cocoa farming


woman’s history meme | [1/10] Forgotten (or mostly forgotten) Princesses

QUEEN VICTORIA’S GODDAUGHTER : L A D Y  S A R A  F O R B E S  B O N E T T A  // Originally named “Aina,” Sara Forbes Bonetta (b. 1843) was a West African Egbabo Omoba who was orphaned at the young age of five, sold into slavery, and then in a remarkable twist of events, freed as the goddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Though she was intended to be a human sacrifice, Captain Frederick Forbes of the Royal Navy convinced the girl’s captors to instead give her to the Queen as a gift. Upon meeting, Victoria was impressed by the girl’s exceptional intelligence and had Sara freed and raised as her goddaughter. 

In the summer of 1862, Sara married Captain James Pinson Labulo Davies, a Yoruba renaissance man of great considerable wealth. Following their wedding the couple moved to colonial Lagos, Africa, where they would go on to have three children.

Sara Forbes Bonetta died on August 15th, 1880 of tuberculosis at the capital of a Portuguese island. In her honor, her husband erected an eight-foot-high granite monument at Ijon in Western Lagos where the had a cocoa farm. She was 37 years old.
Nestlé admits slavery in Thailand while fighting child labour lawsuit in Ivory Coast
The company has won plaudits for its admission of forced labour in the Thai seafood industry but much of the supply chain remains hidden
By Annie Kelly

It’s hard to think of an issue that you would less like your company to be associated with than modern slavery. Yet last November Nestlé, the world’s largest foodmaker and one of the most recognisable household brands, went public with the news it had found forced labour in its supply chains in Thailand and that its customers were buying products tainted with the blood and sweat of poor, unpaid and abused migrant workers.

By independently disclosing that Nestlé customers had unwittingly bought products contaminated by the very worst labour abuses, the company said it was moving into a new era of self-policing of its own supply chains. A year-long investigation by the company confirmed media reports that the seafood industry in Thailand is riddled with forced labour and human trafficking and that slave labour was involved in the production of its Fancy Feast catfood brand.

Nestlé also made sure to make it clear that no other company sourcing seafood from Thailand, the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, could have avoided being exposed to the same risks.

“As we’ve said consistently, forced labour and human rights abuses have no place in our supply chain,” said Magdi Batato, Nestlé’s executive vice-president in charge of operations, in a written statement. “Nestlé believes that by working with suppliers we can make a positive difference to the sourcing of ingredients.”
Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK
Read more

The disclosure was considered by many to be ground-breaking. Nick Grono, the chief executive of NGO the Freedom Fund, which has invested heavily in anti-trafficking initiatives in Thailand, believes Nestlé’s admission could be a considerable force in shifting the parameters of what can be expected of businesses when it comes to supply chain accountability.

“Nestlé’s decision to conduct this investigation is to be applauded,” he says. “If you’ve got one of the biggest brands in the world proactively coming out and admitting that they have found slavery in their business operations, then it’s potentially a huge game-changer and could lead to real and sustained change in how supply chains are managed.”

The research (pdf) for Nestlé’s report was conducted by US corporate accountability business Verité, which works closely with organisations trying to help improve their supply chain transparency.

Last year Verité was involved in another exercise in self-disclosure by outdoor clothing company Patagonia, which announced that it had discovered several points in its supply chain in Taiwan where forced labour and unethical recruitment practices were flourishing.

Verite’s chief executive, Dan Viederman, said: “In the last six months Verité has been involved in two high-profile disclosures from major brands and one of the most important lessons for us to recognise is that in neither case did the companies suffer greatly in terms of being associated with these labour conditions. Instead, they received some credit [for] being bold enough to be associated with this.”

“I really hope that the recent examples help mobilise companies to be bolder and investigate more deeply because soon the reputational damage in not doing so could be considerable”

For Viederman, the biggest issue is working out how to manage the disclosures into actual change for vulnerable people trapped at the bottom of global commodity chains.

Cleaning up the supply chain

There is also a growing legal imperative for many large multinationals to start seriously engaging with labour abuses in their business operations. Legislation in both the US and the UK requires larger companies to publish annual reports on their efforts to keep their businesses slavery-free.

The success of the 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act has been patchy but it has spawned a series of civil litigation suits, with consumers or workers using the legislation to launch legal actions against companies they accuse of making misleading public statements on their anti-slavery efforts.

Nestlé is one of the companies facing legal action in the US. Last week the company, along with Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, failed in its bid to get the US Supreme Court to throw out a lawsuit seeking to hold them liable for the alleged use of child slaves in cocoa farming in the Ivory Coast.

This puts the company in the unfortunate position of disclosing slavery in one part of its operations, while at the same time fighting through the courts to fend off accusations that it exists in another – more profitable – part of its business.

Andrew Wallis, chief executive of Unseen UK, an anti-trafficking charity advocating for more supply chain accountability, said: “For me there is a big issue with one part of Nestlé saying, ‘OK we have been dragged along with everyone else to face the issue of slavery in Thailand and so let’s take the initiative and do something about it’, and at the same time fighting tooth and nail through the courts to avoid charges of child slavery in its core operations in the Ivory Coast.”

He argues that Nestlé’s self-reporting could also be seen as a tactic to head off or deflate other pending civil litigation suits.

“It’s easy to own up to something that has already been uncovered,” he says. “By the time Nestlé owned up to slavery in the Thai seafood industry it was accepted knowledge. It’ll be a brave new world when companies are actually doing the real investigation to probe into part of their supply chains that have remained outside the public domain.

“We need to move into a space where we say, ‘We’re all guilty; let’s get past that to a place where we can properly address the problem’ – and I don’t think we’re there yet.”

herpetologicallysilver  asked:

I LOVE GABOON PIT VIPERS I know it's a bad idea (probably) but I would SMOOCH that HORNED SNOOT! Tell me what chu know about those derpy mother tuckers!


The Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) is a subsaharan sweetie of serpentine extremes. She’s the heaviest viper and has the longest fangs and the greatest venom yield of any venomous snake! The only venomous snake that can be heavier is the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), and that’s actually up for debate. There’s alleged specimens of Gaboon Viper that have weighed up to 44 pounds, but there’s no actual evidence of those specimens on record. The heaviest verified specimen was caught in 1973 and weighed 25 pounds with an empty stomach. The average Gaboon Viper, however, usually doesn’t weigh more than 19 pounds, while the average Eastern Diamondback tends to weigh 11 pounds. However, the record-holding Diamondback weighed 34 pounds. (And for comparison, the longest venomous snake, the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) has a weight record of 28 pounds and usually weighs about 13.)

As far as temper goes, the Gaboon Viper is one of the most placid snakes. Not venomous snakes, snakes in general. There’s many reports of people stepping on these snakes and the snake just slithering away. However, they’re still a venomous snake, so free handling is a dangerous, terrible idea. Don’t do it. Ever.

The nasal horns on the Gaboon Viper are there for camouflage purposes. These snakes are ambush hunters, and so the horns kinda break up the outline of their head while they hide in the leaves. They do really well in all sorts of environments, including swamps, untouched rainforest, reclaimed cocoa plantations, and coffee farms!

Image Sources: 1, 2

anonymous asked:

What was your reason for saying you should avoid products from Nestlè?

- Rainforest destruction and killing of orangutans for palm oil

- Child labour and trafficking on cocoa farms

- Their (former?) CEO said water wasn’t a human right and should be privatized 

- Selling and promoting infant formula that has led to deaths of babies in developing countries

- Abusing water resources

I don’t know if any of this has changed in the meantime!

Inside Big Chocolate's Child Labor Problem
 by Brian O'Keefe Photographs by Benjamin Lowy

For a decade and a half, the big chocolate makers have promised to end child labor in their industry—and have spent tens of millions of dollars in the effort. But as of the latest estimate, 2.1 million West African children still do the dangerous and physically taxing work of harvesting cocoa. What will it take to fix the problem?

The boy with the machete is watching us. We’re sitting in an SUV in the middle of a rugged, red-dirt road about 10 miles outside the city of Abengourou, in eastern Ivory Coast. It’s just after 8 a.m. on a Saturday, and the early morning haze hasn’t yet burned off, so a mist hangs over the fields around us. We’ve been slowly bumping along on our way to meet some farmers in a nearby village called Appoisso but stop for a moment to take in the scene. Suddenly the boy is standing right next to us. He looks curious, but wary too.

We scramble out to greet him. In French my translator asks him his name. “Ibrahim Traoré,” he replies. How old is he? “Fifteen.”

Ibrahim is wearing ripped jeans, a worn, royal-blue Chelsea soccer shirt with the name of the team’s sponsor—Samsung—in large white letters across the front, and the same kind of clear plastic sandals that are everywhere in this part of West Africa. He holds his dusty blade casually against his left hip.

There’s a sign behind him that appears to have been erected by the Ivorian government as part of a campaign to educate farmers about children’s rights. non it says in big, red letters. Then, again in French: “The worst forms of child labor.” Below that is a drawing of a young boy carrying a huge sack of cocoa beans with a big X over it. Underneath is another sentence: “The place for children is in school.”

Ibrahim tells us that he was born in Mali. He moved with his father to Ivory Coast when he was little—he’s not sure exactly how old he was—and he’s been working on cocoa farms ever since. What about school? No, he says, he’s never been to school. Is the work he does hard? “Yes,” he says deliberately. “It’s very hard.”

As we talk, a parade of younger boys, many holding machetes as well, walk by on their way to the fields. Ibrahim allows his eyes to follow them. After a few minutes he says it’s time for him to go and marches after the other children, the machete swinging loosely in his hand.

For the $100 billion chocolate candy industry, the story of Ibrahim represents a serious problem—one that it has been vowing to fix for 15 years without great success, and which has gained new urgency in recent months.

Child labor in West African cocoa farming first became a cause célèbre around the turn of the century when a number of pieces of investigative journalism focused the world’s attention on the plight of children who had been trafficked to Ivory Coast to farm cocoa, often from other former French colonies such as Mali and Burkina Faso, and held as slave laborers. In a documentary that aired on the BBC, filmmakers interviewed young boys in Ivory Coast who said they’d been beaten and forced to work long hours without pay. One who said he’d been working on a cocoa farm for five years was asked what he thought about people enjoying chocolate in other parts of the world. “They are enjoying something that I suffered to make,” the boy answered. “They are eating my flesh.”…….

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