Thanks to the increasing demand for organic chocolate, growers and producers of organic cocoa beans are no longer facing financial disaster. Cocoa beans can only be grown in equatorial regions. Countries in these regions traditionally have very low incomes per capita. But farmers choosing organic production methods for their cocoa beans are able to buck the trend and earn more than twice as much as those farmers using pesticides on their cocoa bean crops.

This video focuses on one farmer in Sao Tome who switched from conventional farming methods to organic methods. Interestingly this is as a result of direct guidance from the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development. Also before the emphasis on organic production began in 2004, around 50 tons of cocoa was being produced and locally traded by approximately 700 farmers. By mid 2010, about 600 tons of organic and fair-trade certified beans were being produced and internationally traded from almost 2,200 farmers.

The obvious point here is that organic farming has literally saved lives in Sao Tome. It may be a little simplistic, but if it can be done for cocoa beans why cannot it not be done for other crops? Conventional farming methods poison the soil, the farmers and the crop. Is this the legacy we want to leave for generations to come? I think not. The answer is simple – don’t buy mass produced foods grown using pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. Choose locally produced and/or organically grown foods. Help the communities who grow your food, not the corporations that want to process your food, and grow fat on profit. Organic living is easier than you think, and has far reaching benefits, not just for you, but for the planet and others that we share the planet with.

For more information on how organic cocoa bean production has helped transform lives in Sao Tome see:

Filed under: Organic Farming

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