The other day I posted on cultural sensitivity. Today I’m doing ethics, cos it’s Easter. Not because I’m spiritually moved by the current religous festival, but because it’s one of the great annual choc-fests of the western world (the others being valentine’s day, mothers day …).
Now I’m going to be very hard-line here – I don’t think you can be involved in cross-cultural relationships with Africans & not care about fair trade. Africa, an incredibly resource-rich country, supplies much of the world’s cocoa, tea and coffee. In Australia these are symbols of comfort, relaxation, indulgence & pleasure. So I think it’s only fair that cocoa, tea and coffee producers get to enjoy a similar level of comfort, relaxation, indulgence and pleasure.
I’m not saying all Africans have terrible lives & awfully unhappy. Just that there’s an enormous gap in standard of living between the producers and the consumers. I think many people would be appalled to know that — for example — in DadaK’s village, where most of the villagers are cocoa farmers, there is no running water or electricity, and when I was last there one of his nieces was diagnosed with scurvy. I know that was a while ago, but I don’t think much has changed. Certainly it hasn’t in the power & water department.
So … make sure those farmers get a better deal in the global market place: buy fair trade easter eggs today.