Today, David Cronin reported that Roman school-children can help alleviate poverty by eating chocolate among other foods:
When schoolchildren in Rome tuck into a banana or a chocolate bar, they are making a real difference to families in poor countries.
Italy is leading the way in a European drive to convince public authorities that they should adopt a policy of buying goods produced in a socially and ecologically responsible manner.
Last year, the Italian government issued a new regulation stating that public authorities should take account of sustainable development when they are issuing calls for tender.
Because schools are required to sell fair trade products in their canteens, it is estimated that this will lead to weekly sales of fair trade bananas and packets of biscuits of almost 300,000 each in 2007-12.
“It’s very important that public authorities give a good example in promoting poverty reduction and sustainable development,” said Anja Osterhaus, coordinator of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels. “If public authorities contribute to slave labour by buying the cheapest things without thinking, then that wouldn’t be a good example.”
I like to see fair-trade goods bought over other goods that come from sweat-shops, slave labor, and such. Although, I don’t want the government to limit free-trade by offensively forcing people to buy fair-trade. Still, it makes sense for the government to set a good example by having government institutions such as public schools buy fair trade. (Granted, I would like to see public schools privatized.)
Fair trade not only helps alleviate poverty, but it also helps undermine “unfair” vendors such as slave-owners and terrorists, which I like to see.