Clay, I am reluctant to use the term sustainability when referring to cacau. I am more prone to apply the word to cacao workers. Far too long we have wrung our hands and searched for way to obtain cocoa beans that meet some imaginary standard. It is not the trees that suffer from abusive producers and governments, ITS THE WORKER!!!! Take a look at the salaries for selected cocoa producing countries. Does this look sustainable to you?
The Harkin-Engel Protocol made a watered down attempt to protect children that were working in cocoa plantations, but, I hear very little mention of the thousands of adult workers who are working for pennies a day.
Benin 30,000 CFA francs (46) per month
Bolivia 647 Bolivian bolivianos (66) per month
Brazil R$ 545.00 about US$ 348.39 per month, paid 13 times a year one monthpaid vacation plus 8.5% retirement deposit
Burkina Faso 30,684 CFA francs (47) a month in the formal sector; does notapply to subsistence agriculture 182,000
Chile Chilean pesos (258) per month for workers aged 1865 ;
Columbia 535,000 Colombian pesos (207) a month (2011);
Costa Rica 131,907 Costa Rican colones (186) a month
Ivory Coast it varies by occupation, with the lowest set to 36,607 CFA franc (56)
Dominican Republic 4,900 Dominican pesos (91)
Ghana Ghanaian cedis (1.95) a dayGuatemala Guatemalan quetzales (4.78) per day for agricultural work
Indonesia 1,410,000 rupiah (116) per month in Papua; as low as 675,000rupiah per month in West Java
Madagascar 70,025 Malagasy ariary (25) per month for nonagriculturalworkers; 71,000 ariary per month for agricultural workers
Mexico 54.47 pesos (3.49) in Zone C (all other states)
Nigeria 18,000 naira (81) per month, nationally (with a 13 month year as the lawmandates an extra month's pay for the Christmas holiday)
Peru 550 Peruvian nuevos soles (139) per month
Sao Tome 650,000 So Tom and Prncipe dobras (27) per month for civil servants
Is this Fair Trade? Is this good for natural habitat? Is this good for the rain forest? Is this organic? It;s time we look past the glitzy organizations with certified backgrounds and insist that the actual producers are treated in a SUSTAINABLE manner.