Last night we had the pleasure attending a fundraiser for the non profit: Project Hope and Fairness an organization started by Eve and Tom Neuhaus the owners of Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates which provides MMOrganics with Organic and Fair Trade Chocolates for the Chocolate Covered Walnuts we sell here in Paso Robles on our Farm stand and website. It was very important to us as a family to support Fair Trade in the coco industry, but I realize now that there is some confusion on what Fair Trade means and why it is necessary for all of us to support it when ever possible. You might not know that the coco industry is sliding toward a supply crisis because of the simple truth that it is not profitable to be a coco farmer. They net less than 1 % of the value of the coco beans they grow. The coco trees are aging and the replants are often rubber trees. The farmers are aging too, the young people migrate to cities looking for better wages. 90% of all the coco grown in the world comes from small family orchards. Because of their physical isolation and fragmentation they have no bargaining power when it comes to selling their products. The fair trade program aims to put things right. Farmers get paid a fair price for their products, they get access to healthcare, education for family members is available and clean water projects are implemented. Farmers who join this program have to do their part, many requirements on their end need to be full- filled before they are accepted into the program. For example: No child labor is allowed on Farms that participate. The Project Hope and Fairness goes a step further.Tom travels to Africa and is setting up small chocolate kitchens, bringing over the machines and teaching skills so that farmers are learning to turn the coco bean into chocolate. This value add process creates many jobs and ensures a sustainable income for the farmer. Go to www.projecthopeandfairness.org to read their story and make a donation if you can. We @ mmorganics are doing our part by donating part of the proceeds of the sale for our 4 oz and 8 oz bags of chocolate covered Walnuts to this non profit and we hope to be able to enjoy many more years of Fair Trade Chocolate.