April 6th – Exploring the Cocoa Industry: Child Labor, International Protocols and Fair Trade
Exploring the Cocoa Industry: Child Labor, International Protocols and Fair Trade
Wednesday April 6th, 2011 3:30pm – 6:00pm
New School, Auditorium 404, 66 W 12th Street, NYC, NY
The panel will explore the possibilities and opportunities for a fair and equitable international food trade and the challenges facing consumers, corporations and governments today. The panel discussion will be preceded by a screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate, a documentary by the award-winning journalists Miki Mistrati and U Roberto (Robin) Romano that investigates the continued allegations of trafficking and child labor in the international chocolate industry. The screening will be used to launch a broader debate on three major issues, such as the relationship between child labor, human trafficking and the international trade system, the difficulties of enforcing international protocols (e.g. Harking-Engel protocol, also known as “The Cocoa Protocol”), and the role of fair trade, direct trade and consumer awareness campaigns. The purpose of this event is to encourage a dialogue about solutions and how to make western producers and consumers more accountable for abuses in the global markets.
Please RSVP at: email@example.com
U. Roberto Romano – Filmmaker
Roberto Romano is the co-director (with Miki Mistrati) of the documentary “The dark side of chocolate”, 2010. Award-winning human rights educator, filmmaker and photographer U. Roberto Romano began his activism on the issue of child labor in 1995 when in Pakistan to film a story of the murder of Iqbal Masih, a child carpet slave turned activist. Since then, Romano has traveled extensively and documented the many manifestations of child labor that invisibly penetrate the lives of countless Americans. Romano has worked with numerous human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The International Labor Organization, Stop The Traffik, The Hunger Project, The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Council on Foreign Relations and Antislavery International. He recently directed and produced “The Harvest” a on the life of migrant children and their families in America.
Elizabeth O’Connell – Green America
Elizabeth O’Connell coordinates Green America’s Fair Trade Program, which aims to educate America consumers about Fair Trade. She heads up consumer action campaigns in support of Fair Trade including the Fair Trade Your Supermarket Campaign and the “Raise the Bar, Hershey!” Campaign, which is pushing Hershey to remove child labor from its cocoa supply chain by shifting to Fair Trade certification. Elizabeth also runs the Fair Trade Pavilions at the Green Festivals which take place in 6 cities each year, including New York City (October 1-2, 2011). Elizabeth became involved with the Fair Trade movement in college and was a founding member of The Little Café, a Fair Trade, student-run café at New York University.
Jim Kielkopf – AgriBank
Jim Kielkopf is a 4th year PhD student at Milano, The New School for Urban Policy and Management and is also the chief economist of AgriBank, FCB, a cooperative bank which is the nation’s largest agricultural lender as well as the country’s largest remaining Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE). In his work at AgriBank, Jim has done a lot of research into the food crisis of 2007-2008 as well as the recent run-up in food commodity prices in the past year. James Kielkopf, is also owner of an active cocoa farm in Ecuador.
David Gold – New School
David Gold (Ph.D., Economics, City University of New York) is Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School, where he teaches in the Conflict and Security and Development concentrations. He is a Fellow of Economists for Peace and Security, an Associate Editor of The EPS Journal, and a member of the Security Policy Working Group. He is a co-founder and co-chair of the New School Study Group on the Economics of Security and, with Sean Costigan, edited a volume of papers from that group, Terrornomics (Ashgate, 2007). He coordinates the GPIA Faculty Working Papers series. Professor Gold is currently conducting research on economic aspects of terrorism, the globalization of military production, and the political and economic determinants of military spending in the United States.
Mark Christian – C-spot™
Christian earned his Ch.D while researching the chocolate underground, surveying bean-to-bar makers in some of the most far-flung places before delving into the seedy world of cacáo breeding & genetics where he was mentored by Dr. Basil Bartley (field & lab scientist at CEPEC in Brazil; author of The Genetic Diversity of Cacao & its Utilization). Owner of the private travel firm Airtech.com, he has been able to visit the “20/20 Zone” — that magic belt 20º north & south of the equator — in which cacao only grows. Christian currently resides in NYC where he moved from the West Coast to attend Columbia University. He sometimes receives unsolicited bars and boxed assortments on his doorstep – so much so that he has had to share or even give some of it away to family, friends and neighbors a few of whom have been known to call in the middle of the night asking “Hey Mark, got any more of that stuff?”. In 2010 he founded The C-spot™, the most comprehensive online resource of the premium niche for consumers & professionals alike, featuring independent chocolate ratings & reviews, history & news, as well as an in-depth chocolate tasting-course.