has been no data reported on the issue.  What we do know is that 30% of the messages sent focus on social issues, a portion of which mention child labor specifically.   This program reaches fewer than 1% of Ghanaian farmers, and can demonstrate no measurable effect on the child labor problem.  The program has yet to be introduced in Cote D’Ivoire. Green America and our allies in the “Raise the Bar, Hershey coalition” reacted by immediately releasing a public comparison of the social-justice commitments of the big chocolate companies. One week later, on March 21, Hershey updated the terms of its commitment, pledging for the first time that 10 percent of its cocoa purchases will be certified by the end of this year.   We’ve seen that constant vigilance and pressure pays off in pushing companies to do the right thing.  We’ll hold Hershey to its new 10-percent by 2013 commitment, and we’ll keep pushing the company […]

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Changes in the world of Fair Trade Labeling: What’s a Green Consumer to do?

Fair Trade USA's new label

On September 15, Fair Trade USA (FTUSA), the United States’ labeling body for fair trade certified products announced that it would be leaving Fairtrade International (FLO), the international fair trade system.  Previously, certification for fair trade has always happened under FLO, which includes a network of 19 national labeling initiatives around the world Fair Trade USA cites several reasons for this […]

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