Conflict Minerals and Buying Fair Trade
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24-08-2015, 04:56 PM
Conflict Minerals and Buying Fair Trade
A few years ago, I found out something disturbing: While a lot of electronics companies are taking measure to reduce or eliminate conflict minerals in their products, a lot of big companies still haven't. Nintendo scored dead least in a list of companies (source is below) with ZERO PERCENT effort to regulate how they get their minerals (gold, tin, etc) that are used to make their consoles. In case you don't know, conflict minerals are sold by warlords that force people to mine under brutal conditions and they often abuse and torture them as well as use to profits to fund their wars.

Nintendo has since then begun to improve, but they're still not strict enough in the sense that while they make their suppliers have conflict-free policies they don't actually seem to conduct any formal investigations.

So, I thought I'd post this petition I found to continue the pressure, because if it wasn't for organizations like the Enough Project and Walk Free with the backings of thousands of signatures, Nintendo wouldn't have started making these changes in the first place: Petition to Nintendo

And here is the latest (2012) report from the Enough Project where Nintendo is seen as scoring 0%: Enough Project Company Rankings

While we're on the topic of the things we buy screwing over other people, I'd like to open a conversation in general about the subject, about buying Fair Trade or locally, because almost nobody knows about it, and they should.

I understand that things that are fair trade or local/union made can be very expensive. I can't even afford to buy everything humanely. (I'm going to start using the word humane as a term for anything fair-trade, conflict free, union-made, etc....) I just want more people to see what they can do, what small changes they can make to improve conditions in the world (and/or locally since buying local helps your economy too)

What I do so far is buy fair trade coffee(but sometimes I still buy Starbucks on some occasions), sugar, and soap. And if I have to buy a cheaper brand of something like soap or whatever, I try to buy from Unilever (they own Vaseline and Q-tip products) because according to Oxfam, an organization that investigates corporations as well has rated Unilever with a mostly good score on how they procure their products. I'd recommend checking Oxfam's website and if you can't find that report I'll try and find it again.

I find that the app Buycott is pretty awesome. You first choose from the list of causes you want to follow (fair trade being among them) and then scan bar codes to see if it conflicts with your cause or not. I'd encourage still doing some of your own research though and making sure it's consistent.

Obviously this is a very huge subject I could spend hours and hours writing about. It's been a lot of what I've looked into these past few years, yet I still have a lot to learn about. So if you have any input/questions then I'll try to answer them. I realize I once again suck at categorizing things properly and this should go under business/economics but all those sub-forums don't look as well-traveled and I want to get the word out more efficiently Blush
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06-09-2015, 12:51 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2015 12:58 AM by Philanthropic Misanthrope.)
RE: Conflict Minerals and Buying Fair Trade
Tried to delete this response and couldn't.
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06-09-2015, 01:56 AM
RE: Conflict Minerals and Buying Fair Trade
Guilty conscience made me check the list.

Relieved to find I've only purchased from 5 of those (only 3 directly) and they're all green ones.

Good to know for future reference.

Thanks.

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06-09-2015, 08:23 AM
RE: Conflict Minerals and Buying Fair Trade
The thing with fair trade is the same with clothing.
We want cheap good clothing and if that means it comes from some 12 year old near-slave in Bangladesh well, we don't need to think about that because 'OMG IT'S THE CUTEST LITTLE DRESS EVER I JUST HAVE TO HAVE IT!'.

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