Banana trade is bananas, but you can go Fair Trade

First came the proposed merger of Fyffe and Chiquita brands last March, which fell through in October and now Brazil’s Cutrale and Safra have partnered to buy Chiquita and headquarter the company in Brazil, closing the company’s North Carolina Office. Fortune says, fruit is big business.

bananasGuardian authors Rebecca Smithers and Dominic Rushe write:

According to Banana Link, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for a fair and sustainable banana trade, the big fruit companies are relocating to countries in search of cheaper labour and weaker social and environmental legislation. Many workers in countries such as West Africa, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador do not receive a living wage and face appalling working conditions including 10- to 12-hour working days and exposure to harmful chemicals. read more

“School reform” aka diverting school funds to the rich

profiting by closing schools

profiting by closing schoolsDavid Sirota helps us see that the true mission of the corporate backed charter school initiative is to bust unions and divert public funds earmarked for student education. The goal is to remove barriers to corporate control of society and for rich guys to get all the money in the world (or at least the US). These people didn’t get the memo that you can’t take it with you.

The bottom line is clear: In attempting to change the mission of public education from one focused on educating kids to one focused on generating private profit, corporate leaders in the “reform” movement are pursuing a shrewd investment strategy. Millions of dollars go into campaign contributions and propaganda outfits that push “reform,” and, if successful, those “reforms” guarantee Wall Street and their investment vehicles much bigger returns for the long haul. read more

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