Crazy for Cocoa Fairness: As brothers and now bikers, Brandon and Garrett Morris will pedal over 3300 miles across America from July to September
Brandon and Garrett
50k for Cameroon Study Center
Brandon and Garrett are working with Project Hope and Fairness to put an end to the injustices of the West African cocoa farming trade. Our goals are simple (with your help); to ride our bikes form Astoria, Or to New York and raise $50,000 to build a Cocoa Study Center in Cameroon, Africa. Project Hope and Fairness is a non-profit devoted to helping African cocoa farmers through direct assistance and education.
This center will have the capabilities to produce chocolate bean-to-bar and give the village an opportunity to earn money. The Study Center is also going to be a location for University students from America to go and study in the village. Eventually, we would like to establish field study opportunities, farmer exchanges, and training to create sustainable cocoa farming practices for both the environment and people.
Thank you !
To understand the importance of our mission, consider these facts. See Sources below.
1. 75% of American chocolate comes from beans grown in Ivory Coast
2. There are 600,000 cocoa farming families in Ivory Coast. They own on average 5 acres.
3. 60% of Ivorian children of cocoa farmers get no education at all.
4. Over 600,000 children work picking cocoa.
5. Large chocolate companies aren't doing enough about the situation.
6. Americans eat cheap chocolate.
Fact Number 1: when you eat a chocolate confection, think
about who produced it and under what conditions it was produced. Most of the chocolate manufactured in the United States comes from Ivorian beans. Do we as consumers have a responsibility here? If it matters to us how our shoes and clothing is manufactured in sweatshops overseas, shouldn't how the chocolate we eat is manufactured also matter?
Fact Number 2: cocoa beans are grown, fermented, and dried
by small farmers. This is especially true in West Africa, which supplies more than 70% of the world's cocoa. These farmers have nobody to represent them. Once there was an Ivorian governmental agency (Caisse de Stabilization) to ensure price stability for Ivorian farmers. Now, they likely receive a very small fraction of the cocoa bean's ultimate value.[[PASTING TABLES IS NOT SUPPORTED]]
Fact Number 3: when you buy chocolate bars
as a fundraiser for your child's education, purchase Fair Trade chocolate, which costs a little more but empowers the cocoa farmer by providing more money for his or her beans while helping the cocoa farming families live in a satisfactory way.
Fact Number 4: the charming creature
on the right is the Green Mamba snake. Its bite is quite lethal. Over 600,000 children are employed on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast. Most of them do not own the rubber boots which are essential for protection. A rubber boot costs $10 in Abidjan, but that is about 13% of the average cocoa worker's annual salary.
Fact Number 5: Large chocolate companies control
most of the American chocolate market. To date, not one of these companies produces Fair Trade-certified™ chocolate in the U.S. In Britain, NestlTM sells its own line of Fair-Trade-Certified™ chocolate. Generally, a publically traded company responds through its stockholders. If you want to make the greatest impression on a chocolate company, purchase stock and then demand that the company heed your wishes at a stockholders' meeting.
Fact Number 6: Americans eat cheap
chocolate. Instead of consuming 5 ounces of “junk” the next time you go to a movie theater, bring some Fair Trade chocolate with you. Eat smaller quantities, and enjoy the chocolate's flavor. Eating smaller portions is healthier for you and healthier for the farmer, as he or she is paid higher prices for higher quality beans. Ask your movie theater to purchase Fair-Trade-certified™ chocolate.
SOURCES: most of the numbers quoted above are derived from the USAID/chocolate industry supported study published in 2002, Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector of West Africa