ILRF and OCA call for stronger commitment to Fair Trade and Organic sourcing
This Wednesday, Mars, Incorporated announced a commitment to source 100,000 metric tons of cocoa certified by the Rainforest Alliance annually for use in Mars products. The first product to use Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa will be Galaxy Chocolate in the UK and Ireland beginning in 2010.
A new report released by the International Trade Union Confederation predicts a worsening of the already serious global food crisis unless urgent action is taken by governments and international agencies. The number of people without enough to eat increased by 150 million in 2008, and the global economic crisis is likely to result in a further 200 million falling into absolute poverty.
The ITUC strongly protests against the latest wave of repression that has targeted the Haft Tapeh union in Iran, which is a member of the Global Union Federation IUF. Several trade unionists have been subject to heavy-handed arrest, and subsequently released but Ali Nejati, the president of the union, arrested on 8 March, is still detained. This arrest follows a court proceeding against five trade union leaders from the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Plantation.
Cadbury and the Fairtrade Foundation today announced plans to achieve Fairtrade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk, the nation’s top selling chocolate bar, by end of Summer 2009. This groundbreaking move will result in the tripling of sales of cocoa under Fairtrade terms for cocoa farmers in Ghana, both increasing Fairtrade cocoa sales for existing certified farming groups, as well as opening up new opportunities for thousands more farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system.
Unique to Divine Chocolate, one of the leading dedicated Fairtrade companies in the UK and the USA, is the amazing story of how smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana came to own 45% of a chocolate company. A company that has pioneered the market for Fair Trade chocolate; a company with products in all the major retail markets that delivers profits to the farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative; a company that aims to change the way the chocolate industry works forever.
Monday, February 9, 2009— 236 leaders of faith-based organizations, union and labor rights groups, Filipino-American associations and academics sent a letter of concern today to members of Congress protesting human rights abuses by the Philippines, funded by US foreign military assistance.
The Dole Food Company in Peru has agreed to a settlement with its subcontracted banana workers. The harvesting and packing workers had been denied the pay for the weekly rest day for nearly five years.
This Sunday, millions of sports fans around the world will watch this year’s National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl Halftime show sponsored by Bridgestone and featuring Bruce Springsteen. Meanwhile, the halftime show’s title sponsor will continue its long history of exploitation of workers and the environment in Liberia.
National retailer JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) has stopped using Oak Harbor Freight Lines to ship its merchandise in the western United States. This decision comes on the heels of a report by the International Labor Rights Forum, which found that Oak Harbor Freight Lines has violated international labor rights standards. Teamster members employed by Oak Harbor Freight have been on strike since September 22 because of violations of federal labor laws that protect workers’ rights, such as coercing and threatening employees, and making unlawful changes to working conditions.
International Labor Rights Forum released a new report finding that Oak Harbor Freight Lines violated international labor rights standards. Oak Harbor is a trucking firm headquartered in Auburn, Washington, that provides over-the-road transportation and delivery services for many commercial clients, including the company’s the Gap, Inc., the Maytag Corporation and others.
The publication of this year’s ITUC Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations reveals an appalling record of union-busting, anti-union laws, intimidation and violence against workers’ representatives in 2007. A worldwide total of 91 trade unionists were murdered for defending workers’ rights, with Colombia, where 39 lost their lives, by far the worst offender yet again.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) today made the following statements in response to the findings of their congressionally mandated report on the cocoa industry’s progress in eradicating child labor.