Learning Instead of Toil: Opportunities for Children Through Fair Trade / One Year GEPA Cocoa Plus Award

Wuppertal (ots) –

1 Year GEPA Cocoa Plus Award – How Fair Trade Can Protect Children in the Global South and Provide them with Better Educational Opportunities GEPA demonstrates using cocoa and coffee as an example at UN Day of Action against Exploitative Child Labor (12 June). Fair prices and long-term cooperation are key so that parents earn enough to be able to send their children to school. GEPA Director Peter Schamberger: “In times of rising cost of living for smallholder families in the Global South due to the war in Europe, this is more important than ever. Smallholder families in the Global South are affected far more than we are.”

cocoa plus price

To benefit children rather than businesses, GEPA last year increased the minimum price for organic cocoa to $3,500 – 44.2 percent above the average global market price for 2021. “A guaranteed ‘price of cocoa’ provides landing protection an important contribution to improving status of cocoa-growing families with our trading partners,” says Peter Schaumberger, Managing Director of GEPA. On average, GEPA paid $3,700 per ton of organic cocoa, 52.5 percent above the world market price. In total, last year it transferred about US$4.5 million to its eight cocoa partners in Africa and Latin America. In return, it bought 1,057 tons of cocoa beans, and as a semi-finished product, it bought 120 tons of organic cocoa butter from its partners. 98% of cocoa beans are organic.

Combine avoiding child labor with educational opportunities

GEPA operates in accordance with the Ten Principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). It combines the avoidance of exploitative child labor (Principle 5) with the promotion of training and further education (Principle 8). In this way, better long-term income opportunities can also be created. Enhancing the quality of education is also identified in Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This generally contributes to reducing exploitative child labor in the future.

Short and transparent supply chain greatly reduces risk

A short and transparent supply chain also plays a major role in reducing the risks of exploitative child labour. GEPA can track the path directly from the cereal to the package or bar of chocolate using batch numbers and delivery notes. The supply chain is short because a fair trade company usually trades directly with cooperatives. Through regular exchange visits, video and telephone conferences, emails, training and additional education procedures, GEPA is in constant contact with its partner cooperatives in the Global South. This way, potential problems can be discussed with you in advance. In addition, GEPA works with six monitoring and certification systems such as the WFTO Assurance System, FLO Cert and Naturland Fair. More information about the supply chain (eg cocoa) at gepa.de/lernen-statt-schuften (https://www.gepa.de/home/melden/welttag-gegen-kinderarbeit-lernen-statt-schuften.html).

Sample coffee: Sol y Café (Peru)

JEBA co-finances the all-day school in Soleil Café cooperative through its coffee imports. This school has a model feel and is also open to children who are not members. There are 132 students in the school currently. Parents pay for meals and transportation; The cooperative funds additional teachers.

An exemplary school: education for sustainability

The range of courses is diverse and also includes music support and practical gardening. So environmental protection is on the agenda; This is how children learn from an early age what sustainability means. School Principal Yael Samami Alarcón: “Our children have a complete program in which they first learn how to farm, how to produce, how to use resources and how these resources make sustainable management possible. Because they must learn that they are not only consuming, but giving back to the environment what the environment gives you.” With the support of GEPA, climate protection will soon become a subject. The co-op is currently working on units and is in talks with GEPA about them. (More information in this video: https://youtu.be/NsRUTGhO35k).

Studied and worked as a dentist

Leticia Velches shows how a child from a coffee-growing family can seize new opportunities. She works as a dentist at Sol y Café. Her parents are members of the cooperative. With the fair prices of their coffee, they earned a good income and thus were able to finance Leticia’s studies. Their knowledge now benefits the co-op again, as it treats the members in its own practice. Leticia: “I’m really excited about it. What I enjoy the most is seeing the patient with a satisfied face.” gepa.de/leticia-vilchez

Cocoa example: gebana Togo and COOPROAGRO (Dominican Republic)

According to a NORC study by the University of Chicago, 1.5 million children in West Africa are exploited to grow cocoa. gebana Togo shows how things can be done differently. With the GEPA Fair Trade Premium, gebana Togo supports schools in purchasing furniture and teaching aids. In some cases, gebana Togo pays secondary school fees for children of farming families. Due to higher income from GEPA and fair trade, COOPROAGRO COOP (Dominican Republic) was able to expand a school with a new building. In addition, all children of farming families receive new school supplies after the long holidays. Adriana Olgen and her cousin Raul come from families that grow cocoa. The video shows how they benefit from fair trade: https://youtu.be/O0yItX5VycU

Specifically, exploitative child labor

Around the world, 160 million children are exploited: they carry heavy loads, handle dangerous tools, and are even enslaved or forced into prostitution. A distinction must be made between assistance in parental chores: In general, children under the age of 15 are allowed to assist in chores outside of school if they have done light work in accordance with Fairtrade International and ILO (International Labor Organization) standards. More information in the GEPA position paper As part of the lieferkettengesetz.de campaign, GEPA is campaigning for supply chain law in the European Union. Because all too often, European companies with unscrupulous business practices make a significant contribution to hazardous working conditions such as exploitative child labor in the world.

As a pioneer in the field of fair trade, GEPA has championed transparency and credibility in its work for 47 years. We operate as the largest European fair trade organization with cooperatives and private, socially committed companies from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Fair pricing and long-term business relationships give partners more planning security. He is behind GEPA Messereur, Bread for the World, German Evangelical Youth Action Group (AEJ), German Catholic Youth League (BDKJ) and Children’s Missionary “Die Sternsinger”. GEPA has received many awards for its services in the field of fair trade and sustainability, including TOP3 in the German Sustainability Prize in the category “Corporate Partnerships 2020” for many years of cooperation with tea partner Tea Promoters India and “Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Federal Government 2020” in Responsible supply chain management category. GEPA is one of the few companies in Germany that has checked itself under the WFTO guarantee system. More information about awards and prizes as well as about GEPA in general can be found at www.gepa.de


– World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
European Fair Trade Association (EFTA)
Fair Trade Forum (FFH)

Media contact:

JEBA – Fair Trade Company

Barbara Schimplfining
press secretary

Tel: 0202-266 83 60
Fax: 0202-266 83 10
Email: presse@gepa.de

GIBA track 1
42327 Wuppertal

Original content from: GEPA mbH, transmitted by aktuell news
Original message: https://www.presseportal.de/pm/43796/5245027

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