“Sukuma Millennium Award” (2007)

You buy much more than you think!

In my opinion a large majority of the population in western countries is not aware of the reality behind the productions of so many goods available in their markets. With ‘production reality’ I mean the conditions – in so many cases unjust, unhealthy, etc – workers are subjected to. To find examples of such unfair working conditions it is not necessary to search for them in Asia, Africa or Latin America, they can be found within the borders of western countries. I’m thinking for instance about the workers of the greenhouses of South Spain, where legumes and fruits are produced for whole Europe. The workers (in their majority natural of Africa) of this ‘European garden’ are employed – in many cases on an illegal basis – for just a fraction of the amount of money necessary to live under decent conditions in Europe.

We, as (western) consumers, carry a great deal of responsibility for the unfair conditions of workers around the world. But we as consumers have also the power to influence the economy and change something about this reality. How? By adopting a more conscious consumption behavior. For instance by selecting products of controlled origin, or in other words, by opting for ‘fair trade’ products.

The goal of the Sukuma project is to call the consumers attention to this matter. Their method is the promotion of an short-movie award. “The goal of the film prize is to refreshingly inform the wider public about the different facets of the UN millennium objectives and to effectively activate the population to support these objectives of global development.”

The short movie winner of the 2007 awards addresses the injustices related to the coffee business.

With its huge consumer quantities coffee is – after oil – the world-wide most important merchandise product. This industry each day provides for more than 25 million coffee farmer and their families. Therefore the product has an important role in the context of the fight against the world-wide poverty too (a UN development goal). Unfair distribution of income and the permanent variable world prices force millions of coffee farmers world-wide into poverty. By purchasing coffee with the fair trade seal, consumers in Europe support the fight against poverty, because the seal guarantees minimum prices and ethically fair standards of production.

(text taken from here)

The following online version of the short film is in English. German, French and Spanish versions are also available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


The fair trade organization

Related docs @ “Critical Docs”: No Logo (2000); Darwin’s Nightmare (2004); Our Daily Bread (2005)
; We Feed The World (2005)


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