Target: Selay Marius Kouassi, Correspondent for Metropolis TV
Goal: Thank news anchor for giving cocoa bean farmers the chance to indulge in chocolate for the first time
Most of us in the developed world turn to chocolate for many things, including a shoulder to cry on, or to enjoy it as a favorite ice cream flavor. However, most of us do not stop to pause and consider where the delicious chocolate has its’ origins and who cultivates this delicious crop for us.
According to CNN, cocoa bean farmers are at the very bottom of the supply chain. Cocoa bean farmers can be exploited by the traders, exporters, processors, and manufacturers because they need to make a hefty profit in order to buy the beans in the first place. This puts the cocoa bean farmers in the difficult position of having little to gain, but so much to lose if they choose to not participate in the global economy. So, more often than not, they sell their precious beans to people higher up on the supply chain for next to nothing because they need to maintain their livelihood.
Recently, though, one news correspondent from Metropolis TV visited M’batto, Ivory Coast, which is the world’s top producer of cocoa beans, and allowed farmers to oblige their curiosity and taste chocolate for the first time.
The cocoa industry is worth a 110 billion dollars a year, but the farmers who grow the beans are amongst the poorest of the poor. N’Da Alphonse, the first farmer to taste the chocolate, only makes the equivalent of 9 US dollars a day. Help us use this petition to simultaneously thank the news correspondent for breaking down the hierarchy of privilege for a second while also using this petition as a vehicle for spreading awareness about this palpable example of global inequality by signing below.
Dear Mr. Marius Kouassi,
Thank you for giving cocoa bean farmers in M’batto, Ivory Coast, the chance to taste chocolate for the very first time. You gave them a gift that surely they will not forget.
However, the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labor should not be a gift that comes around once in a lifetime. Your generosity points to the larger issue of some steep imbalances of power that exist in our world economy.
Breaking down these hierarchies of privilege will not be an easy task, but hopefully stories like yours will help alert people to what is really going on and what being able to purchase and enjoy a chocolate bar indicates.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andre Karwath via Wikimedia Commons