bakeitforward

bakeitforward

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661 weeks ago @ Trying to follow - Please Don’t Buy Cho... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm pretty new to economics, and am trying to fill my head with as much information as I can, so forgive me if this doesn't make sense. But this is why Bake it Forward isn't encouraging a boycott (at least as I understand it):

First of all, keep in mind that fairtrade chocolate companies provide really good jobs for people who really need them. The cacao industry is full of poverty and slavery, and these companies provide fair wages and healthy work environments in a region of the world that really needs them. Boycotting all chocolate would hurt that those companies right alongside the bad ones, and thus hurt the workers themselves.

At this point in time, there isn't a huge market for fairtrade chocolate because consumers prefer chocolate that is cheap and convenient, and companies respond to that demand. If more people were educated about the availability of fairtrade chocolate and the reasons to purchase it, that market would increase, and there would be space for larger companies to join the movement in order to share in on that potential profit.

If there is no demand for fairtrade chocolate, there will be no need for companies to produce it. Additionally, it's expensive for companies to make the switch to fairtrade, and they will not do it unless they are certain there is a market for it, so that they can make back the money they lost in the transition. Purchasing lots of fairtrade chocolate shows companies that the consumer demand is there, and that it's safe for them to transition their company. A boycott does nothing to grow the fairtrade market, and thus gives companies no incentive to switch. There's really no reason for a boycott, except for clearing one's own conscious- it's not proactive.

I agree with you that a lot of people are unwilling to make the switch because it's harder to find fairtrade chocolate. But if each person in this country purchased just a few fairtrade bars per year, this would vastly increase the fairtrade chocolate market and give lots of companies the incentive to make the switch. It doesn't necessarily have to be every single bar that people buy- every little bit will help.

661 weeks ago @ Trying to follow - Please Don’t Buy Cho... · 2 replies · +1 points

Thanks for sharing the site, Greg. And yes, please DO buy chocolate this Easter. Lots of chocolate. But fairtrade and ethically produced chocolate. This will shift the market toward fairtrade chocolate if enough people start to do it.

Check out http://bakeforward.com for lots of tips on how to have a slave-free Easter, as well as some cool awareness projects you can be a part of. And follow us on twitter @bakeitforward