Essay about The Sugar Industry Needs Fair Trade

Essay about The Sugar Industry Needs Fair Trade

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The hot Haitian sun rises over the ripe sugar fields promising nothing except scorching heat and another laborious day. A young boy quickly rises from his thin mat and meets his parents for a nutritionless, but free, sugar cane breakfast. This child lives in a shack that is part of a small, run-down settlement. He has no knowledge of running water, electricity, education, or a bed to call his own, for none of these exist in his reality (Cooper). Soon his meal is finished and the boy accompanies his family to work on the Vicini sugar fields. The Vicinis own the plantation, which is the boy’s home and his family’s livelihood (Cooper). This small child spends his days hunched over in the blazing sun, digging small holes to plant many stalks of sugar cane (Viator). For his twelve hours of back-breaking work (Cooper), the boy earns less than twenty American cents (Cooper) (Google Calculator). This small boy represents thousands of workers who suffer under the cruelty often found in companies such as the Vicini family and their parent company Flo-Sun Inc. that practice free trade ("Flo-Sun and the"). Companies that practice free trade conduct business with little regulation and pay their workers pitiful wages with little regard to the laborers' working conditions ("Free Trade"). Companies that wish not to support the injustices of free trade products can purchase fair trade goods. Fair trade products follow strict labor and environmental guidelines that prevent the mistreatment of workers and abuse of the environment ("Fair Trade"). Based on the overt mistreatment of laborers on sugar plantations around the world and the inflated prices in America due to corruption in the legal system, American consumers should buy fair, not free, trade...

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Tali. Telephone interview. 22 Feb. 2010.
“Thailand’s child labour record faces US scrutiny.” The Nation National. NMG News Co., Ltd., 29 Jan. 2010. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. .
Viator, Ryan P. “Planting Method and Timing Effects on Sugarcane Yield.” Plant Management Network. Plant Management Network et al. , 21 June 2005. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. .
Vicini Lluberes v. Uncommon Productions. 31 Aug. 2007. N.p., 2009. Web. 8 Feb. 2010. .
West, Jean M. “Sugar and Slavery: Molasses to Rum to Slaves.” Slavery in America. New York Life, n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. .

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