Citizenship Fairtrade 101

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Information about Citizenship Fairtrade 101

Published on January 6, 2009



Citizenship – Fair trade Project. Produce a list of as many fair trade projects as you can find • • Beer & Ale Ice Cream • • Biscuits Jams & Spreads • • Cakes & Brownies Juice & Soft Drinks • • Cereals & Bars Nuts/nut Oil • • Chocolate Quinoa • • Cocoa Rice • • Coffee Spirits • • Cotton Sports Balls • • Dried Fruit Sugar • • Flowers Sweets • • Fresh Fruits Syrup • • Fresh Veg Tea & Herbal Tea • • Herbs & Spices Wine • Honey • • Hot Chocolate Yoghurt Choose one product and find out where it is produced – the process it then goes through to get to our shelves/shops. Divine chocolate from bean to bar Cocoa Production in Ghana Cocoa cultivation began in Ghana, according to the legend, fostered by a blacksmith called Tetteh Quarshie, who, in 1895, returned to his farm in the Eastern Region of Ghana with cocoa beans in his pocket from the island of Fernando Po (now Bioko) in Equatorial Guinea where there was already intensive plantation production of slave-grown cocoa. Cocoa is now cultivated in six regions in Ghana: Western, Central, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Ashanti and the Volta regions. At its peak it accounted for about 66% of the country's foreign exchange though has now declined to around 35 -40%. Growing the cocoa Steph Montanaro 10O

The cocoa for Divine chocolate is grown in the southern regions of Ghana by a farmers' co-operative called Kuapa Kokoo. Cocoa is usually grown on small plots of land although there are some plantations being established in Asia. In Ghana plantations did not take hold and account for only 1% of cocoa production there. Most Ghanaian cocoa is grown on small family farms, typically of between 2-3 hectares. It is usually intercropped with other plants and trees, such as plantains (part of the banana family), maize and spices. These not only provide shade whilst the young cocoa is growing but can also provide up to 65% of the family's own food supply, as well as additional income. Cocoa trees grow to between 12 to 15 metres high, and it is about 3-4 years before the flowers first appear. The tiny blossoms are so intricate that insects have difficulty finding their way inside to fertilise the pollen. Because this vital journey to reach the flowers' stamen is so difficult, out of the 10,000 blossoms produced by each tree, only about 20 - 30 are pollinated and become cocoa pods. Each pod contains about 40 seeds which become cocoa beans. It takes one tree's whole crop for the year to make three big bars of Divine. Most species of cocoa tree produce two crops per year. The cocoa pods ripen and are ready for harvesting around 5 to 6 months after pollination. In Ghana, the main harvest (70 % of the year's crop) is between October and January, with a smaller, secondary crop ready in June. The giant pods, which look like yellow rugby balls, grow straight out of the trunk and branches of the tree. Harvesting, fermenting and drying the beans The harvest time is crucial if good quality beans are to be produced. If the pods are too ripe they are vulnerable to disease, or the beans might start to germinate. However, if the pods are too green the cocoa beans will be of very poor quality, because not enough of the 'aromatics' which produce the familiar cocoa flavour are produced. Harvesting is very labour intensive, the farmers cut the pods from the trees, this has to be done carefully in order to avoid damaging the rest of Steph Montanaro 10O

the tree. The pods are then split open with huge sharp bladed knives and the slimy pulp containing the beans is scraped out. Again this needs to be done precisely in order not to damage the beans. There have been attempts to develop machines to undertake this work, but mechanised cutting systems often damage the cocoa beans and so are not widely used. Once harvested, the beans undergo a two-stage process to prepare them for sale: fermentation and drying. These processes begin the transition from bitter cocoa bean to what eventually ends up as the taste we all love in chocolate bars. Fermentation is a vital step in developing the cocoa bean's 'aromatics'. They are heaped up on dark green plantain leaves and then the leaves are wrapped around them. These parcels are left in the heat for 5-8 days to ferment. The fleshy pulp which holds the beans inside the pod is crucial to the development of the cocoa flavour - this pulp holds the sugars, acids and yeasts which kick-start the fermentation process. As fermentation progresses, the temperature inside the heap increases, this removes the germinating power from the bean, the pulp turns to liquid and drains away and the organic compounds in the bean start to change to the colour and flavour that we associate with chocolate. Finally the beans are dried. They are spread out on large tables in the sun and turned regularly to ensure they dry evenly and do not stick together. The drying process takes about 5-12 days and in this time the moisture content is reduced from 60% to less than 8%. The beans are then packed up into jute bags and stored in fully ventilated warehouses. The Kuapa Kokoo farmers carry out all the processes described above. Each farmer will harvest and ferment his or her beans and the drying is done on large tables used by the whole village. Each Kuapa village society has a local recorder who is responsible for collecting and weighing the dried beans and ensuring that their quality is high enough to sell. He is also responsible for arranging for Kuapa to send transport to collect the beans; he receives payment from Kuapa and distributes the payment to the farmers. Steph Montanaro 10O

Kuapa then transports the bagged cocoa beans to warehouses at the port in Tema, near Accra, Ghana's capital. At this point Cocobod, the Government agency with responsibility for the export and international sales of all the cocoa beans from Ghana, buys the beans from Kuapa. Manufacturing the chocolate The beans are then shipped by a Dutch importer to Europe, where the dry, hard cocoa beans are transformed into scrumptious, luxuriously melting chocolate. Primary Manufacturing The beans are sorted and cleaned and then roasted at between 120ºC - 149ºC. The roasting develops the colour and is the second stage in the development of the chocolate flavour that began during fermentation on the cocoa farm. After roasting the beans are crushed to release the internal nib from the shells. They are then blown through an air tunnel. This winnowing process blows the shell fragments up and away from the cocoa nibs. The nibs are then ground into a thick brown liquid called cocoa mass. This is made up of rich cocoa butter (55-60%) with fine cocoa particles suspended in it. The cocoa mass is then heavily pressed until the cocoa butter is squeezed out, and it is separated into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. The cocoa powder can then be used in chocolate drinks, confectionary and cooking. Secondary Manufacturing Cocoa butter and cocoa mass is combined in varying proportions and the sugar and milk for milk chocolate is added. This mixture is then stirred continuously over several days in a process called conching which gives the finished chocolate its smooth, silky texture. It is then cooled slowly, whilst it is still moving in the machine. This is called tempering. The resulting mixture is called couverture and forms the basis of most finished Steph Montanaro 10O

chocolate products. It can then be moulded into chocolate bars, poured over individual confectionary items, shaped into eggs and used in ice cream. White chocolate has no cocoa powder, only cocoa butter and sugar. Other ingredients such as nuts can be added, as well as any flavourings that the manufacturer puts in. A lot of English chocolate also has vegetable fat added. Divine only uses cocoa butter, which, because of its melting temperature, gives it the luxurious melt in the mouth feel, the added lecithin is not genetically modified and the vanilla is natural rather than synthetic. Once the chocolate is ready, it is wrapped and packed, transported to large handling warehouses and then finally distributed to the shops where you, the consumer, can buy it. Find a definition of fair- trade Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price) What are the advantages of fair- trade? Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. Why should we buy fair- trade? As consumers should we be responsible for people in other countries through the choices we make about what to buy?? We should buy fair trade because the farmers get a better price for their hard work and intern is able to provide better for their families and not have to send their children out to work. Also we should be responsible for what we buy because if we keep buying it nothing is going to change. If everybody switched to the few fair trade items out there all of the companies would have to change. Steph Montanaro 10O

Produce a case study of someone who has been affected and benefited from fair- trade – a small farmer. Gerardo Arias Camacho, coffee producer, Costa Rica Gerardo is a coffee farmer in Llano Bonito, San José, Costa Rica. He is a board member on his village cooperative, which is a member of the Fairtrade consortium COOCAFE. He is married with three children. In the 1980s, the price of coffee fell so low that it didn't cover the cost of production. Many farmers abandoned their land and went to the cities to find work. Some even left the country. In the mid-90s, I decided to go to America to make money and support my family. After eight years, I had earned enough to buy the family farm so that my parents could retire. But coffee prices were still so low that I was forced to go back to the States for another two years. The coffee market was so unstable. We did not have a local school, good roads or bridges. Now that our consortium is Fairtrade-certified, prices are stable and we receive a guaranteed premium. We spend the money on education, environmental protection, roads and bridges, and improving the old processing plant. We have sponsored a scholarship programme so that our kids can stay in school. I believe that my cooperative would be out of business if it wasn't for Fairtrade. Free trade is not responsible trade. When prices go down, farmers produce more and prices drop further. Fairtrade is the way trade should be: fair, responsible and sustainable. Which supermarkets support fair- trade and how? Obviously the co-operative supports fair trade seen as that’s what they are all about. However other supermarkets like Tesco and Asda also stock fair trade products too even if they do stock the other kind as well. How are small farmers and large companies involved in fair- trade? Because the smaller farmers sell the produce to bigger companies to sell on with other small farmers produce as well How can consumers find out where and how products are made? Steph Montanaro 10O

On some fair trade products it tells you where it was made and the fact that it is fair trade some will also tell you where it is made. Another way to find out is on the internet people generally wont hid the fact if it is fair trade but it may not say out rightly that it is. Steph Montanaro 10O

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