Dean Cycon has long believed in using business to promote social justice, and Fair Trade is his bailiwick. As founder and CEO of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, he’s helped small coffee farmers around the world get a fairer price for their product. From Papua New Guinea to Peru, he’s helped farmers build cooperatives and establish educational and health programs for their families. And perhaps most importantly, he’s listened to them — the stories of their lives and their work. He’s put his experiences together in a terrific book called [amazon-product text=”Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee” type=”text”]1933392703[/amazon-product], which won a 2008 Gold Medal for best travel book from the online magazine, Independent Publisher.
Human rights and trade–the relationship dates back millennia. Despite this long history, however, we still have very little understanding of how to use trade to promote human rights. This according to today’s guest, Susan Ariel Aaronson, author of Trade Imbalance: The Struggle to Weigh Human Rights in Trade Policymaking, out from Cambridge University Press in late 2007. Aaronson, a professor of international affairs at George Washington University, illustrates her research findings using current examples such as how trade sanctions against Burma have complicated relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Nargis or how the earthquake in China may prove more effective in improving human rights there than boycotting the Beijing Olympics. Aaronson also discusses opportunities–and limitations–on using the World Trade Organization, or WTO, to promote human rights through trade.
CWR co-host Francesca Rheannon speaks with Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board Chair Jerry Hill about its recent precedent-setting implementation of a fee on carbon emissions by companies in 9 counties in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. This development represents the first time that business carbon emissions have been officially regulated in the US, leapfrogging over federal and state regulations.
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Rachel Louise Snyder, author of Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade. Snyder discusses innovations in factory monitoring such as the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia program and Social Accountability International’s SA 8000 certification system. She also discusses strengths and gaps in factory monitoring by the Gap, as well as the fallout from the end of the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA), a global textile quota system.
Finally, she discusses environmental hazards associated with denim and garment manufacturing, such as toxic dyes and “textile miles,” or the distance garments travel from field to fanny measured in carbon emissions.
We visit with Andy Bichelbaum of the Yes Men. This two person team of corporate impersonators have passed for executives of Exxon, Halliburton, Dow Chemical and the WTO. We’ll learn how they do what they do, and why. Interviewers Sanford Lewis and Francesca Rheannon.