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No.P4 2 no. 2005 2008
Research Across Boundaries Global Knowledge is an interdisciplinary magazine that offers stories on political questions with global implications in research and higher education. The magazine provides an international arena for debate, and focuses on cooperation where partners have a wide range of political, economic, cultural and/or religious backgrounds. Global Knowledge is based on the idea that more cooperation in education and research will lead to better understanding, which in the long term will result in greater equality – in academic knowledge, cultural familiarity and material wellbeing. Global Knowledge is aimed at academics, administrators, policy-makers and others interested. The inter views, feature articles and news items are produced by journalists and photographers from all over the world. One academic essay will appear in each issue. Global Knowledge is published by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (siu), but the content is not limited to the program mes administered by siu. The magazine does not necessarily represent siu’s ofﬁcial view. Global Knowledge 2/2008 p u b l i s h e d December 2008 e di t or-i n- c h i e f Head of Information, Hanne Alver Krum e di t or Runo Isaksen firstname.lastname@example.org a dv i s or y b oa r d Associate Professor Harald Hornmoen, Norway, Researcher René Smith, South Africa, Associate Professor Tom Skauge, Norway, Researcher Džemal Sokolović, Norway/BosniaHercegovina, Professor James Tumwine, Uganda, Vice-Rector Galina Komarova, Russia c ov e r p ho t o Truls Brekke l ay- ou t Øystein Vidnes p ro of -r e a de r Steve Hands p r i n t e d b y Bryne-Stavanger Offset c i rc u l at ion 2300 i s s n 1504-7563 s i u P.O. Box 7800, no –50 20 B ergen, norway Material from Global Knowledge may be freely cited provided that due acknowledgement of the source is made and the editor informed. Would you like to receive a free subscription to Global Knowledge? Please log on to www.siu.no/globalknowledge
Towards a Fair Global Trade ru no isa kse n e d ito r , g lo ba l kno w le dge
a i d f or t r a de seemed like such a great idea. Leave the classical aid schemes behind and instead open Western markets to commodities from developing countries. Move from passive recipients to active participants. The wto work programme on Aidfor-Trade was established in December 2005 and the Doha Round of negotiations should adopt an agreement that would facilitate developing countries’ access to world markets. The negotiations broke down in July 2008. Where does that leave us? In the case of agriculture, Western subsidies make up a signiﬁcant barrier to free global trade. But even if Western markets were to reduce its protectionist measures and open up to developing world commodities, the question still remains: who beneﬁts? How to ensure that prosperity is wider distributed? Fair Trade might provide an alternative; its ultimate aim is to make all trade fair. Fair Trade rose exports have beneﬁted several local communities in the Arusha district of Tanzania. But Fair Trade is fraught with problems as well. It is clearly not sufﬁcient to obtain agreements ensuring further international trade openings for developing countries. A healthy domestic policy framework is needed, combined with human and institutional capacity, and economic and physical infrastructure. Education and research must play crucial parts in achieving these objectives. For this, funding is needed. International trade is regulated by a series of agreements, dictated, more or less, by the richer countries. What is needed, it seems, is a shift of mind. Are we in fact witnessing the emergence of a global, collective conscience, as Professor Douglas Murray suggests? Perhaps we are. It is my hope that this issue of Global Knowledge will generate reﬂections on how to approach the issues of global trade, fairness, and poverty alleviation.
from left: Fair Trade roses in Tanzania, p. 10, Interview with Congolese pastor Bulambo Lembelembe Josué, p. 52, Coffee harvesting in Mexico, p. 25.
contents Global Knowledge 2 / 2008 WHAT NOW, WTO? / 4 The purpose of the Doha Round was to boost the economy of developing countries at the expense of developed countries – a so-called ‘development round’. But the Round broke down.
CLEANING SRI LANKA’S INDUSTRY / 3 4 Sri Lanka has been unable to develop an efﬁcient, environmental-friendly processing industry. A joint Norwegian-Sri Lankan university programme aims to do something about it.
PISSING AGAINST THE WIND / 6 The rich countries have dictated international trade agreements that make it impossible for poor countries to ﬂourish, according to Professor Thomas Pogge.
Ω FEATURE: TANZANIA / 36
DISASTER TRIP / 8 The newly established Health Impact Fund aims at improving global health. AFRICAN ROSES TURNING FAIR / 10 Fair Trade-labeled Kiliﬂora farms provide drinking water, training courses and hospital facilities to local communities in Arusha district, Tanzania. THE SYMBOLIC VALUE OF CONSUMPTION / 2 1 Children across Europe are learning how to become responsible consumers. SAVING THE PLANET ONE SYLLABLE AT A TIME / 2 2 Learning Norwegian through classes on recycling and waste management. THERE IS LIFE IN COFFEE / 25 Mayan coffee farmers struggle to keep up with the rising costs of the Fair Trade scheme. THE EMERGENCE OF A GLOBAL CONSCIENCE / 31 In Dr. Douglas Murray’s mind, Fair Trade is one example of the beginning emergence of a global, collective conscience.
Ω SNIFFING HEROES / 36 A skilled lab technician can evaluate around 20 tuberculosis samples per day. A trained sniffer rat can do the same job in ﬁve minutes. Ω MISSING THE BOAT / 40 Despite its potential, the Tanzanian ﬁshing industry remains small-scale.
Ω THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CAPITAL / 44 An international research project offers business classes to microﬁnance clients in Dar es Salaam. BEYOND CSR? BUSINESS, POVERTY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE / 48 Academic essay about the potential and limits of Corporate Social Responsibility. WAR MUST STOP NOW / 5 2 Congolese pastor Bulambo Lembelembe Josué was awarded this year’s Rafto Prize in recognition of his work in helping civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. GK CONTRIBTOR STILL DETAINED / 54 The Kafkaesque case against Sri Lankan journalist and Global Knowledge contributor J.S. Tissainayagam continues.
What Now, wto? Would the world have become a better place if the Doha Round had been concluded? Influential academics mean yes.
margun n i nstef j o r d / te x t a n d photo
“i sinc e r e ly be l i e v e that the world would have become a better place if the Doha Round had been concluded,” says Erling Vårdal, economics professor at the University of Bergen (Norway) and expert on international macroeconomics and agricultural economics. “However, although the agreement no doubt would have had positive effects for the poor countries in Africa, the concessions put forward prior to the Doha breakdown were far from achieving the goal of eliminating poverty in Africa.” A framework for a long-term reform of agricultural trade was already agreed upon in the Uruguay Round, with the objective of increased market orientation in agricultural trade. The following Doha Round aimed to gain further tariff reductions on a wide range of agricultural products. The purpose was to boost the economy of developing countries at the expense of developed countries – a so-called ‘development round’. INDIA SAYS NO! At what level should the developing countries be allowed to increase their own tariffs to protect their national industry in case prices drop or increased imports threaten their agricultural sector? Disagreements about the so-called Agricultural Special Safeguard Mechanism (ssm) led to an insoluble conﬂict as India, representing a great number of developing countries in the negotiations, clashed with the us on which level the ssm should come into force. The developing countries see the ssm as a safeguard against having their domestic agricultural sector swamped by cheap imports. “It is unfortunate that we did not manage to overcome the remaining difﬁculties because of a subject that concerns 4 | wto
security for local communities, in a negotiation round meant to focus on the developing countries,” said the Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath at the press conference following the Doha breakdown. Equally disappointed was Jonas Gahr Støre, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, who was present in Geneva as the head of the Norwegian delegation. “For the ﬁrst time a round was supposed to concern the developing countries. Rich countries should make more concessions, the poorest nations were to be protected. The developing countries were to receive support to develop their ability to trade, aid for trade. However, the world has witnessed a shift of power within the economy and world trade. New nations with growing economic and political ambitions assert themselves,” the Foreign Minister summed up in an article published in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten (30 July, 2008). According to Peter Mandelson, European Commissioner for Trade until October 2008, agreement had been reached on 95 per cent of the actual subjects when the negotiations stalled: “This is a painful defeat and a setback for a global economy really in need of good news,” he concluded at the international press conference. PROGRESS AFTER ALL? Some claim the breakdown in talks is good news. For the ﬁrst time the strong countries and trade blocs like the us and the eu seem to have lost their monopoly on dictating the terms for world trade, and developing countries are now negotiating on more equal terms to claim concessions on market access from the richer countries?
ta r i f f s d own | “If the round was successfully concluded, the world would reduce by half the amount of imports tariffs paid today. Developing countries would beneﬁt from two-thirds of the increased market access,” explained Pascal Lamy, wto Director-General, on the wto website. (photo / Truls Brekke) “The fact that the poor countries’ economies have grown and that they have participated on more equal terms in the negotiations than before, may represent progress,” says Professor Vårdal. “However, we are talking about produce and types of goods that are extremely important for the developing countries, but for which an agreement is not equally important to the developed countries. Without the framework of an overall multilateral agreement, bilateral agreements will be established where the developing countries may not be able to obtain the same level of bargaining power. How weakened is the wto after the collapse of the Doha Round? And what impact do you see the ongoing ﬁnancial crisis might have? “It is clear that the wto is weakened, but I do not believe the organisation will have a gloomy future because of this setback. Too much work has been put in by too many for it to be abandoned. Even if it ﬁnds itself in limbo right after the recent breakdown, the wto will bounce back,” Vårdal says, adding: “The current ﬁnancial crisis will have minor impacts on the wto and any potential outcome of future negotiations. However, what we might see is an increasing will amongst the
nex t round | “The crucial matter is to conclude this round and make headway towards the next,” says Professor Erling Vårdal. international community to regulate the international economy and consequently to strengthen international organisations like the wto, the International Monetary Fund (imf) and the World Bank.” wto | 5
m a r k e t s | The New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar volume. The market in Cap-Haitïen on the north coast of Haiti. (photos / Truls Brekke)
CONCESSIONS WOULD STING Do you really believe that an agreement that implies even greater concessions by the rich countries is realistic? Professor Erling Vårdal claims not to be an optimist, but to feel more like an optimistic pessimist: “Experience shows that there are strong interests against free trade within the European Union, where France plays the lead. Besides, European interests prove difﬁcult to coordinate in actual negotiations. With democrats taking power in the us, I believe the chance for an agreement diminishes, as the democrats traditionally are not pro-free trade.” The agricultural community consists of a great number of small producers with efﬁcient and powerful lobbying organisations backing them up, Vårdal continues. “They are efﬁcient in the sense that they know exactly what kind of reasoning appeals to the public. To me this is just wrong. The way I see it, if farmers from developing countries can compete with Western agricultural industry it is of course in the interest of us, the consumers. Norway is an example of a small country with high exports and an extremely high level of protection. I did an analysis on the economic consequences from the agreement that was on the table in the Doha Round, and I would say that the concessions put on Norwegian agriculture would sting, but not a lot.” GK 6 | wto
Pissing Against the Wind The rich countries have dictated international trade agreements that make it impossible for poor countries to flourish. Structural changes are needed, according to professor Thomas Pogge. ru no isa kse n /te xt a nd photo Pogge, an acclaimed professor of philosophy and international affairs at Yale University (USA), is not at all surprised that the wto negotiations broke down in the spring of 2008. This time, and for the ﬁrst time, the World Trade Organisation was to adopt an agreement meant to facilitate poor countries’ access to world markets. US CHIEF OBSTACLE “Obviously it would have been nice to get a really good wto
fi rs t s tep s | Pogge is advocating a new type of researcher: “You have to think carefully about political feasibility, and you have to take the ﬁrst steps, start talking to people in the foreign ministries and the wto to eventually get something to happen.” bit there. What Gates does is really good, but it only helps in mitigating a problem that is of our own making, through these international trading rules. All these initiatives are pissing against the wind in the sense that the wind that is blowing in the faces of the poor is structural and systemic and comes from the wto agreements.”
agreement that would have given better trading opportunities to poor countries,” Pogge says, adding: “But it is extremely unlikely that this will happen because you are always negotiating from the basis of the existing distribution of bargaining powers. If you are in a poker championship and have more money than your opponent, you have to guard it because it gives you extra power in the game. So in this particular game the politicians are always saying: ‘In order to secure my own position for the future, I can not give away chips.’ And they do not give away chips, or advantages, that is,” says Pogge, who in recent years has published a lot on global justice. You need unanimity to change anything in the wto and that is why these rounds tend to break down, Pogge says. Another main reason for the impasse is the us, regardless of the president’s name. “The us is the chief obstacle to changes. Okay, Barack Obama might be sympathetic, but the resistance of the industries that push these agreements is so enormous that it will be very difﬁcult for any us president to do all that much. That is the key.” People and politicians in general realise the system’s inherent injustice, Pogge believes. Efforts towards improvements are being made. “Bill Gates does a little bit here and Bill Clinton does a little
SUBSIDIES MUST GO If the wto was really to make a change for the developing countries, what should it do? “We have to reduce the protectionist measures like the anti-dumping duties, tariffs, quotas and of course the subsidies, that are the most infamous part. In agriculture alone usd 350 billion is spent annually in subsidies in all the rich countries together. The average Japanese cow is subsidised at usd 2 700 a year, which is vastly more than poor people actually have to live on for a whole year. And that is just the subsidy for one cow. In the eu the number is usd 900. This means that dairy products, cotton and so on produced in Europe or in the us are dominating the world market even though they are very inefﬁcient. And the poor farmer in Mali cannot sell her cotton. And the Mali government of course cannot say: ‘Ok, if you subsidise your cotton, we will subsidise ours.’ They do not have the money to do it. So it is a very unfair trade system.” Surely there are other arguments for maintaining subsidies: keeping people living in rural areas, for example. It is not only a question of economy, is it? “I am not against subsidies, but the thing is that we created something like the wto and said to the poor countries, most of them rather incompetent on these issues, back in 1995: ‘We promise you free and open markets, fair competition, you will compete on equal terms and so on, just sign here!’ And at that time the wto agreement was some 28 000 pages. So these people signed, but the promise was not kept. I understand, you want to have your farmers in Norway, but then you have to ﬁnd another way to make it up to those countries, and say: ‘If we do not give you this, we will give you something else.’” G K wto | 7
People might then think in terms of generosity or charity, but not Pogge. To him it is a question of minimum justice. “The poor countries basically gave away the store at that time. They trusted the World Bank and all these advisers who told them this was great for them. And they were completely cheated, as they now come to realise.” MINIMUM STANDARDS NEDDED The current international rules also give certain privileges to any rulers who can gain or hold power in a country, regardless of whether they are democratically elected or brutal dictators. Any such ruler is free to sell his country’s resources, to borrow in its name, and to import weapons, for example. This is an awful arrangement for the oppressed people of these countries, Pogge argues. “It is dreadful because it entrenches the ruler and gives military ofﬁcers a perverse incentive to take power by force – because they do not need to be popular or elected, they do not need to pay any attention to the needs of the people. All they need is enough weapons to keep themselves in power.” How do we solve this problem – is it all about Western moral standards? “Ideally these countries should make these judgments themselves. What they should do, for example in the context of the African Union, is to set minimum standards of good governance and say: ‘We will say about any regime whether it meets these standards or not.’ Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina, which are always in danger of military coups, could put in a constitutional amendment and say: ‘If in the future any government comes into power in a way not described in the constitution, then it will not be our government, and anybody who trades with them, lends money to them and so on, will be sued afterwards for stealing our resources.’”
With such a constitutional amendment no one can later claim he did not know, Pogge argues. In addition, he says, you would need some agency outside the country, perhaps within the un, that can decide in real time whether the constitutional amendment has been triggered. What is more, such amendments would not simply be about not dealing with a present dictator, but trying to make dictatorships less likely in the future, systemically. But how realistic a proposal is it? “It can deﬁnitely be done and would certainly be a deterrent. But it is not going to be easy. Suppose that in a country that is important for oil, like Nigeria, the military takes over. On my proposal you could no longer buy Nigerian oil. The Europeans and the Americans would not like that because they think it is a wonderful thing to be able to buy oil from whoever happens to govern Nigeria, without having to worry what happens there.” UPROOTING THE PROBLEM Pogge argues that people in afﬂuent countries are all equally responsible for what our governments do. So what, on the other hand, could each and one of us do? “Political reform is the best way: trying to ﬁnd different structures that would actually uproot the problem rather than merely bandaging it. The people who want to do something for the poor are often very weak and if we all go in 30 000 different directions, we are guaranteed to get nothing done. It is crucial to organise behind one or two or three ideas to really get something changed. That is what the defenders of the status quo are doing, the big companies. They compromise and collaborate effectively. If we do not learn to do this, we will never achieve more than cosmetic changes.” GK
Disaster Trip The trips agreement is a total disaster for the world’s poor, according to Thomas Pogge. Still, there might be ways to solve the world’s health problems systematically. it is n ot th at a ny b o dy deliberately tries to exploit the poor, Pogge says. It is just that the poor have no representatives at the negotiating table, so they are not even thought about. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (trips), an international agreement administered by the wto that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (ip) regulation, is a good example of this, in his view. 8 | wto
“The trips agreement basically reﬂects the interests of four important industries: the pharmaceutical industry, the software industry, the entertainment industry and the agricultural industry. The agreement says that you get 20 year monopoly patents in all wto member states. If you have a patent, you can use state power to suppress generic [copy] trade. And if you suppress the generic trade, you deprive patients of access to cheap drugs. It is as simple as that.” In terms of hiv/aids the trips agreement has been a total disaster, Pogge says. And the situation is going to deteriorate, he believes, as the new medicines increasingly are going to be ones that have been introduced post-2005 when these patent laws came into force in the developing countries.
qa ly | Life expectancy is a way of measuring the hif’s potential. In Africa, usd 50 on average gives you an extra qaly, an extra year of healthy life. In Europe the ﬁgure is about usd 50 000. “That gives you a sense of how cheap it would be through medical interventions to extend lives in Africa and make people healthy,” Thomas Pogge says. (photo / Truls Brekke)
HEALTH IMPACT REWARDS Still, there may be alternatives. Thomas Pogge is one of the founders of the newly-established Health Impact Fund (hif). He is also author of The Health Impact Fund: Making New Medicines Accessible for All (2008). The hif is run by Incentives for Global Health, an ngo dedicated to developing marketbased, systemic solutions to global health challenges. “The hif is an attempt to take the realities for granted: we have the trips agreement and there is nothing we can do about changing those rules. The hif gives pharmaceutical innovators the option to register their medicine with the fund. If they register, their commitment is that they will sell the medicine everywhere at cost. In exchange they get health impact rewards based on the amount of health impact that the medicine achieves. The more good the medicine does, the more patients it reaches and helps, the more money the innovator gets,” Pogge explains.
HELPING MILLIONS The actual impact is to be measured by an existing methodology called qalys (Quality-adjusted life years). At the moment the total pharmaceutical research expenditure in the world is usd 413 billion annually. The hif’s initial cost will be around usd 6 billion annually, to be sponsored by governments making commitments 12 years into the future. “If you get paid through monopoly patents, you do not research malaria because the people who have it are poor. But if the hif exists and it’s known it will continue to exist for another 12 years, you would opt for a drug which is easy to develop, where not much research has been done, and where a lot of people out there are suffering. So you develop a drug for malaria, tuberculosis, for hiv/aids and for tropical diseases like river blindness. And you are helping millions of people, extending their lives by many years. I truly believe that our usd 6 billion will have as much health impact as that usd 413 billion over there.” GK wto | 9
African Roses Turning Fair “What really matters is the impact of the social premium. And the fact is that the premium genuinely helps improve the local communities around, socio-economically speaking,” says Wilson Bondo, Kiliflora Joint Body Coordinator. runo isaksen / tex t a n d photos arusha, tanzania
ther e i s a soc i a l p r e mi u m that comes with Fair Trade. The customer pays a higher price and the producer gets a higher return. A percentage of that return does not go back as wages, but has to be put aside as a social premium in a separate fund and invested in the community. Global Knowledge pays Kiliﬂora farms a visit – to learn more about Fair Trade in general and their social premium projects in particular. How are the worker’s rights guaranteed? Are wages above minimum? How – if at all – do local communities beneﬁt from this particular Fair Trade enterprise? Some facts, ﬁrst of all: Kiliﬂora farms produce some 200– 400 000 ﬂowers every single day all year round. Europe takes the bulk of them, Asia the rest. Kiliﬂora is one of only two Fair Trade-certiﬁed rose farms in Tanzania. It consists of two farms, both beautifully situated right in the foothills of Mount Meru. We are in the district of Arusha in the northern highlands of Tanzania, with the ice cap of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro constantly shimmering above the scene. Rose production started up in 1993 at the Nduruma farm and then in 1997 at Loliondo farm, the larger of the two. Fair Trade certiﬁcation was granted in 2003. NO MORE WATER PROBLEMS Now back to Wilson Bondo, the Kiliﬂora Joint Body (jb) Coordinator. The jb consists of 16 members, of which two are 10 | fa i r t r a de
from management and 14 are elected from among the workforce. As the premium fund kept growing, due to increasing production, exports and income, Kiliﬂora decided to employ two experts to take care of the day-to-day activities: Mr. Bondo and Marwa Issa (jb Accountant). The Kiliﬂora Workers Development Fund’s (kwdf) annual premium budget at present amounts to a hefty 1.1 billion Tanzanian shillings (close to usd one million). The jb decides how to the money is to be spent. Afterwards it is up to Wilson Bondo to make sure that the board’s decisions are carried out as they should be. “Take the Ngarasero community,” Mr. Bondo continues. “They used to have a severe shortage of water. Then we constructed weirs for collecting spring water, two reservoir tanks and 16 public distribution points. These 2 000 families do not have water problems any more. Quite a few of them have started growing vegetables, some of them even for selling, all thanks to access to water. Part of my job is about monitoring and following up our projects, and we actually see the chang-
water | “Before we had to walk all the way down to the well, about two kilometres away, to fetch water. Now the water is right here. We do not have a problem with water any more and that is good,” this woman says.
money | There is money in roses. But production is a demanding process. It takes some three to four months to provide the ﬁrst rose in a greenhouse. Then the next rose will be ready for harvesting after six or seven weeks. The life span of a rose generally varies from four to six years, then they have to be replaced.
The non-certified plantations es. It is not just talking, the changes are very ly with union members from plantations real.” all over the country. There is no doubt in do have unions, of course. The water reservoirs at Ngarasero, Magahis mind that the workers’ situation is far What they do not have, are dirisho and Sangananu are all equipped with better at Kiliﬂora than in other enterprisunions with real power. macro ﬁlters. Water samples are sent to Europe es in the area. for analysis on a monthly basis to make sure the water is pure. “Well, the non-certiﬁed plantations do have unions, of course. “These villagers used to have to walk with buckets all the What they do not have, are unions with real power. And they toway to the river in order to get water,” Stephen George elabotally lack security of employment. You go to work one day but rates. He is Kiliﬂora’s Fair Trade Ofﬁce & Human Resource then the next day you might not have a job anymore. Kiliﬂora is Manager. “The most remote families had to walk some ten kiloopen and transparent compared to other farms.” metres to get drinking water. Now we have public distribution For you personally, what is the single most advantageous points scattered around.” thing about being employed at Kiliﬂora? “Being employed at Kiliﬂora means that me and my family OPEN DISCUSSIONS have the chance of going to school. Kiliﬂora assists me and my “Other companies do not have freedom of association, open disfamily in many respects, but schooling is without a doubt the cussions and fringe beneﬁts.” single most important contribution.” Omari R. Mshana is the Tanzanian Plantation Workers MOST PROFOND IMPACT Union’s (tpawu) branch chairman at Kiliﬂora, and also an Wilson Bondo (jb Coordinator) totally agrees: “The education elected member of the tpawu national body. He meets regular1 2 | fa i r t r a de
production | The Arusha district is good for rose production, but not ideal, according to Mr. Goh. In the cold season, from June to September, the roses grow only slowly.
programmes no doubt have the most prowho attends a public secondary school and We are certainly not into Fair found impact. We have built classrooms and 300 000 for those who opt for a private one,” Trade to be labeled ‘Mr. Nice Guy’. we sponsor workers’ children, thereby enaBondo explains. This is business as usual. But it is a bling them to go to school. Right now some perfect win-win-situation BUSINESS AS USUAL 100 students, all of them workers’ children, Before returning to the subject of educaattend secondary school sponsored by our tion, a fundamental question remains, from the business perpremium fund.” spective: why make Kiliﬂora Fair Trade in the ﬁrst place? The school system in Tanzania consists of six-years of free “Of course, we want to take care of our employees and treat primary school (with Swahili as the language of instruction), them properly,” explains Jerry Goh, the Malaysian-born execufollowed by six-years of secondary school (in English), which tive ofﬁcer of Kiliﬂora. “Besides, Fair Trade is good for marketing are not free. and generally for creating awareness for our products. Europe is There are both public and private secondary schools. The getting more and more supportive of Fair Trade initiatives. But public ones cost around 20 000 Tanzanian shillings annuexpenses are high. I would say that being a Fair Trade enterprise ally to attend – theoretically, that is. All sorts of additional exmeans that expenses are about ten per cent higher than they penses such as lunch, school uniforms, medical treatment and normally would be. Salaries are relatively high and we provide transport come on top. Yearly expenses can easily amount to quite a lot of equipment and training for our employees.” 300 000 shillings (usd 235). Mr. Goh takes me on a fast-paced walking tour of the “We provide 150 000 shillings for every employee’s child Loliondo farm. He is just back from another trip to Europe, fa i r t r a de | 13
visiting customers and attending meetings. “More and more European ﬂower producers are no looking for possibilities in Africa,” he says. “Production costs in Europe are getting way too high.” But what is in it for the Europeans? Why is Mester Grønn, a Norwegian ﬂoristry business with 86 stores and some 850 employees, into Fair Trade? “We are certainly not into Fair Trade to be labeled ‘Mr. Nice Guy’. This is business as usual. But it is a perfect winwin-situation,” says Erling Ølstad, executive ofﬁcer at Mester Grønn, Norway’s biggest importer of Fair Trade roses. The roses come from three different farms in Africa: one in Kenya, another in Ethiopia, and with the third and biggest supplier being Kiliﬂora, Tanzania. “For us it is exciting to see how well trade works when it comes to development. Trade creates energy, creativity, new solutions and so much know-how. I have traveled a lot in Africa and witnessed how much passivity and apathy long-term aid brings about. Trade creates a totally different environment – not least in the ﬂower industry, as the farms tend to be huge and the income substantial.” Mester Grønn (Norwegian for “Master Green”) has been involved in Africa since 1999. Ølstad was very sceptical of Fair Trade in the beginning. He thought it was too concerned with minor details. But this has changed. In 2006 Mester Grønn dived into Fair Trade. “Fair Trade has really changed for the better lately. It has become much more concerned with training of workers and with funding larger development projects that really provide added value in local communities. There is one speciﬁc challenge to doing trade in Africa, and that is corruption. We have to have control over the money.” Mester Grønn makes the same return on Fair Trade roses as on other roses. And they have to, Ølstad emphasises. “This is business. Our annual rose sales are about usd 15 million. Fair Trade roses make up 46 per cent of that, so naturally they are extremely important to us. How much more Fair Trade sales can grow is really up to the consumers to decide. There is no problem acquiring African roses 30 per cent cheaper than Kiliﬂora’s, so for us it is decisive to make the Fair Trade story heard. I have visited some 50 African farms and there are enormous differences between them when it comes to workers’ wages and rights. In my view, Kiliﬂora is a good ambassador.” Fair Trade is about business – and values, too. Being big, by Norwegian standards, on Fair Trade ﬂowers is an advantage when it comes to recruiting and keeping employees, according to Ølstad. He claims there are also environmental advantages to importing roses from Africa instead of producing them locally in Norway. 1 4 | fa i r t r a de
proud | “The worker’s status is improved whenever we contribute in some way in their local communities,” says Shoba Nayar. In the background Omari R. Mshana (left), Marwa Issa, Wilson Bondo, and Stephen George.
“Flowers are often regarded as sinners concerning co 2 emissions, but you need to see the whole picture. In total there is 2.5 times less emissions on African roses, compared to Norwegian ones. Energy supply is the single most important difference. Just think of all the heating that is required to get roses growing in Norway. And air freight is efﬁcient for roses as they are so tightly wrapped.” RAISING SALARIES “Salary is the single most important issue for the workers right now,” says Omari R. Mshana, the tpawu branch chairman and also treasurer for the Kiliﬂora Joint Board. In February 2008 the minimum monthly wage in Tanzania was raised from 35 000 Tanzanian shillings to 65 000 (usd 50), by governmental decree. The minimum wage at Kiliﬂora used to be 46 000 shillings plus another 11 000 monthly for hous-
saccos | Stephen George took up a saccos loan for buying a piece of land a couple of years ago. Now he wants to take up a new loan in order to start constructing the house: “In Tanzania in general you do not get individual loans. Therefore saccos is really needed here.”
It is exciting to see how well ing, another 8 000 monthly just to show ers at Kiliﬂora are members. The Kiliﬂora up every working day, plus quite a few branch committee consists of a secretary trade works when it comes to bonuses such as free medical treatment. development. Trade creates energy, and 15 members, who are all elected for ﬁve Today the minimum wage at Kiliﬂora is 65 years. Mshana talks enthusiastically about creativity, new solutions and so 000, excluding the housing and other althe projects they have already succeeded in much know-how. lowances. establishing. Drinking water has been pro“The wages are negotiated every second year. The union vided at both Kiliﬂora farms. Housing developments projects normally has meetings with the management every three run where workers can get rooﬁng equipment for free. The unmonths. Our next meeting is scheduled for January 2009. Our ion has set up a women’s committee, dealing with the female next amendment will be about salaries and bonuses with the workers’ situation. And then there is saccos. aim of adjusting the minimum wages,” Mshana asserts. BUYING A PIECE OF LAND Free medical treatment for the employees’ family members saccos (Savings and Credit Cooperative Society) was established is another issue of major concern for the workers, according to by the Worker’s Union in 2003. It functions like a bank, providing Mshana. “Right now all the workers are guaranteed free mediloans to Kiliﬂora employees. Paying a lump sum of 2000 shillings cal treatment, but not their families,” he adds. ensures you membership as long as you are employed at Kiliﬂora. Joining the workers’ union is free of charge, and most workfa i r t r a de | 15
“Emergency loans are there to assist you in emergency cases, say someone in your family gets ill or if you are robbed. Educational loans are for education and training,” Mshana explains. “Then there are the development loans. Maybe you want to acquire a piece of land. Maybe you want to build a house. Depending on your shares in saccos, you could have loans up to three million shillings (usd 2 350).” If you want to take up a loan of two million shillings you ﬁrst need to have one million in savings in saccos. The current interest rate, both on deposit and loans, varies between eight to ten per cent. The loan should be paid back within two years. “The saccos loans really help a lot of employees here,” Stephen George stresses. “In Tanzania in general you do not get individual loans, only corporate loans. Except for the microcredit institutions, that is, but they are meant for setting up enterprises, not for personal use. Therefore saccos is really needed here. Myself, I took up a saccos loan for buying a piece of land a couple of years ago. Now I want to take up a new loan in order to start constructing the house.” Marwa Issa nods. He is Kiliﬂora’s jb accountant. “It is so expensive to rent a ﬂat around here. You could easily see more than half your salary being spent just on renting. Now, if you take up four consecutive loans over eight years, each of them at 2.5 million shillings, you will have it all. You spend the ﬁrst loan to acquire the piece of land, the next one to start raising the house, and the last two to ﬁnish it all. That is how I am planning to do it.” FRINGE BENEFITS Margaret Moses has been employed by Kiliﬂora for the last 10 years. Changes came in 2003, as Kiliﬂora was certiﬁed by the Max Havelaar Fair Trade label. “The ﬂowers did not use to be of very high quality in those days, and customers were fewer. Today we have uniforms and rubber shoes for free. Salaries used to be some 60 000 shillings a month, now they are up to 120 000 (usd 95). Salaries are much higher here than at other places around,” Moses points out. She started her career at Kiliﬂora in harvesting, and was transferred to packaging about eight years ago. Moses, who lives with her parents not far from the Loliondo farm, says she feels very happy about working at Kiliﬂora: “I have got so many things from this company. I have got umbrellas, a bicycle and mabati [iron sheets, for the new roof for their home], to mention but a few fringe beneﬁts.” Kiliﬂora has around 1 245 employees, of which some 60 per cent are women. The Joint Board, in charge of the premium money, is 50 per cent female. Gender issues are being addressed in different ways at Kiliﬂora. The jb has arranged gender sensitivity classes for workers and community members. More such courses are planned, according to Stephen George, Fair Trade Ofﬁce & Human Resource Manager. 16 | fa i r t r a de
“Gender courses are really needed,” he says. “Most people still think that women should not do this and that, that they should stay at home, basically. Our courses are targeting both men and women, both Kiliﬂora employees and community members in general. They are about gender roles and women’s rights, areas where improvements are still needed.” Mr. George, himself a trained lawyer from the University of Dar es Salaam, is supported by Shoba Nayar, Group Accreditation and qa Manager at Kiliﬂora: “The women’s committee is concerned with health issues, and sexual harassment. If something is wrong, someone having been harassed, say, they address the problem, ask for investigation, and propose solutions. They are strong.” In general pregnant women tend to keep working until the very moment when delivery starts, Nayar says. “Now, following an initiative from the secretary of the women’s committee, a system for monitoring has been introduced. And then, after
birth, we make sure that the mothers have enough time to go home during lunch break for breastfeeding.” SUFFERING A LACK OF EXPERTISE Being Fair Trade-certiﬁed means obligations. Every year there are ofﬁcial visits from the Fair Trade Labeling Organisation (flo). “They want to see how the Joint Board is functioning, how the social premium money is being used, they check the company’s social involvement, they look into the freedom of the workers including the workers’ union and whether the workers are trained and how,” explains Shoba Nayar. “They check our environmental measures including handling of fertilizer and health and safety in general. And they look for any sort of discrimination based on sex or tribes.” Then they write their reports. According to these, what are your main challenges?
“Environmental issues, ﬁrst and foremost. Better ways of cleaning up. We suffer from lack of expertise in the Arusha region. Training and awareness are other core issues within Fair Trade. We constantly work on training our employees both in safety and in general skills. flo gives us a timetable and we work at rectifying in accordance with their remarks.” Surely being Fair Trade-certiﬁed implies a lot of extra work and expenses? Why, in your view, is it still important to be Fair Trade-certiﬁed? “In general, it is good both for the company and its workers. There are huge differences in working conditions between Tanzanian farms, mind you, and we like to be at the top end. Also, being Fair Trade-certiﬁed helps us in the market. Our customers keep asking: ‘Are you certiﬁed?’ Fair Trade is an important marketing tool. It is good for our buyers to know that our workers are being treated well.” GK
s t udi es | “Every morning we get up at six. We have breakfast in the outdoor canteen, before the school starts at eight. After school, at 14:30, there is a lunch break. Every afternoon and evening we have private studies, doing revision and having discussions with my classmates,” says Advin Maingu, summing up the typical school day.
One Person, One Bed “Those who are a little big have problems with sharing beds. But if you are thin, it is not such a big problem.” advin m aingu is one of 670 students enrolled at the Mlangarini Secondary School. The bashful 17-year-old, dressed in the red-and-white school uniform, no longer lives at home with her family; she has come to stay at the girl’s hostel, built with money from the Kiliﬂora development fund. The school is situated in a rather remote area, with the next secondary school some 40 kilometres away. “Most of the students actually live quite far away. Before, they had to walk big distances to and from school. Many, espefa i r t r a de | 17
open | The Olomitu Community Library is open. But where are the grown-ups?
cially the young women, faced temptations on the way. Some of them got pregnant. That is why we thought of having this hostel built,” explains Stephen George, nodding in the direction of the hostel, neatly set in the schoolyard. Advin’s family lives in a village about 20 kilometres away from the school. She says she feels lucky to be living at the school hostel. She is currently in Form iii, sharing classroom with some 140 fellow students. Her favourite subjects are history, geography and maths. Her dream is to become a teacher. 18 | fa i r t r a de
The girl’s hostel was set up with Kiliﬂora social premium funding and inaugurated by Tanzania’s President Kikwete in March 2007. It was designed to house 54 students, but the need turned out to be so overwhelming that the number has been doubled. “We need more hostels here,” Arvin explains. “One person, one bed, that should be the rule. We could do with some more toilets too. And then there is this problem with the canteen, that we always have to take our meals outdoors.”
Arvin’s plea may already have been heard, according to Stephen George. “We want to assist them with raising yet another hostel or a canteen,” he says. “It is so much better for the female students to come and live here at school. The option, living at home with their family, generally means a lot of work in the evenings to help the family out. Staying at the hostel, they are free to be full-time students.”
sues and literacy training, to mention but a few. And we will make sure to make this a social meeting place, too. A café is planned for Phase Two,” Mr. Bondo asserts. The courses are not entirely free of charge – and for good reason, too, according to Stephen George: “The workers have to pay ten per cent of the cost. The idea is they should understand and appreciate the value of the training being offered.”
THE VALUE OF TRAINING PROMOTING READING HABITS The construction of modern, multi-purThe Olomitu Community Library is open. pose community centres is a huge investThe young students are there with their The construction of modern, multiment taken on by the kwdf. It is all about purpose community centres is a huge schoolbooks. But where are the grownproviding proper training for the Kiliﬂora investment taken on by the kwdf. It is ups? workers and local community members. Public libraries are close to non-existall about providing proper training for “We used to do most of our training ent in Tanzania. The Kiliﬂora Joint Board the Kiliflora workers and local commuin Arusha, some 25 kilometres away from ﬁgured it would be a good idea to set up a nity members. here. Now, with this brand-new commupublic library at Olomitu. nity centre right here in Usa River, there The library is open every day from 8 am will be much more time for training,” Mr. Bondo explains as he to 4 pm. There are not too many books available at the moment, takes me around the premises. and most of them are schoolbooks. Concentrated silence reigns Usa River Community Centre is scheduled to open in January as the young students tiptoe between the bookshelves. 2009. It is an impressive building that contains four huge class“We want to promote reading habits in the community. rooms and several ofﬁces. The total bill amounts to some 272 We face challenges, as the adults are not used to reading that million Tanzanian shillings (usd 210 000). much. Those adults who do visit the library come here for In the mornings children’s laughter will reverberate in these the newspapers. We still have some campaigning to do,” adrooms after a nearby childcare centre moves in. Most of the mits Marwa Issa, jb accountant. children will be the sons and daughters of Kiliﬂora workers, Tree nursery is an integrated part of all Kiliﬂora developbut the centre will take other community kids too. In the afterment project, he points out: “These days, lots of people tend noon the community centre will be transformed into a training to cut down the trees. But we are campaigning for the green centre for adults – both Kiliﬂora employees and others. revolution. We are teaching the villagers, especially the “We will provide all sorts of training courses: computer youngsters, about the importance of planting trees. We want skills, cooking, language, hiv-awareness, environmental isto give them the habit of planting, not cutting.” G K
Improving the Health Service “Health human resources are scarce all over the country and budgeting is always a constraint.”
do c t or a z i z m su ya, district medical ofﬁcer in Meru district, has been in charge of the hospital at Tengeru for the last three years. In 2005 he saw the hospital’s women and children’s ward completed, thanks to funding from the kwdf. In
the same year the kwdf also donated some 57 million shillings (usd 45 000) to help build a men’s ward. “This hospital was rather run-down when I took over in 2005. All you see around here, including these wards, has been accomfa i r t r a de | 19
health | “Please put your money into public health. It is all about improving our health service, enabling us to provide better services for our people,” says Doctor Aziz Msuya, district medical ofﬁcer in Meru district.
plished during the last three years. Building the wards, the entire environment of our hospital really started changing for the better.” Doctor Msuya is proud by what has already been achieved, but cautions that there is still much left to be done. “We need extra wards, and we are trying to generate more funds. Modern mortuary freezers are needed. We have lots of trafﬁc accidents around here, and are in need of better preservation for the bodies. That is our next project.” Malaria is the hospital’s biggest problem. Then secondary diseases related to hiv/aids, not least of which is tuberculosis. Then pneumonia. These are the most common diseases among the patients at Dr. Msuya’s hospital. “It is a good thing that the private sector can put money 2 0 | fa i r t r a de
into complementing public funding. I am very grateful for Kiliﬂora’s contributions to our hospital. They are the most reliable people, they are great partners. They are really looking for ways of contributing and they are concerned with output,” Dr. Msuya adds. He is in charge of about 120 staff members. The number of employees should be at least the double, he argues, in order to optimise the hospital’s services. But the human resource situation is restricted, as are ﬁnances. There are even clinics and dispensaries in Tanzania being run by people totally lacking in medical training, he claims. “So please, put your money into public health. It is all about improving our health service, enabling us to provide better services for our people.” GK
The Symbolic Value of Consumption Children across Europe are learning how to become responsible consumers thanks to an education initiative promoting sustainable development. gl aydys f o uché / te x t runo isaksen / photo oslo, norway
sinc e 2 003 the Consumer Citizenship Network (ccn), which groups some 130 institutions of higher education across 37 countries, has developed teaching tools to help educators engage their pupils with environmental and consumer issues in a lively manner. “Our aim is to turn young people into consumer-citizens: individuals who think critically about the choices they make when they buy products,” explains c c n project leader Victoria Thoresen, who is based at Hedmark University College in south-eastern Norway. “We want them to think about the impact their choices have at local, national and international levels. We want them to be concerned with developing a sustainable and responsible society.”
its link with nature,” explains Thoresen. “It’s a teaser to initiate discussions and lead to talking about topics such as recycling.” The ccn also focuses on the values underpinning our consumer society. “We are interested in discussions where children learn the symbolic value of consumption,” says Thoresen. “Do you buy a dress because you don’t want to freeze? Or do you buy it because you want to make an impression at a party? Through these discussions, kids learn how to decode advertisements, and how consumer society works.” Thoresen reckons the teaching tools can be used for children of all ages. “The important thing is to teach children about connections and relations, rather than facts and ﬁgures, because that engages them more,” she says.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS One pilot project focuses on how to show pupils that social change can happen. “The idea is that children meet individuals in their local community who are social innovators, say, because they consume differently from the norm,” she continues. “By meeting them face-to-face and reporting on what these individuals do, children make a connection with them and understand that there are alternative ways to consume that are more sustainable.” Another course developed focuses on using images in the classroom. “A teacher could show images of everyday things, like a car or a tree, and ask children to pick an image and talk about
OUR LIFEST YLES’ IMPACT The CCN appears to have been popular with the academic community since its inception. “The initial response was overwhelming. About 100 institutions applied to join us when we only needed 30,” Thoresen recalls. “Today we have 137 institutions involved, from ﬁelds such as biology, history, home economics, religions and pedagogy. Despite their diversity, all these institutions are united by the same interest, as all these ﬁelds are affected by one common thing: our lifestyle and its impact on our world.” Nowadays the network publishes between 30 and 50 research papers every year, thanks to its current eur 1.5 million c on s u m e r c i t i z e n s h i p n e t wor k | 2 1
c h oi c e s | Victoria Thoresen wants to turn young people into consumer-citizens: individuals who think critically about the choices they make when they buy products.
three-year budget. Close to half of the funding comes from the European Union, with the remainder provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Children and Equality, the un Environment Programme and Unesco. Thoresen acknowledges it is difﬁcult to quantify how many children have been changed by the course, as she and her colleagues are trying to change attitudes over the long term. But one positive point has been the great interest shown by the teaching community in attempting to address the global environmental crisis. “The way we consume has never been so intense as it is today. We have come to a critical point and people realise that something must be done about it,” she says. GK
2 2 | c on s u m e r c i t i z e n s h i p n e t wor k
Saving the Planet One Syllable at a Time In an introductory class for foreign language pupils at Sund school outside Bergen, the children are learning Norwegian through classes on recycling and waste management. e ivind se nne tse t, te xt a nd photos klokkarvik, norway
m a k i n g pa p e r | Nine-year-olds Tomas, left, and Mindaugas make blue-tinted paper from recycled waste. Teacher Cecilie Barra uses recyling in her introductory classes at Sund school outside Bergen. Native language teacher Viktorya Ivanova is at right.
“ this is a milk carton. Should we “Re-cycl-ing,” says Cecilie Barra to The boys are making blue paper, while sixthrow it in the trash?” asks teacher Cecilie year-old Evita prefers pink. the pupils. “It is a difficult word, Barra. The walls of the classroom are cov- but we use it so often it might be a It’s a hands-on experience, and ered with educational posters of vegetables, good idea to learn it sooner rather the teachers and pupils talk about each dipthongs and step-by-step guides to recystep of the process in simple Norwegian. than later.” cling. A sign on the door says “Hello” and And some not so simple: “Re-cycl-ing,” “Goodbye” in Norwegian, Lithuanian and Swahili. says Cecilie Barra to the pupils. “It is a difﬁcult word, but we This November morning six children aged six to ten years use it so often it might be a good idea to learn it sooner rather are attending the introductory programme at the public school than later.” in Sund, some 30 kilometres outside Bergen on the west coast LEARNING BY DOING of Norway. While the aim of this class is to teach Norwegian, At Sund school in Klokkarvik, recycling has been an importhe pupils from Lithuania and the Democratic Republic of tant theme in education since the school became part of the Congo are recycling their own paper today. After shredding and unesco Associated Schools Project Network in 1991. Recently, soaking, the children are now mixing colour in with the pulp. c on s u m e r c i t i z e n s h i p n e t wor k | 2 3
a soda bot tle’s tale | Ten-year-old Gabrielle shows teacher Cecilie Barra her drawing of a soda bottle’s life cycle.
the school has also started to use ele- If we can make new paper from it, we do they grow into conscientiously consumments from methods developed by the ing adults,” says Barra. not have to cut down the forest. Consumer Citizenship Network (ccn) to CARTOONS TO CHRISTMAS CARDS engage pupils in issues concerning consumption and the enviBack in the classroom Giedre and Gabrielle are making drawronment. ings of the recycling process. Gabrielle describes the life of a “As a teacher in the introductory programme, my ﬁrst aim is soda bottle, ending her cartoon with a picture where she buys to teach the children Norwegian. At ﬁrst I thought the topic of a new soda with the container deposit money. Nine-year-old sustainable development would be too advanced for my pupils Mindaugas, obviously preferring scissors over pencil, is cutin view of the language barriers. But then again – why should ting milk cartons to shreds. If they manage to separate the plasit be? Why not adapt it to their level? These are issues they will tic lining, the old cartons may be turned into greetings cards in have to consider at some time, so why not let them learn the time for Christmas. language through these topics?” says Cecilie Barra. “Why is it so important not to throw paper in the garbage?” The pupils learn words describing the environment, packasks Cecilie Barra. aging and consumption, they visit neighbours who compost “If we can make new paper from it, we do not have to cut and recycle their own paper. “I try to teach about connections down the forest,” says nine-year-old Tomas, with a little help as well, to the extent language allows. Our ordinary approach from native language teacher Viktorya Ivanova. to environmental issues is a bit too complex for use in the in“Why are woods so important, then?” Barra asks. troduction classes, but when adjusted to their level, we get a “They make air!” the children answer. “And animals live teaching tool that not only helps them learn Norwegian, but there.” GK might provide some reﬂections they will bring with them as 2 4 | c on s u m e r c i t i z e n s h i p n e t wor k
r eli a b i l i t y | Fair Trade provides reliability and the parties involved are much friendlier than those in the conventional market, according to Luis Alvarez, accounting advisor for Maya Vinic.
There is Life in Coffee Mayan coffee farmers struggle to keep up with the rising costs of the Fair Trade scheme. Their biggest competitors, purchasing intermediaries and migration to the tourist sector, hit hard. gianni na rotondo va n l e uwe e n / te x t a n d photos chiapas, mexico
alongside a snaking, fast-paced road in the highlands of Chiapas, 45 kilometres north of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, stands the Maya Vinic Coffee Cooperative’s main complex. Heavy rains have fallen recently over Chiapas’ highlands, accentuating the dark green hues of the undulating landscape
between patches of drying maize ﬁelds. Across the road from Maya Vinic’s warehouse stands a wooden house. Smoke seeps through its walls and into the backyard where a lively little girl in a bright pink handwoven blouse chases a chicken between lush coffee bushes. fa i r t r a de | 25
bea n s | Coffee beans to be picked in January 2009.
On arrival, the cooperative’s slogan written in large green letters, Oy cuxlejal yu’un licajvele – Tsotsil for “There is life in coffee” – is impossible to miss. Coffee is the primary source of income for 403 000 Mexican coffee producers, including Maya Vinic’s 400 members. Since its inception in 1999, Fair Trade has provided this cooperative with a friendly alternative to regular production. Despite their participation in the Fair Trade system, Chiapas’ social-political context, the activities of intermediaries and increasing migration has motivated this cooperative to look beyond coffee production in search of a better life for its members. COYOTES DON’T PAY WELL “We started the year by paying 19 pesos per kilogram of coffee. Today we are paying the balance,” says Maya Vinic president, 2 6 | fa i r t r a de
José Pérez Vázquez. Delegates from over 30 communities stand nearby waiting to collect the balance owed for this year’s harvest. Maya Vinic pays its members a minimum of 25 pesos per kilogram of raw coffee beans, year round (eur 1.5). Through the Fair Trade system, Maya Vinic’s members have found an honest alternative and a stable price for their coffee. “Before, coyotes did not pay well,” says Victorio Perez Paciencia, Maya Vinic’s secretary. “I want to sell my coffee at a good price, so I joined the cooperative.” In Chiapas, coyotes are the intermediaries between small coffee producers and the warehouses located in Chiapas’ larger cities. They travel to rural communities and buy coffee at low prices, typically cheating producers by ﬁxing the scales when weighing their coffee.
d ir e c t o r s | Maya Vinic president, José Pérez Vázquez (right), with the board of directors.
LOTS OF WORK Although Maya Vinic offers regular training to its members on soil conservation and motivates its members to use methods which produce higher yields, earnings are still insufﬁcient to cover daily needs. “We don’t spend what we earn on our families, we have to reinvest it in the coffee ﬁelds,” says Lorenzo Pérez Pérez, who has brought with him two crates of mandarins which his two boys, aged 7 and 11, will help sell at the local market. Maya Vinic, which means Mayan Man in Tsotsil, is one of 40 Fair Trade producer organisations in Mexico, according to Fair Trade Labeling Organisations International (flo). Although its connection to Fair Trade has allowed the cooperative to ﬂourish and to sell its coffee without intermediaries, members are uncertain of its long-term beneﬁts. “I ask myself whether Fair Trade is the answer. Sometimes I see there are many expenses, producers don’t receive all their pay directly. I question whether it is really fair trade,” says Pérez Vázquez, Maya Vinic president. The cooperative’s annual certiﬁcation fee has skyrocketed to eur 3 000. “In 2002 we used to pay eur 500, in six years Fair Trade’s annual costs have multiplied by six,” says Luis Alvarez, accounting advisor for Maya Vinic. “I do believe there are more expenses, but these should not be paid by producers,” he says.
good p ri c e | Victorio Perez Paciencia, Maya Vinic’s secretary, wanted to sell his coffee at a good price, so he joined the cooperative. He does not trust the coyotes, the intermediaries between small coffee producers and the warehouses located in Chiapas’ larger cities.
SOCIAL PREMIUM This year the cooperative will have to use its fair trade social premium, a usd 0.10 bonus paid by the buyer for every pound of coffee purchased, to pay for the elevated certiﬁcation costs. For the past nine years Maya Vinic has used its social premium to construct and improve infrastructure and purchase machinery. “We have managed to expand our warehouse, construct the building for wet processing, and used it as guarantee to buy 10 hectares of land,” says Pérez Vázquez. This month, Maya Vinic received its much-awaited electronic sorting machine that will be paid using the social premium over the next two years. “We are very excited, we will no longer have to pay to get our coffee sorted,” says Alvarez. With this new purchase, Maya Vinic will save an estimated 50 000 pesos per year (eur 2 940) and will be able to complete the sorting and quality control process on their own. Despite increasing costs, Maya Vinic will continue to work with the Fair Trade system. “Fair Trade does provide reliability. The parties involved are much friendlier than those in the conventional market, which is a jungle,” says Luis Alvarez, adding: “Although in Fair Trade there is also the ambition and desire to obtain the best proﬁt, it is more coherent, there is more compromise and transparency.” fa i r t r a de | 2 7
MIGRATION INCREASING Besides rising costs and greedy intermediaries, migration to the tourist sector is one of Maya Vinic’s greatest competitors. “In Campo Los Toros community where I am from, many young men leave,” says Pérez Paciencia. “The cooperative does not stop people from leaving because we don’t make enough to buy what we need.” Between 1999 and 2004 coffee prices worldwide dropped drastically, causing many small growers to abandon their coffee ﬁelds. “Ten years ago coffee sold for 8 to 10 pesos per kilogram (eur 0.50),” says Alvarez, who believes that despite the fact that prices have since doubled, it is still insufﬁcient to make ends meet. Small coffee producers in Mexico earn about 10 000 pesos per year (eur 590).It is easy to earn that amount working two or three months in a popular tourist spot like Cancun or Playas del Carmen on the Mayan Riviera. As most of Maya Vinic’s members are young, migration has taken a huge toll on the cooperative. “It has affected us because the few that do come back have another mentality, they don’t want to work in the cooperative anymore, they don’t want to work the land any more, they want to be outside the house more,” says Pérez Vázquez. “Although we dream of preventing young men and women from leaving, it is a very difﬁcult task.” Maya Vinic has incorporated a strong educational component into its work. “Education is what is needed most, so that young people don’t abandon their families, so that they don’t migrate to other countries,” says Pérez Vázquez. In January the cooperative started an intensive education campaign. “We visit the communities and educate people to work. But we have not yet seen the fruit of this work,” he admits, adding: “Our dream is to have people employed in the cooperative.” HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES The cooperative was founded in 1999 by civil society organisation Las Abejas (The Bees), an indigenous catholic paciﬁst group. In December 1997, 45 people, most of them women and children, were ambushed and brutally murdered by armybacked paramilitaries in the town of Acteal, 40 kilometres north of San Cristóbal. All victims were members of The Bees. “We used to belong to another coffee cooperative, but when the massacre and displacement occurred, we realised the directives of that cooperative also took part in the massacre,” says current Maya Vinic President José Pérez Vázquez. “So we separated.” The Zapatista uprising of 1994, while it brought worldwide attention to the extremely poor living conditions of the indigenous people of Chiapas, also unleashed a low-intensity warfare throughout the state, particularly in the highland and jungle regions. The following years not only brought human rights 2 8 | fa i r t r a de
abuses to indigenous communities, but signiﬁcant disruptions to traditional production cycles and agricultural practices. Since then, indigenous people, regardless of their afﬁliation, have frequently been targeted by the military and victims of innumerous abuses, displacements and killings. “During the war, some left their communities and went in search of other places to live,” says Santis Hernández. “We were left without a cooperative, we had no place to sell our coffee which was a great necessity because for us, coffee is our life. So we had the idea of organising ourselves, constructing a cooperative out of The Bees.” HONEY TO KEEP GOING Although coffee is the only source of income for many families, sometimes it is not enough. “The problem is that we don’t have enough coffee, we are small producers,” says Pérez Vázquez. “That is why we joined up as a cooperative and that is why we are thinking of other alternatives that may improve our lives.” In Mexico, transnational companies sell 85 per cent of the coffee production; only 15 per cent is sold directly by producers, according to the International Coffee Organisation. In order to provide a better life for their members the cooperative has decided to diversify its production. “A producer who gets the most out of his coffee can perhaps harvest 800 kilograms of coffee per year,” says Alvarez. “If he has honey, he can harvest another 800 kilograms of honey per year. Little by little he can earn up to 40 000 pesos per year (eur 2 350). Even though it is still a low wage, it is a whole lot more than what they are earning right now,” says Alvarez. “I think the producers in the cooperative don’t realise all the potential they have.” Last year, in collaboration with a local honey Fair Trade cooperative, Maya Vinic ventured into the honey business. “Last year we collected six-and–a-half tons of honey,” says Agustín Santiz Gómez, president of the honey committee. This year they have quadrupled the production. “We are going to harvest 25 tons of honey this year. We already have a buyer who came from the United States and we are in the process of receiving our Organic Fair Trade certiﬁcation,” says Santiz Gómez as he walks into the bright wooden storeroom where the remainder of last year’s honey is kept. Of Maya Vinic’s 400 members, only 60 have decided to cultivate honey. The displacement caused by Chiapas’ low-intensity warfare has left many indigenous families landless. “There are some members who don’t have land,” says Santiz Gómez. “Although they want to grow coffee, they don’t have enough land.” Land productivity is also an issue for many families. “Even
harves t | Harvesting in Pantelhó. (photo / Maya Vinic)
expo rt s | Maya Vinic exports four containers per year, the equivalent of 69 000 kilograms of organic coffee beans to clients in Canada, the United States and Switzerland at usd 126 per 100 pounds (eur 99 per 45 kilograms). Only 10 per cent of its production is sold at home.
if families use organic fertilizers, sometimes the land is simply not productive. To grow coffee you need a lot of land, but to harvest honey you only need one square meter,” says Santiz Gómez as he pulls out a bucket ﬁlled with honey jars. “Most of us think honey is going to help us keep going.” NO SUPPORT Maya Vinic receives no support from the government. “We see a government that does not think about its people and the needs of our communities,” says Pérez Vázquez, who has sought government support in the past, but received no answer. However, the cooperative does receive support from faith-based organisations. “They have helped us a lot,” says Pérez Vázquez. Maya Vinic has traveled great lengths to improve the quality of life of its members and their families. “Our life has im3 0 | fa i r t r a de
proved,” says Alvarez, who arrived at Maya Vinic in 2001. He recalls board meetings: “They used to say: ‘I am poor, I do not speak Spanish.’ The dialogue is no longer about whether I am poor or not, it’s more along the lines of, ‘How are we going to export? How much are we going to produce?’” The challenge for Maya Vinic’s board is how to transmit that discourse to the coffee grower who only travels six times a year to the cooperative. “In this aspect we are deﬁcient,” says Alvarez. “What we see in our country is that there are huge companies going bankrupt, however its businessmen are rich. Cooperatives are the other way around – the companies are rich, they have investments, vehicles, assets; however, its businessmen, its members, are poor.” G K
va lu e | “The price of a good in the future may embody not only questions such as: does it look good and is it cheap? The price may include your valuing the well-being of a person on the other side of the planet,” says Douglas Murray (right), visiting a Peruvian farmer.
The Emergence of a Global Conscience “Looking at sales or market shares in my mind doesn’t really capture the full potential of Fair Trade. Ultimately one might say that the goal of Fair Trade is to do away with itself and make all trade fair.” runo isaksen / tex t dr. d ou g l a s m u r ray is co-director at the Centre for Fair and Alternative Trade Studies at Colorado State University, usa. He has conducted numerous studies on Fair Trade and social change, especially in Latin America. In his view, Fair
Trade is one of the world’s most dynamic efforts to enhance global social justice and environmental sustainability through market-based social change. Murray has published several books on these issues, most recently: Raynolds, Murray and fa i r t r a de | 3 1
c ons c i enc e | In Douglas Murray’s mind, Fair Trade is one example of the beginning emergence of a global, collective conscience. (photos / Center for Fair and Alternative Trade Studies, Colorado State University.)
Wilkinson (eds.), Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization (2007). ALTERNATIVE MODEL Coffee has been and still is the leading Fair Trade commodity. Latin America accounts for some two-thirds of all the Fair Trade-certiﬁed coffee being produced. Peru recently surpassed Mexico as the single largest supplier of Fair Trade coffee. Latin America is also a major supplier of Fair Trade bananas. Now, does Fair Trade really contribute to social changes in countries like Peru and Mexico? Or does it just concern a couple of small villages? “Fair Trade reaches hundreds of thousands of people in Latin America, but in terms of the total population its effect is miniscule. It certainly has not changed the Peruvian or the Mexican economy. But it is growing, reaching more and more producers, their families and communities. What I am most intrigued by is not the scope of its impact currently, but the rate of its growth and its potential to generate an alternative model that ultimately may inﬂuence the conventional market rather than just be a niche market.” GROWING 40 PER CENT ANNUALLY Fair Trade is still relatively small compared to, say, organic trade. Where and how is Fair Trade actually growing? “I remember at the beginning of the decade a business magazine saying: ‘This Fair Trade market is miniscule. But if you look at the rate it is growing, it is a sector that business people ought to be looking into.’ And that was when annual Fair Trade sales were in millions of dollars; by the end of 2008 3 2 | fa i r t r a de
they will surpass usd 4.5 billion. Globally for this entire decade, Fair Trade-certiﬁed commerce alone has been growing at an average rate of 40 per cent per year. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Global organic sales now are over usd 40 billion annually. Any sector sooner or later has got to level off, and the traditional Fair Trade commodities are starting to level off in Europe. Organic sales globally are leveling off. Fair Trade sales in the us, on the other hand, continue to accelerate. And new commodities are part of what is driving that growth: ﬂowers, wine, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more. As Fair Trade broadens, it continues to grow.” Why these differences between Europe and the us? “In part because Europe has been doing this for decades. You could hardly ﬁnd Fair Trade coffee in the us until the beginning of this decade. And in part because of the shift from alternative trade organisations to mainstream. Now you see companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s selling Fair Trade coffee. And then all of these huge retailers are joining in, like Costco and even Walmart, and that is spurring sales as well,” Murray says. THE CONNECTING GAME Fair Trade developed after the World War II as a number of organisations – including faith-based, solidarity groups and some governmental development agencies – all started looking at using the market to address poverty in a strategy that came to be known as “Trade, not Aid.” Over a period of years, Fair Trade developed as a form of alternative trade organisations (ATO) that used alternative markets to promote more direct links between producers and consumers, eliminating as
many of the middlemen as they could, returning more of the eratives. That is an example of a dynamic within Fair Trade that end-market price back to the producers. Today the labeling is truly different.” side of the movement really has become the most dynamic, cerThere is a social premium that comes with Fair Trade. The tainly in terms of sales. So how, more precisely, does Murray customer pays a higher price, the producer gets a higher return. see Fair Trade changing the conventional market? But a percentage of that doesn’t go back as wages, they have to “I see for example in Mexico some coffee cooperatives that put it aside as a social premium in a separate fund and invest it got into Fair Trade and now have their own coffee shops which in the community. promise consumers that if you frequent this place, you provide “The social premium creates another dynamic, rather than a beneﬁts to poor farmers and their families and help sustain incompany’s gain or the individual’s gain. Fair Trade is building digenous culture, protect the rainforest and so on. These are ties between small-scale producers, workers, the company and not coffee shops operating on the scale of their community. In the cut ﬂower industry Starbucks, but a sector of people is startin Ecuador they spend some of the social The truth is that Fair Trade might ing to say: ‘I like to have my coffee there be- be many things, so the question is: premium on scholarships for workers’ chilcause it beneﬁts us in ways that supporting dren. For the ﬁrst time you see kids, rather how do you influence it becoming some transnational enterprise might not.’ than going to work on plantations, now what you want it to become? And then, as you start connecting urban having enough money to go to a nearby urconsumers with rural peasants, you start ban centre for high school, and some even changing a social dynamic that is hundreds of years old, you beyond. In the long run this is going to signiﬁcantly change the begin to engage those consumers with the lives and presumopportunities of poor people in those rural mountain commuably the problems and needs of the people that are actually nities,” Murray says. producing their food. That is why I say that looking at sales or DEMOCRATIZING FORCE market shares doesn’t really capture the full potential of Fair Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (flo) requires Trade. And ultimately the goal is to make all trade fair.” that you to have a democratically-run organisation in order to So in say 50 years, Starbucks should be a 100 per cent Fair be certiﬁed. This elected body is also in charge of the social preTrade enterprise? mium. In this way Fair Trade is actually helping to democratize “In fact that is the strategy of the labeling organisation side some of these organisations, Murray emphasizes. What, then, of Fair Trade. Starbucks now has about one–two per cent of its are the main challenges facing Fair Trade right now? coffee Fair Trade-certiﬁed. Certainly the atos would say that “The fundamental dilemma is: how do you continue to Starbucks is in effect pirating the Fair Trade image by just buybroaden and at the same time deepen the inﬂuence? That is, to ing one–two per cent of their coffee. On the other hand, when take Fair Trade beyond a few key things like paying a higher a company like Starbucks makes one–two per cent of their glowage or requiring that a democratic organisation exists, to bal coffee purchases Fair Trade, that single act dramatically deepening the values and the vision of Fair Trade. The future, I increases the amount of Fair Trade coffee being purchased. think, lies in continuing to broaden, but deepening the values Arguably it beneﬁts hundreds of thousands of poor people and the relationships as you broaden.” around the world. The truth is that Fair Trade might be many And that, as you expand to reach millions and millions of things, so the question is: how do you inﬂuence it becoming people, becomes increasingly difﬁcult. So how do you propose what you want it to become?” doing that? SOCIAL PREMIUM DYNAMICS “The anthropologist Adjun Appadurai has argued that for Murray gives several examples of Fair Trade success stories. the ﬁrst time in human history, because of the nature of gloBut you can ﬁnd negative examples too, he cautions, you need balization and particularly some of the technologies, we have only read magazines like The Economist. the potential to create a global, collective conscience. A farmer “I have been impressed by many things. The Mexican coffee in Africa and a consumer in Paris can share the same image of cooperatives are quite large, with many thousands of members. something because of the Internet, television, transport, and Some of the early innovators, rather than creating a traditional travel. Consequently, for the ﬁrst time humanity can imagine business model and being the early innovator that captures the common solutions, because they can understand the same market, they began teaching other cooperatives how to become problem in the same way. In my mind Fair Trade is one example Fair Trade-certiﬁed. So instead of competing they have created of the beginning emergence of a global, collective conscience a sort of solidarity to help expand Fair Trade into other coopthat Appadurai is talking about. Fraught with problems, obstacles and potential.” GK fa i r t r a de | 3 3
Cleaning Sri Lanka’s Industry Sri Lanka’s raw materials processing industry suffers from old technology and widespread pollution and inefficiency. A joint NorwegianSri Lankan university programme aims to do something about the problems. torgei r no r l i ng / te x t a n d photos colombo, sri lanka
problem | “When it comes to the industry in Sri Lanka the major problem is that they don’t rely on advanced techniques or scientiﬁc analyses,” says P.G. Rathnasiri.
“even i f w e h ave environmental legislaBakke, project coordinator at Telemark Our ambition is to upgrade tion, our industry doesn’t follow it. The waste University College says the intention is to existing industry and help goes straight into the canals or the nearest make the industry clean from start to ﬁnish. Sri Lanka embark on modern body of water,” says P.G. Rathnasiri, a lecturer “The processing industry in Sri Lanka has process engineering. at the department of chemical and process signiﬁcant potential. They would save a lot engineering of the University of Moratuwa in by making it more environmental-friendly Sri Lanka. from the start. This would also make it more competitive. Most Despite an abundance of raw materials like minerals and of the time, this is just a question of knowledge,” he says. rubber, Sri Lanka has been unable to develop an efﬁcient, enviBakke believes this does not necessarily mean large additional ronmental-friendly processing industry. The industry that does investments. Referring to how the industry has been cleaned exist is lagging behind, relying on outdated, resource-demandup in Norway in recent years, he says it is mostly about knowing and polluting technology. ing how to plan and organise the industry in a more resource“When it comes to industry in Sri Lanka, the major problem friendly way. is that it doesn’t rely on advanced techniques or scientiﬁc anal“There was a lot of pollution in Telemark 20 years ago. What yses. So it is essential to educate more specialized graduates we are bringing into this programme is also this practical expeand engineers,” says Rathnasiri, adding: “Our ambition is to rience in changing a polluting industry into a much more susupgrade existing industry and help Sri Lanka embark on modtainable industry,” he says. ern process engineering.” LACK OF RESOURCES FRIUTFUL COOPERATION Rune Bakke says the technical competence at Moratuwa A noma-supported (Norad’s programme for master studUniversity is more than adequate. Most lecturers have PhD’s ies) Master’s Degree Programme in Sustainable Process from well-established universities in Europe or in the United Development aims to do just this. The programme has been States. But resources are another matter. Much of the equipdeveloped as a cooperative venture between the University of ment in the laboratories looks like it dates back to British coloMoratuwa and Telemark University College in Norway. Rune nial times, and infrastructure is poor. 34 | sri l ank a
outdated | Much of the equipment in the laboratories looks like it dates back to British colonial times. Rathnasiri says it is hard to meet the stu- Research and development is research part of their studies together with dents’ expectations with the equipment they the industry, but industry in Sri Lanka is the last thing the industry is have: “But we will replace all the laboratories, giving priority to, because they rather limited and it’s not ready to do these and we have to ﬁnd a way to get new equipthings. The main challenge is to establish have to focus on survival ment,” he says. cooperation.” Dr Shantha Amarasinghe, a lecturer in chemical engineerDr Shantha Amarasinghe agrees: “Research and developing, admits that doing serious research in Sri Lanka presents ment is the last thing the industry is giving priority to, because a challenge. After doing his PhD at Cambridge University it they have to focus on survival,” he says. took him years to settle back in: “But now I am doing fruitful Some projects have been established, however, mostly when research. The main challenges have to do with lack of research industries ﬁnd themselves in trouble. “We just did a project instruments and research literature. I have to rely on my former with Ceylon Tobacco Company. They had a big emissions students, now doing their graduate studies abroad,” he says. problem. The whole area was smelly and the central authority wanted to cancel their license. Then we designed Sri Lanka’s LACK OF INTEREST ﬁrst bioﬁlter, and the factory is running very nicely now,” says There are other challenges as well. Rune Bakke says it is difﬁAmarasinghe. cult to get Sri Lanka’s industry involved in the research. P.G. Rathnasiri says more projects are underway. “Our stu“Our programme in Telemark is to a large extent based dents have penetrated the industry in recent years. Now the top on close cooperation with the industry in Norway. That part people know what process engineering is. They come to our deseems to be hard to develop, or at least it’s improving slowly in partment and ask us to send them a good guy. It’s getting better Sri Lanka,” he says, adding: “We prefer the students to do the and better.” GK s r i l a n k a | 35
ov e r t he pa st 30 y ears Norway has invested about nok 800 million (usd 100 million) in higher education in Tanzania, one of Norway’s main partner countries for development assistance. The strategic goal for the support is related to Tanzania’s national priorities as presented in the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (nsgrp), 2005. The nsgrp states that “Higher education, Science and Technology are vital for the innovative technological advances that increase returns and productivity in all sectors.” Furtermore: “The challenge is to increase ﬁnancing and expanding higher education and research, paying due attention to quality in order to develop a labour force that is creative and competitive.” Still, unemployment and poverty remain overwhelming in Tanzania with 35.7 per cent of the population living below the national basic need poverty line. In rural areas, where 87 per cent of the population lives, the conditions are even worse. Illiteracy remains high, at about 28 per cent. The gross enrolment rate in higher education is very low at 1.43 per cent. The average in Sub-Sahara Africa is around three per cent. Still, several educational indicators show progress. There has been a rapid growth in the number of universities (from three in 1995 to 19 in 2008) as well as in the number of students (from 5 000 in 1990 to over 55 000 in 2008). Universal primary education was introduced in 2001 and led to a tremendous increase in the number of children going to school. However, very few continue to secondary school. Trade liberalisation following years of socialistic rule has contributed to improved economic performance at the macro-level, with an annual gdp growth rate around six per cent for the last six years. But it has also prompted an inﬂux to urban areas of young petty traders lacking in formal skills. The question remains: how can education and research improve livelihood and quality of life for the average Tanzanian?
Ω ta n z a n i a
Snifﬁng Heroes A skilled lab technician can evaluate around 20 tuberculosis samples per day. A trained sniffer rat can do the same job in 5 minutes. ru no isa kse n / te xt a nd photos morogoro, tanzania
in 2002, t wo m il l io n p e o p l e died worldwide from tuberculosis (tb) and the who estimates lethal cases to increase to eight million annually by 2015. Left untreated, a person with active tb will infect on average ten to 15 people a year. The detection rate for tb is low, due to the lack of a cheap and reliable diagnostic tool that can handle big sample volumes. Currently, tb is detected through sputum smear microscopy, a slow, costly and not very accurate process. This is where Bart Weetjens’ rats come in. It might sound like a joke, but it isn’t. “Every single week we receive some 600 sputum samples from hospitals in Dar es Salaam and Morogoro. These are from patients initially suspected of being infected with tb, but their sputum samples have already been analysed by microscope and cleared. Still, every week our rats detect some ﬁve to ten
expl o s i v e | The trained rats indicate the position of a landmine by scratching the surface at the spot. Being lightweight, they do not set off the explosive devices. (photo / Apopo)
patients that have in fact been missed by the health The advantage with rats is their FIRST-LINE RAT UNIT NEEDED swiftness. They can process a About half of the people currently dying centres,” Weetjens explains. “Some 150 Tanzanian from tb in Tanzania were never diaglives have thus been saved so far in 2008.” huge number of samples in a nosed at all. “And Tanzania is considered The concept is simple enough: rats sniff a series short period of time. to have a decent health system. Just imof holes under which human sputum samples are agine the situation in countries like Angola and Mozambique. It lined up for evaluation. The Herorats, as they are known, pinis really terrible,” Weetjens exclaims. point the samples which contain tb bacteria and are rewarded The capacity is not there, and besides, tb is considered a with a food treat. ‘poor man’s disease.’ The lab is the bottleneck, according to “The advantage with rats is their swiftness. They can Weetjens, who is afraid that the world is losing the ﬁght against process a huge number of samples in a short period of time. tb. Today the Apopo rats work in the second line, but Weetjens Furthermore, hospitals are only able to detect tb in its develdeﬁnitely wants to see the rats employed in a front-line role. oped state; the rats can detect it much earlier. In addition, the “Rats are more sensitive than the lab technician with her micombination of hiv/aids and tb is widespread, making tb dicroscopy, but less speciﬁc. For real diagnosis microscopy is still agnosis even harder by traditional means. The rats are more good. What we need is ﬁrst-line, mobile units of Herorats. After accurate.”
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solu t i o n | The Herorats offer a local solution to the TB epidemic, according to Apopo and Bart Weetjens: “Our rats haven’t detected 150 landmines yet, but only this year they have diagnosed some 150 tuberculosis patients missed by the health centres. So in terms of impact, there is no doubt that the tb track is the most important one.” the rats’ diagnoses, we would refer all the posi- Rats are more sensitive than the OBSTRUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT tive samples to health centres that would then lab technician with her micros- Some 34 accredited Apopo rats are at work screen only the suspect cases. This would be a in Mozambique as we speak, clearing ﬁelds copy, but less specific. perfect win-win situation.” suspected of containing mines. The rats indiBut Weetjens and his approximately 100 colleagues at cate the position of a landmine by scratching the surface at the Apopo are not there yet. So far the 25 specially trained tb rats spot. Being lightweight, they do not set off the explosive devices. are being employed for tb diagnosis in Tanzania alone. More “Every year some 20 000 individuals step on a landmine research, articles and proof is needed before the methods can somewhere in the world. Landmines are a serious obstrucbe fully utilized and exported. Above all, more funding is needtion to development. You simply have to clean them away,” ed. As of today, Weetjens considers the tb track only semi-opsays Weetjens, just back in Morogoro after another visit to erational – compared with the landmines track, where Apopo Mozambique. “They found two mines the day I was there. It reis fully operational. ally makes me feel good.” The landmines – that is how it all started. Weetjens used to 3 8 | Ω ta n z a n i a
d i ag n o s i s | About half of the people currently dying from tb in Tanzania were never diagnosed at all.
Bart Weetjens founded Apopo in 1998. Through a partnership with Antwerp University (Belgium) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (Morogoro, Tanzania), he set up laboratories for training and testing African Giant Pouched Rats in the detection of explosive materials. It was soon established that these so-called Herorats can indeed use their highly sensitive and accurate sense of smell to identify both metal- and plastic-cased landmines. In recent years they have also been trained to diagnose tb. The National Mine Authority of Tanzania is in charge of the accreditation system, which is a regulated and standardized procedure. The rat is typically eight–ten months old when she is ready for the accreditation test – after months of intensive training. The training follows the classical stimulus-response format: the trainer makes a clicking sound on a correct indication and the rat gets its reward: banana, peanut or some vitamin mixture.
work as a product designer focusing on the Rats are more sensitive than the “With more funding, we could move so lab technician with her micros- much faster. Demining lost much of its interdeveloping world, but quit his job to study the copy, but less specific. landmines problem. “I saw dogs at work in the national attention with 9/11. Afterwards eveﬁelds, but they are so dependent on experts. rything was about security and anti-terrorism. With rats you don’t have that problem as the training is conductBut the real needs of our world are to be found in the developed by locals. So I started thinking of rats, and a rodent specialist ing world,” Weetjens emphasises. suggested the African rat. They live long, normally eight years, The plan is to set up practical courses by August 2009, they are resistant to tropical diseases and easily trained.” teaching students how to train and utilise the rats. Weetjens also hopes to be able to establish a ba at the Sokoine University ALL OVER AFRICA of Agriculture in the near future. Apopo’s landmine track has so far been endorsed by 11 African “The interest out there is tremendous, so we simply have to countries. But Apopo is small, lacking the capacity needed to set up a standardized curriculum. In the long run there will be do all the things that they want to. rats programmes all over Africa.” GK
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in fra s t ru c t u r e | Kassim Kulindwa suggest constructing a proper ﬁshing harbor in Tanzania: “The infrastructure has to be in place before we can really start talking about making money.” 40 |
Missing the Boat Tanzania has some 1 400 kilometres of coastline including several inhabited islands, making fishing an important source of income for thousands of people. Despite its potential, the Tanzanian fishing industry remains small-scale. ru no isa kse n / te xt a nd photos
“ t he indian o cean is rich with ﬁsh, but we are missing the opportunity. The potential in ﬁsheries is not being exploited and the income does not come to Tanzania,” says Kassim Kulindwa, an economics professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Kulindwa is currently engaged in a NUFU (Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education) research collaboration project entitled “Coastal ﬁsheries of Tanzania: the challenges of globalization to resource management, livelihood and governance.” He is seriously concerned with exploiting potential within the industry and with the overall question: Who beneﬁts? JUST BLAH BLAH “Foreign ﬁshermen and smart middlemen beneﬁt, not the local ﬁshermen. First of all, there are lots of huge foreign vessels out there. The fee for registering to ﬁsh in Tanzanian waters is usd 18 000 per year. In 2004 a South African surveillance plane on behalf of the sadcc ﬁsheries programme spotted more than 70 foreign vessels operating in Tanzanian waters, none of them registered. They catch the ﬁsh, do the processing on board and off they go. They do not dock here.” But the truth is that even if they wanted to dock in Tanzania, they would face serious constraints – due to a lack of storage and processing facilities, for a start. “The infrastructure has to be in place before we can really start talking about making money. That is why I suggest constructing a proper ﬁshing harbor in Tanzania. If huge foreign vessels were to dock here, it would generate so many other business activities, it would become a thriving industry like in Namibia, Mauritius and South Africa. We need infrastructure, but right now it is just ‘blah blah’.”
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pote n t i a l | Kassim Kulindwa is seriously concerned with exploiting potential within the industry and with the overall question: Who beneﬁts? The local vessels are small, Kulindwa continues, typically canoes. Technology is poor and the gear sometimes illegal. So what is needed? “Capital and expertise. Capital to buy bigger and better vessels enabling the ﬁshermen to go further out and thereby reach richer ﬁshing grounds. Expertise to handle the gear, but also to acquire business skills such as bookkeeping, planning, marketing, following up, etc. You cannot do without this expertise. You have to have a plan and know what to do if circumstances change,” Mr. Kulindwa argues, adding: “There is still one hell of a job left to be done.” PREFERS PRIVATE LOANS The main domestic market is the Magogoni ﬁsh market in the capital, Dar es Salaam. Kulindwa himself was once involved in the shaping of this very ﬁsh market, where bustling activity continues year-round. He was contracted by jica (Japan International Cooperation Agency) to facilitate the allocation of ﬁsh selling stalls and organisation by vendors. Maﬁa Island was chosen as the location for the nufu research project as the island supplies some 70 per cent of the ﬁsh sold at the market in the capital. The island is also the location of the country’s ﬁrst and largest marine park, and it is the 42 |
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site for the ﬁrst ﬁsh-processing plant aimed at the crustaceans and ﬁnﬁsh export market. “I was surprised to discover that lots of ﬁshermen do not opt for formal loans such as micro credits. The ﬁshermen are scared of the formal and rigid kind of loans, fearing the stern bank manager snapping: ‘If you do not pay back today, I will conﬁscate your vessel.’ Instead they take up private loans from locals – typically business people or ﬁsh buyers. These lenders in turn will say: ‘Here is the loan for you, but from now on you sell your haul to me and I will tell you the price.’ This is exploitation,” Kulindwa says. So why do the ﬁshermen cling to these lenders? “We came to understand that these things are not only about business and markets. The human factor is equally important: feeling comfortable, feeling trust. But we, the researchers, still have to dig deeper in order to understand more. And that is precisely what this Tanzanian-Norwegian research project is all about. Understanding more, ﬁrst and foremost, and then afterwards taking our ﬁndings back to the communities.” RIPPING OFF THE COUNTRY Out in the morning, back in the evening. Or else out in early night, back in the morning. That is the rhythm of work for the
average Tanzanian ﬁsherman. What would locally be labeled ‘large scale ﬁshery’ are vessels that go out for some ﬁve days in a row, taking boxes of ice to chill the catch. The marketing chain and value chain are further topics that Kulindwa and his fellow researches need to look more closely into. As for the ﬁshermen themselves, the normal deal is a 2:1 arrangement whereby the ship owner takes the entire catch from the ﬁrst two trips, leaving the hired ﬁshermen to share the third catch. “The ﬁshermen regularly get cheated. Landing their catch, they generally are in a rush to sell to middlemen for fear that their ﬁsh will spoil. The buyers push prices down, often also cheating on weight. Up in Lake Victoria the processors and exporters are usually the same people, and they basically rip the country off. I scrutinised the export ﬁles at Tanzania Revenue Authority (tra) ofﬁces in Mwanza and border posts of Sirari in relation to a study I conducted some years ago. One example: the Lake Victoria exporters reported one kilo between usd 1,75 and 2 regardless of whether the ﬁsh was chilled or frozen. But the truth is that prices are much higher for chilled ﬁsh,” Kulindwa explains. HELPING IMPLEMENT DREAMS Establishing trade unions would be a good way to go to take care of the ﬁshermen’s rights. But initially trust is needed among the ﬁshermen themselves. “The medium- and large-scale operators have the money
and the networks, whereas the small-scale ﬁshermen are afraid of being exploited. They have to be convinced to work together as one group, which is always the best way. Good understanding is crucial. Trust is the tricky part.” The government should do more to facilitate local entrepreneurship, Kulindwa says. Private groups, including NGOs, should do more. And the research can contribute in many ways, too. “Everybody is calling for feedback these days, even the villagers, and they are right to do so. They should ask: ‘What have you found? And given your ﬁndings, how will that improve people’s lives?’ I feel optimistic, academics can make a difference. We produce knowledge. We can design targeted training courses. That is what we should do in this NUFU project, take it some steps further and provide training for local ﬁshermen. We should do all we can to help people implement whatever dreams they have.” Initiative is what Kulindwa hopes for. You can have all the money and all the knowledge you need, but that will get you nowhere if you lack personal initiative. “There are many different tribes in this country and they all have different mentalities and value systems. They will have different answers to a basic set of questions like: What is success? Is having money being successful? How do you take the initiative to improve life? What is ‘quality of life’? Social anthropologists are needed for better understanding at this point.” G K
ac ti v i t y | Bustling activity continues year-round at Magogoni ﬁsh market, Tanzania’s main domestic market.
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The Importance of Human Capital “A fundamental challenge with micro-lending is that it generates mainly micro-projects, and often a clustering of projects in a few sectors,” says Kjetil Bjorvatn, professor at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (nhh). runo isaksen / tex t a n d photos dar es salaam, tanzania
to geth e r w i th p r o f e s s o r Bertil Tungodden (nhh), Bjorvatn is leading the research project “Teaching entrepreneurship to microﬁnance clients in Tanzania: Financial and human capital for development”, offering business classes to local microﬁnance clients. The project has been undertaken in cooperation with pride (Promotion of Rural Initiative and Development Ltd.) Tanzania, the largest microﬁnance institution in the country, the University of Dar es Salaam Entrepreneurship Centre (udec), and Research on Poverty Alleviation (repoa), a research centre in Dar es Salaam. It is sponsored by the Norwegian commercial bank Sparebanken Vest. “Investments derived from microﬁnance, for instance in the form of opening a small kiosk, raising a few chickens, or buying a sewing machine, may well stabilize income streams for the borrower and raise them above a poverty threshold level. This is of course an important achievement in its own right. However, one would hope that the micro-entrepreneurs would continue in the lending programme, over time taking larger loans and making larger investments, and thereby graduating from self-employment to job creation. Naturally, this happens, but not as frequently as one might expect or hope.” While the absence of ﬁnancial capital is clearly a relevant barrier to proﬁtable investment in many cases, there are obviously other important constraints on income growth, according to Bjorvatn. One such constraint is human capital. 44 |
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“Lack of skills and information about cost control, accounting, market analysis and marketing, prices and pricing strategies, may well limit the proﬁtability of a given investment project, and also serve as a constraint on the type and size of projects that are considered feasible,” he says. INCREASING SALES “I knew that I was doing my business without proper planning and management, and I was curious to learn more about business administration,” says Scolastica Mwanvika, explaining why she joined the training course in entrepreneurship. Mwanvika runs her own kiosk in the semi-rural outskirts of Dar es Salaam, selling soft drinks and potato chips. She is a softly spoken woman with a gentle smile. Her dream is one day to own a house of her own. “The course has really helped me a lot. I am much more focused on business goals than I used to be. I feel encouraged. I keep my business records now, so I know what has happened and I keep planning what should happen next.” Mwanvika started her kiosk business in 1999 thanks to a 50 000 Tanzanian shilling (usd 40) loan from pride. Today she runs two additional enterprises: one producing potato chips and another selling telephone cards. In total she employs four persons. And she has recently taken another pride microcredit loan, amounting to 1 million Tanzanian shillings (usd 800). “Some years ago I actually sold out the potato chips business, but I recently bought it back again. Having joined the business
focus e d | “The course has really helped me a lot. I am much more focused on business goals than I used to be,” says Scolastica Mwanvika, who runs her own kiosk in the semi-rural outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
management training, I suddenly realised: I KIDS TO SCHOOL Having joined the business Scolastica Mwanvika rents a small ﬂat for can do it myself, I am better at organising now. management training, I suddenly herself and her three children. The microAlso, kiosk sales have increased by some 40 per realised: I can do it myself, I am credit loans have made it possible to acquire cent since August, when I joined the course. I better at organising now. at least one piece of furniture, she says, and think it is mostly due to improved customer more importantly to send her children to school. The youngest service,” Mwanvika says. ones (eight and 13) attend primary school, which is free of charge, The pride loans have been crucial in many ways, accordwhereas the oldest one (18), an orphan, attends secondary school. ing to Mwanvika. They have enabled her to invest in needed All included the total bill for one year at secondary school amounts kiosk equipment, including the television placed right above to some 200 000 Tanzanian shillings (usd 160). the counter, and to construct a decent toilet for her customers. She separated from her husband about a year ago. His negaThese investments are important additions if Mwanvika is to tivity used to depress her, she says, and he certainly did not encompete with nearby kiosks. courage her business undertakings. “I would like to have a bigger loan. 5 million shillings (usd “I dream of having my own house one day. And I want the 4 000) would do. I would love to improve the environment around two youngest kids to go to secondary school. I want all of here, setting up roofs for protection in the rainy season, having them to continue their studies until they say: ‘Ok, it is enough a nice fence and more tables and chairs for my customers to sit now.’ I think these goals are both possible to achieve, if I am down,” she says, denying any interest in starting another enterempowered.” prise or excessive expansion.
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g ood e a r n i n g s | “Many of our customers make good earnings. Quite a few spend some of their proﬁt on taking their children to school or building houses,” says Jacqueline Stenga, manager of pride Buguruni Branch.
EXPANDING BUSINESS “Most of the business course participants appreciate the initiative as they do not know much about running enterprises beforehand. Something needed is added here: how to meet customers, make business plans, do marketing and so on.” So says Jacqueline Stenga, manager of pride Tanzania’s branch in Buguruni, Dar es Salaam. “I expect the participants to improve their business skills, enabling them to expand their business, and maybe start some other business ventures too,” Stenga says. “Few of them employ other staff. I think that might change.” The loan amount is from 100 000 to 1 million Tanzanian shillings and should be repaid within a year. Although the interest rates are rather high, from 21 to 30 per cent, repayment rates are high, too, currently at 95 per cent, according to Stenga. “The borrower shows up every week for repayment and consultation. At least 70 per cent of the 6 000 borrowers at the Buguruni Branch are women. It is not simply a myth that wom46 |
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en are better customers,” Stenga says, rushing to add that she wants to see men, too, ﬂourish in business. “The course participants acquire better skills and more selfconﬁdence, and they notice these changes themselves. So I feel conﬁdent that many of them will become better business people,” Stenga says, adding: “These are people without access to banks. And Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. So microcredit loans are crucial to them, of course.” EMPOWERMENT FROM BELOW Why are some countries poor? What is needed in order to create economic development? These fundamental questions are the driving force for PhD student Lars Ivar Berge’s research. His thesis, to be ﬁnished in 2010, aims at evaluating the importance of human capital for business growth. “How important is human capital? And what kind of human capital is important? Professional skills such as accounting, and marketing or general soft skills such as treating custom-
h o p e | “Our hope is that the business training will foster some role models, and thereby beneﬁt many more than those who follow the course,” says Lars Ivar Berge, PhD student at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration.
In the eight-year period from December 1997 to December 2005 the number of microﬁnance institutions increased from 618 to 3 133 globally and the number of people receiving loans from these institutions increased from 13.5 million to 113.3 million (Hermes and Lensink, 2007). The United Nations declared 2005 as an International Year of Microﬁnance. In 2006, Grameen Bank and its founder Muhammad Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize.
ers well? Personally, I think that soft skills Berge suspects that Tanzania’s soWill the entrepreneurs following are equally important to professional skills the training programme have larger cialist past is somehow a constraint when and funding – the ability to say: ‘I can it comes to business entrepreneurship, or and more profitable projects and make it, sure I can!’” lack of it, today. generate more employment than Berge’s work is part of the research “How come Kenya performs so much those who get loans but no project on entrepreneurship in Tanzania, better in economic terms than Tanzania? additional training? supervised by Bjorvatn and Tungodden. I think part of the answer can be found by The research team, which also involves looking at the country’s past. After decades Master’s students from nhh and the University of Dar es with socialism and state ownership of land, it takes some time Salaam, has conducted a survey among 650 clients of pride before people actually start thinking business again. It is exTanzania: What is their motivation for taking up a loan? tremely important therefore to have some role models, someWhat is the scale of their business operation and goals? one who can lead the way. Our hope is that the business trainWhat is their attitude on social issues, etc? Half of the ing will foster some role models, and thereby beneﬁt many clients were then randomly selected and offered a course more than those who follow the course.” in business administration: 20 lectures, each 45 minutes, LARGE BENEFITS right after the clients’ weekly loan meeting. The clients not If the research turns out to show a signiﬁcant impact of busioffered such training make up the control group for the ness training on business growth and lower drop-out rates, experiment. pride Tanzania will offer similar training to its clients in the “The question at hand is: Will the entrepreneurs followfuture, according to Professor Kjetil Bjorvatn. ing the training programme have larger and more proﬁtable “As part of our project, loan ofﬁcers in pride Tanzania are projects and generate more employment than those who get themselves being trained in how to communicate business loans but no additional training?” skills to their clients. Hence, while the course now is offered In 2009, the research team will undertake a follow-up surby professional teachers from udec, in the future the microvey to determine the short-term impact of the training, and ﬁnance institution will be able to offer such training in-house. then another survey in summer 2010 to determine the longerOur research could therefore offer large beneﬁts to micro-enterm impact. trepreneurs in Tanzania. Since micro-entrepreneurs in devel“This is applied science, hands-on, which makes it extraoping countries face many of the same constraints and chalinteresting to me. Development aid is often top-down whereas lenges, the lessons derived from this speciﬁc project in Dar es our project, like microcredit banking in general, is empowerSalaam should also be of more general interest.” GK ment from below.”
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ac a dem ic e s say:
Beyond csr? Business, Poverty and Social Justice pe te r n ewel l professor of development studies, university of east anglia, uk.
i ndus try | In Bangladesh, dependence on the garment industry raises a particular set of issues for the women and child workers that make up the majority of employees in the sector, for which easy answers are hard to ﬁnd. (photo / Truls Brekke)
corp or ate soc i a l r e s p o n s i b i li t y has been adopted as an approach to international development.1 But who does it beneﬁt, how and why? Does csr have the potential to redeﬁne the meaning of good business practice as meeting the needs of poor and marginalised groups? Or is there a danger that by basing development policies around a business case, the inequalities that haunt international development will widen rather than diminish? The International Research Network on Business, Development and Society brings together an international team of researchers to respond to these questions developing critical perspectives on the basis of empirically informed and theoretically challenging work on csr conducted across a range of sectors and countries. The purpose of this paper is to present some of the key cross-cutting insights from this work. Business plays an increasingly important role in development. As providers of goods and services, as employers, as 4 8 | ac a de m ic e s s ay
investors and increasingly as shapers of developing countries’ policies, there is no doubt they are central to efforts to tackle poverty. Can this role be performed through business-as-usual practices, voluntarily and though the market or does it need to be guided, regulated and driven by broader state-led developmental priorities? Do states still have the power to play this role? In a context of globalisation there are concerns that businesses enjoy unprecedented power which enables them to pressure weaker governments, to locate their enterprises in areas of weak or non-existent social and environmental regulation and exploit poorer communities. How to harness the
positive potential of business whilst at the same time containing corporate irresponsibility, presents an enormous challenge for development practitioners. For many, csr provides some of the answers with its emphasis on win-win solutions, partnership and voluntary responses to a range of social and environmental problems.
international standards of best practice will yield different results, are responsive to different stakeholders and therefore impact the poor in distinct ways. Establishing which models beneﬁt poorer groups most is the challenge. BEYOND THE BUSINESS CASE
Understanding the potential and limitations of csr initiatives to tackle development issues is therefore, key. WHAT IS CSR?
Despite attempts to formulate generally applicable deﬁnitions, there is a lack of clear consensus about what is and what is not csr, reﬂecting a more fundamental debate about the appropriate role of the corporation in society. This confusion is ampliﬁed when translated to the world of development policy where consensus is equally lacking about how to measure and deﬁne, let alone tackle poverty. Determining in a clear fashion the ways in which ﬁrms can alleviate or may contribute towards poverty is therefore a fraught task. Our entry point here is to suggest that different models of csr have impacts on different types of poverty. It is to be expected that acts of philanthropy, contributions to community development, codes of conduct and compliance with
Much of the current debate about csr is aimed at persuading business that there are sound ﬁnancial reasons to look beyond the bottom line and to consider social and environmental responsibilities to wider society. Making the business case for helping to tackle poverty is often harder. Does csr have relevance for addressing problems where a near term business case cannot be made?2 Are there other ways to think about the role of business in development that do not rely on appeals to immediate self-interest but instead emphasise the duties and obligations of forms to help confront problems facing the societies in which they operate? We suggest there are. Our work suggests that csr initiatives work for some ﬁrms, in some places, in tackling some issues, some of the time. Rather than seek win-win solutions that apply across all settings, all of the time, the challenge for engaged researchers is to explore the potential and limitations of csr in speciﬁc settings. What works in one situation may well not work elsewhere. Assumptions within current csr models about responsive business interested in csr, an active civil society willing to partner with business and a strong state able to provide an enabling environment for csr, demand conditions which are absent in the majority of the world. For example, increasingly ﬁrms in Argentina3, faced with a context of ﬁnancial collapse in the economy in the wake of the crisis of 2001/2002, have been expected to get involved in programmes that tackle directly the poverty created by the crisis rather than focus exclusively on more traditional csr concerns such as working conditions and the environment. This is despite the fact that in the absence of an active led from the state on csr issues, a strong emphasis on development issues has been hard to achieve. In India, despite strong legislation on environmental issues, pollution control at state level is often weak, creating an important role for community-based monitoring and enforcement.4 Relying on the state for protection has also proved problematic in Nigeria where conﬂicts over oil resources and the proﬁts deriving from them between central government and communities have resulted in violence and conﬂict. In China, we have a strong state but weak levels of civil society development so that independent moniac a de m ic e s s ay | 49
toring of working conditions presents a difﬁcult, sometimes Global Compact are just a starting point. They have to be transdangerous, task.5 In South Africa,6 the unique legacy of lated into practice, they have to made real. As work in India apartheid has meant that companies have had to address suggests, companies party to global csr initiatives but facing issues of racial inequality through initiatives on black emaccusations of poor performance at local level can expect to powerment. In Bangladesh,7dependence on the garment ﬁnd their claims contested. industry raises a particular set of issues for the women and With so much at stake, improving the process by which child workers that make up the majority of employees in the businesses engage with poorer groups, will not be easy. sector, for which easy answers are hard to ﬁnd. Development initiatives are inherently political and conﬂictIn many countries smaller and medium-sized enterual as the actors involved have competing priorities and ideas prises are the key employers of the poor, where direct deabout how to achieve them. This is in contrast to management velopmental contributions could be greatest, but where models which often assume equality between stakeholders csr is currently most weakly embedded.8 Recognising this and that conﬂict amounts to differences of opinion, resolvable provides an important check against importing csr models through dialogue, rather than fundamental differences of infrom one context to the next without regard for key differterest, which are much harder to resolve. Technical and tickences that determine success. box approaches to csr that fail to recognise this are unlikely to In such diverse settings it is unsurprising that csr inimake a meaningful contribution to development. tiatives take different forms and have differing impacts upon poverty and the marginalisation of people from deTHE ROLE OF THE STATE velopment opportunities. While codes of conduct may Despite the anti-state bias of many csr initiatives with their be able to improve basic working conditions in some inemphasis on voluntarism and self-regulation, the state restances, they are currently less able to tackle patterns of mains a key actor in csr and development. Designing anti-povdiscrimination and harassment at the workplace. While erty strategies and trade and investment policies that will help compliance with international environmental standards to contribute to these is the responsibility of the state. This is ensures improvement within the production process, it not to say that the state plays a benign role as work in Nigeria, does little to improve address the human and environmenIndia10 and elsewhere suggests this clearly not to be the case. tal externalities produced by that process. A holistic view But through systems of incentive and disincentive provided of poverty is required in which csr inithrough regulation, tax and the like, govIn such diverse settings it is untiatives have a contribution to make, but ernments set the terms and conditions for governments and donors have to be real- surprising that csr initiatives take the role of business in their countries’ own istic about what can be achieved by them in isolation from their own efforts to tackle poverty.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROCESS Though many csr initiatives focus on output (improved auditing and benchmarking of ﬁrms’ performance in relation to speciﬁed standards and codes), our work emphasises the importance of process in csr initiatives if they are to beneﬁt poorer groups. At the design stage, the neglect of gender issues often means codes of conduct fail to address the unique needs of women workers as work from Central America clearly shows.9 Engaging the intended beneﬁciaries is key in this respect through participatory processes of design, enforcement and evaluation. Likewise, in instances of corporate irresponsibility legal process issues take centre stage; access to justice, to mechanisms of appeal and compliant all become crucial in enabling poorer groups to contest badly conceived investments in which their interests may have been overlooked. Ambitions of improved conduct expressed in global programmes such as the 5 0 | ac a de m ic e s s ay
development. Legal systems can determine the respective rights and responsibilities of investors and the communities that host them through property rights, planning rules and systems of redress. Legal ethics and company law also have to play in deﬁning the appropriate conduct of ﬁrms and creating mechanism of enforceability regarding ﬁrm’s responsibilities.11 Forward-looking ﬁrms have important contributions to make in their own right, often guided merely by self-interest. Building local health clinics and providing clean water makes for healthier employees, building roads may be beneﬁcial for community and company alike, but beyond the clear ‘win-win’ scenarios, businesses, perhaps unsurprisingly, often perform poorly as social development actors. Lack of human resources, the adoption of technical frameworks for understanding complex social problems and lack of integration of ﬁrm activities within broader development programmes, often undermine their ability to promote lasting development.12 The poor performance of many ﬁrms as social development actors amid so many competing and ever increasing demands, only serves to
different forms and have differing impacts upon poverty.
underline the primary role of the state as the key agent in poverty politics.
yet been adopted by the majority of ﬁrms, public and private, multinational or small and medium-sized and therefore the majority of employees of the poor. They fail to address difﬁcult questions about treatment of suppliers, about community reinvestment, about obligations to invest long-term or to provide job security. The range of development issues they address, while important, is limited. It remains the role of governments, supported by donors and working both with ﬁrms and civil society groups to enable a more critical CSR agenda, one which looks at the range of business impacts upon poverty and the potential contributions of all actors in development towards helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
FROM RESPONSIBILIT Y TO ACCOUNTABILIT Y Though csr emphasises the social and environmental responsibilities of ﬁrms, many of the cases we explore, underline the importance of accountability in thinking about the potential role of business in development. Enabling poorer groups to hold investors to account for their social, environmental and developmental obligations helps to ensure that ﬁrms deliver on promises of employment, gain for the community and responsible use of natural resources. Often the failure of state support to the The world of csr would look very poor and the absence of corporate respondifferent if the priorities of poorer siveness has led poorer groups to adopt 1 This Policy Brieﬁng was written by Peter Newell groups were put first. on behalf of the International Research Network on their own community-based strategies of Business, Development and Society. corporate accountability as the work in 13 2 Blowﬁ eld, Michael (2005) ‘csr: Reinventing the meaning of development? India and South Africa describes. Hearings, peoples’ developInternational Affairs Volume 81 No.3 May, 515–525. ment plans and community environmental monitoring have all 3 Muro, Ana (2005) ‘Argentina: A dependency mentality’ Concept note prepared proved to be important in this regard. Such strategies appear for meeting of the International Research Network on Business, Development to be prevalent in areas of the world beyond the reach of csr and Society, Copenhagen Business School. where companies are less concerned about brand name, less 4 Bhushan, Chandra (2005) Presentation for the workshop on ‘Southern voices subject to activist scrutiny and state pressure for reform. The in the global debate on Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility in the Third World’. Conference paper, Copenhagen Business School, 5th September. fact that people resort to everyday practices of corporate accountability is not an argument for excusing state inaction, but 5 Chan, Anita (2005) ‘Recent trends in Chinese labour issues: Signs of change’ China Perspectives No.57, January-February pp.23-31. rather an indication of it. TOWARDS A SOUTH-CENTRED CSR The world of csr would look very different if the priorities of poorer groups were put ﬁrst. Both the content and the process by which csr initiatives are created would look different. It is probably too much to expect businesses to operate in the world as if poverty alleviation were their main objective. The greatest contribution csr initiatives can make is through reinforcing state-led development policy. csr strategies need to graft onto, enhance and amplify the impact of existing pro-poor initiatives, even if they can also make contributions in their own right. Disaggregating who the poor are and the different needs they have is useful in this regard. As producers, consumers, employees and citizens they will present companies with a range of, often competing and contradictory demands.14 Encouraging ﬁrms to take seriously their social and environmental obligations to society is to be encouraged. The business of business is no longer just business. Expecting too much of csr, particularly regarding its contribution to tackling poverty, however, is unrealistic. Philanthropy, standards and codes of practice and engagement in partnerships make potentially important contributions to development. In and of themselves, however, they are inadequate. They fail to address acts of corporate irresponsibility. It remains the case that they have not
6 Fig, David (2005) ‘Manufacturing amnesia: csr in South Africa’ International Affairs Volume 81 No.3 May, 599–619. 7 Nielsen, Michael (2005) ‘The politics of corporate responsibility and child labour in the Bangladeshi garment industry’ International Affairs Volume 81 No.3 May, 559–581. 8 Jeppesen, Søren (2005) ‘Enhancing competitiveness and securing equitable development: Can small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (smes) do the trick?’ Development in Practice Vol.15, No.s 3 and 4, pp.463-475. 9 Prieto-Carrón, Marina (2004) ‘Is there anyone listening? Women workers in factories in Central America and corporate codes of conduct’ Development Vol.47 No.3, pp.101-105, Prieto, Marina and Carolina Quinteros (2004) ‘Never the twain shall meet? Women’s organisations and trade unions in the maquila industry in Central America’ Development in Practice Vol.14 No.1,2, pp.149–157. 10 Newell, Peter (2005) ‘Citizenship, accountability and community: The limits of the csr agenda’ International Affairs Volume 81 No.3 May, pp.541–557. 11 Ward, Halina (2003) ‘Legal Issues in Corporate Citizenship’, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs/iied, February 2003, available online at http://www.iied.org/SM/CR/documents/legalissues_corporate.pdf (last visited 1st February 2006) 12 Frynas, George Jedrzej (2005) ‘The false developmental promise of csr: Evidence from multinational oil companies’ International Affairs Volume 81 No. 3 May, 581–599. 13 Lund-Thomsen, Peter (2005) ‘Corporate accountability in South Africa: The role of community mobilizing in environmental governance’ International Affairs Volume 81 No.3 May, 619–635. 14 Jenkins, Rhys (2005) ‘Globalisation, csr and poverty’ International Affairs Volume 81 No.3 May, 525–541.
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War Must Stop Now Congolese pastor Bulambo Lembelembe Josué was awarded this year’s Rafto Prize in recognition of his work in helping civilians caught in one of the world’s deadliest conflicts, the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (drc). g régo ry tervel an d gw l a dys f ouc é / te x t john hughes an d tru l s b r e k ke / photos
wear i n g th i n -r i m me d g l as s e s and with a peaceful, welcoming smile, pastor Bulambo has an air of simplicity and humility when he meets Global Knowledge in Oslo in November, soon after collecting the prestigious human rights prize, awarded annually in Bergen, western Norway. The religious leader does not show his anger, but he carries it within him. “As a pastor, I cannot stand the suffering of the faithful who come to visit me. The situation Congolese are going through pains me, it disgusts me, it gnaws at me,” he explains. For years he has been working tirelessly to bring peace to his country – his ‘civic work’ as he says – by focusing on helping the most vulnerable victims of the conﬂict, promoting civic education and by encouraging armed groups to put down their weapons. Pastor Bulambo works in the eastern Congolese region of Kivu, the scene of the latest outbreaks of violence, pitting government forces against the rebels led by Laurent Nkunda. He channels his efforts via the Community of Free Pentecostal Churches of Africa and the Church of Christ in Congo, the latter representing around 60 Protestant churches across the DRC. Unlike other aid organisations, churches can access parts of Kivu made inaccessible because of a lack of roads.
is used for mobile phones. The women are sometimes dragged into the forest to become sexual slaves and may come back to their villages a year later, with children.” It is unclear how many women have been raped, as they are too traumatised and ashamed to speak out. They also know that if they tell of their suffering, they will be rejected by their husbands and their communities. “So far we have helped around 34 000 women, some of them ﬁnancially, if their husbands have thrown them out.” Pastor Bulambo also focuses on the rehabilitation of childsoldiers. They are an easy target for armed groups that are unpopular with local populations, and who ﬁnd it hard to recruit adults. “We have identiﬁed about 10 000 children and helped around 5 000,” he says. “We start by giving them a civic education, as these children had to quit school to go ﬁght. They have also been drugged up and have learnt how to kill at a young age. We either send them back to school or teach them a trade: carpentry and masonry for the boys, sewing or soap-making for the girls. Armed groups also recruit girls to carry weapons and to become sexual slaves.” The churches also work with the children’s families, to help them accept them back.
HELPING WOMEN AND CHILD SOLIDERS In 2002 Bulambo Lembelembe Josué set up a project to help the thousands of women who have been raped during the conﬂict. “Armed groups, especially the non-Congolese ones, use rape as a weapon of war,” he explains. “It is a way to humiliate people and to drive them away from the areas where they want to extract mineral resources such as gold, tin and coltan, which
GROWING UP UNDER A DICTATORSHIP Pastor Bulambo lives in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu, the province where he was born 48 years ago. Himself the son of a pastor, he grew up under the ruthless rule of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. As a young man, he studied theology in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, followed by studies abroad in management and human rights.
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pain | “The situation Congolese are going through pains me, it disgusts me, it gnaws at me,” says Congolese pastor Bulambo Lembelembe Josué, who was awarded this year’s Rafto Prize in recognition of his work in helping civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo (drc). In the early 90s, when the Mobutu regime showed signs of liberalisation, Bulambo co-founded the human rights organisation Heirs of Justice, of which he is still the vice-president, and which aims to promote democracy and human rights among Congolese. “Under Mobutu we had to be careful about our work, of course,” he recalls, adding their work was still dangerous even after the dictator passed away in 1997. “It’s only since 2005 that we really work freely.” Bulambo Lembelembe Josué knew absolutely nothing about the Rafto Foundation until one day in the autumn he received a strange phone call in his ofﬁce in Bukavu informing him of the honour he was to receive. “I was shocked that an organisation 9 000 km away would give me a prize recognising my work,” he remembers, adding that winning the prize will spur him on. “The award encourages me to continue. And I hope it will help us ﬁnd new partners for our work. We need so much help.” His organisation’s main ﬁnancial backer is the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, via the Norwegian Pentecostal movement.
A DEADLY CONFLICT Overall an estimated 5.4 million people have died since the war in the eastern part of the drc began 15 years ago, according to the International Rescue Committee, an ngo working with refugees. On top of this comes the millions of refugees and internationally displaced people. But despite all the consequences of the atrocities he witnesses daily, this man of faith believes “God created man in His image”. “Unfortunately in our current situation, man treats his kin like a wolf,” he reckons. “Man has no worth in our country today. Workers are not paid for their work, even soldiers aren’t getting paid. This misery pains me. As pastors, we ﬁght so that human beings can live in peace and with dignity, in a country that has known 30 years of dictatorship and has known no peace since then. This is why I call on the international community to intervene and support the un peacekeeping troops,” he says. “War must stop now.” GK c ong o | 5 3
gk Contributor Still Detained The Kafkaesque case against Sri Lankan journalist and Global Knowledge contributor J.S. Tissainayagam continues. Global Knowledge met his legal team in Colombo. torgei r no r l i ng / te x t colombo, sri lanka
“he is charged with acting in furtherance of terrorism,” says M.A. Sumanthiran. Sumanthiran is one of Sri Lanka’s best known human rights lawyers and represents journalist and editor J.S. Tissainayagam at his trial in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. “The charges are based on three points. Two of the charges are related to two particular articles he wrote in 2006. A third charge relates to collecting money to print and publish a magazine called North Eastern Monthly. So all three charges are about the right of expression,” says Sumanthiran. BAD CONDITIONS J.S. Tissainayagam was detained by the Terrorist Investigation Division (tid) of the Sri Lankan police on March 7 this year. For the ﬁrst ﬁve months he was held without charge and interrogated in tid’s holding cells. Manfred Novak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has stated that torture is rampant in tid interrogations. Although it is believed Tissainayagam has not been physically tortured, parts of his interrogation have taken place while another detainee has been tortured in a room next to him. “The way he was kept in detention, what he was told and the psychological effects would amount to torture,” Sumanthiran says. NO CASE Tissainayagam is the ﬁrst Sri Lankan journalist to be charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act because of his pub54 | sri l ank a
lished work. Sumanthiran says the case has no place in a court of law. He argues there is nothing incriminating in the charges at all. “That is the position we took right at the beginning of the trial. We said there is nothing in this. But the judge has taken the view that she doesn’t want to look into this now, so we have to wait until the end of the trial to address that, and we have no option but to go through with the trial,” he says. “The only problem is that he will be in custody until the trial is over, because under the Prevention of Terrorism Act there is a provision that he can not be released on bail.” BAD TIMES Tissainayagam is not the only person who has become embroiled in trouble after crossing powerful forces in Sri Lankan society. A number of academics, human rights activists and journalists have been killed throughout Sri Lanka’s 25-yearlong civil war. J.C. Weliamuna, another member of Tissainayagam’s defence team, recently survived an assassination attempt, when unknown assailants attacked his house with hand grenades. Now in hiding, Weliamuna says the human rights situation in Sri Lanka is terrible. “It’s extremely bad, Sri Lanka is not safe for people who speak up, and for many other categories of people,” he says. GK