天神的食物

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天神的食物

點解情人節要送朱古力?當中有很多不同的原因和解讀。其中一個是與可可樹有關的意義:朱古力來自可可豆,而可可樹的學名為“Theobroma cacao”希臘語的意思是「天神的食物」,可想而知,朱古力有多神奇。而可可豆內有安多芬,是人體內也有的物質,吃了會令人開心、情緒高漲,更有戀愛的感覺,所以,朱古力能不送給情人嗎?在與情人分享一盒令人心甜和戀愛的朱古力的同時,更可保障生產可可豆的農民可以得到温飽和生計,孩子可以上學,是否更温暖人心?這個情人節,大家可以選擇送贈公平貿易朱古力,把愛傳開去!

由於可可樹只可以在熱帶地方種植(距離赤度10度以內的熱帶地區),所以出產國多為貧窮的發展中國家。當中,西非的科特迪瓦便是最大的可可豆出口國,包辦了全球1/3的可可豆,加納則排第二。可是,可可對這些國家的一些孩子來說,並不代表開心、情緒高漲或戀愛,而是饑餓、虐打和危險。
原來,由於貧窮,不少孩子(9-12歲)被迫在可可田工作。據估計,單在科特迪瓦,便有28萬兒童被迫在可可田長時間工作,每週可高達80-100小時,不少兒童被虐打、或不獲發食物,以迫令他們勤勞工作。而身材矮小的兒童,更要以大刀收割可可,期間不時受傷。比外,他們要噴灑殺蟲劑,令他們也中毒。這些兒童的遭遇,與童奴無異。當中更有1.2萬為人口販子柺賣到可可田的,所以他們不會收到人工,只有食住。[Ref: CorpWatch]

這些都是貧窮和不公平貿易所做成的問題:由於貧窮,兒童被柺賣,也有父母或親友因沒有能力照顧小孩,以50-100美元賣出小童,希望他們能在可可田工作,生存下去;而可可田的主人,因可可收購價每況愈下,便聘用童工/買童奴以降低成本。因此,這「天神的食物」背後,是無數失去童年的孩子的故事,是無數貧窮和生離死別的故事...
這些悲哀的狀況是可以改變的。工作可以多方面進行,例如:在貧困地區開展扶貧工作、揭發不公平的貿易、倡議對貧窮人有利的貿易制度和推廣公平貿易訊息,購買公平貿易產品。作為消費者,我們可以參與解決這問題,以我們的消費力量投票。

出產公平貿易朱古力的公司必須以公道的價錢,向農民收購可可豆,確保農民收回成本,和得到基本的生活開支,可以送孩上學和得到温飽。這樣,可排除童奴的出現。再者,朱古力公司也必須支付「社區發展金」給予生產可可豆的合作社,以協助當地社區的發展。「社區發展金」由合作社按照其社員的意願,自行決定用於那些項目之上。如果可可田需聘用工人,則必需保障勞工利益,支付最低工資、保障工業安全,並且不可顧用15歲以下童工。如果有已招聘的童工,顧主必須讓兒童上學,提供就學的時間和學費。

以上規定,由國際公平貿易標籤組織 Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International 發牌及監察。所以,如果可以以一盒公平貿易朱古力與愛人分享,可以減少童奴的出現。讓「天神的食物」回復其真正的意義。你願意把愛傳開去嗎?今個情人節開始,便選購公平貿易朱古力,一起推動改變!

在香港,公平棧從2007年起引入Divine Chocolate 這個公平貿易品牌的朱古力,該公司不單以公平貿易價向西非加納農民組成的合作社收購可可豆,以社區發展金協助當地發展,協助農民得到温飽,改善社區設施。農民合作社更擁有讓公司的45%股權,所以,公司的利潤,直接回饋這西非貧窮社區。而農民因為出售可可豆而得到安穩的生活,可以更用心生產高品質的可可豆,令朱古力味道更好。所以,Divine Chocolate也演釋了Divine的真義,而這「天神的食物」,我們也得以分享。

佩鳳

公平棧

附錄:國際公平貿易標籤組織有關童工的標準(節錄)
附錄:節錄國際公平貿易標籤組織有關童工的標準
http://www.fairtrade.net/fileadmin/user_upload/content/2009/standards/documents/0410_EN_Generic_Fairtrade_Standard_HL_Aug_2009_EN_amended_version_04-10.pdf

 

1.3 Freedom of Labour

FLO follows ILO Conventions 29, 105, 138 and 182 on child labour and forced labour. Forced or bonded labour must not occur. Bonded labour can be the result of different forms of debt owed by the workers to the company or to middlemen. Children may only work if their education is not jeopardised by them doing so. If children work, they shall not execute tasks that are particularly hazardous for them because of their age.

 

1.3.1 Minimum requirements

1.3.1.1 Forced labour, including bonded or involuntary prison labour does not occur.

As defined by ILO conventions 29 and 105, forced labour includes work that is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered him or herself voluntarily.

 

The company must not retain any part of the workers’ salary, benefits, property or documents in order to force them to remain. The company must also refrain from any form of physical or psychological measures requiring workers to remain employed by the company.

 

The company must explain to all workers that each worker is free to leave at any time, with a due notice period as per his or her contract. The term ‘bonded labour’ includes all loans from a

company to a worker with unreasonably high interest rates.

 

1.3.1.2 Child labour does not occur. Children below the age of 15 are not employed. No further recruitment of children is allowed.

 

Where children have worked or been employed in the past it is expected that the company has put in place a remediation policy to fully comply with the standard requirement within one year of certification. The objectives of the remediation policy are to ensure that any children who once worked for the employer and who no longer do so not enter into worse forms of work.

 

It is expected that there is a register of all workers under the age of 15 indicating their age and their work. Their conditions of work should be compliant with ILO conventions for work given to children below the age of 15. ‘Work’ also relates to adults bringing children to the workplace, either in order to assist them or to do other work.

 

It is also expected that such a policy would include how to ensure and enable access to education for the said child until he/she is no longer a child. This means that the company ensures that the child can afford to go to school. The company covers the costs of education, and/or hires members of the family so that the family can cover the cost of education, and/or pays to the family the equivalent in lost income (See also 1.1.2.2).

 

1.3.1.3 Working does not jeopardise the schooling or the social, moral or physical development of the young person.

See also 1.1.2.2 and 1.3.1.4.

 

1.3.1.4 The minimum age of admission to any type of work which, by its nature or the circumstances under which it is carried out is likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of young people, shall not be less than 18 years.

Young persons under 18 shall not handle chemicals or perform other duties that imply a health hazard. Young persons under 18 shall not be allowed to do night work.

 

1.3.1.5 Employment is not conditional on the employment of the spouse. Spouses have the right towork elsewhere. This also applies if housing is provided to the worker and his/her family.

 

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