Blog Action Day: the human right to health


My son’s uncle Nkrumah, a cocoa farmer.

In the UN declaration on human rights the human right to health is covered by Article 25:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care ….[etc]

I take a personal interest in this. A few weeks ago, one of my son’s uncles died. Of typhoid. He barely scraped past the average Ghanaian life expectancy of 61 – 62 years. Continue reading


No more blood chocolate?

Eaten these recently? Ghanaian cocoa beans.

Eaten these recently? Ghanaian cocoa beans.

I hear that Cadbury have decided to use Fair Trade cocoa in their dairy milk chocolate bars and hot chocolate powder in the UK. This is very good news.

I’ve been a supporter of fair trade products for many years, even before I married into a family of Ghanaian cocoa farmers, and well before it was easy to buy fair trade products.  It just made sense to me that people should get a fair price for their product and their labour. So it’s been good to see the slow growth of awareness, the appearance of the fair trade logo on supermarket shelves, and to reach a point where chocolate giant Cadbury takes such a progressive step is very, very hopeful. Continue reading

Coals to Newcastle

Perhaps the equivalent phrase for the modern age would be “Chocolate to Ghana”. Ghana’s one of the world’s biggest cocoa producers but it doesn’t export actual chocolate – or only in peoples’ hand luggage. It doesn’t have much of a chocolate industry, so all the cocoa goes overseas. Continue reading

Easter ethics

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 …). Continue reading