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Salon Series One:
In partnership with the US Institute of Peace, the Institute of Corporate Responsibility at GWU will host and webcast a Salon-Series titled, "A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?" which will explore a number of issues in the cocoa industry. For instance, there are a number of social ill effects related to human trafficking, child labor, environmental damage, and food insecurity associated with the cocoa industry.
The April 26th event will be the first of four that takes a comprehensive look at how the various policies, practices and future challenges facing the global cocoa industry affect peace, and what can be done to promote peace and avoid fanning conflict. Our primary goal is to provide an open platform for business leaders and other stakeholders to discuss: what would conflict-free chocolate policies and/ or business practices look like? Is the experience of seeking conflict-free minerals a good approach to emulate for chocolate? Is there another way - a better way - to frame the aspirations other than “conflict-free”?
We want to consider the idea that business can promote peace if certain practices are followed and by leveraging all stakeholders, we can de vise win-win-win scenarios that benefit us all. While such prospects are possible for all commodities, in this project we focus our exploration of these issues for the global cocoa industry.
Our blog <http://conflictfreechocolate.wordpress.com/> will host the video and we will encourage an ongoing conversation (during and between the shows) to gather more information, alternative perspectives, and listen to the needs from those stakeholders in the industry.
We hope that you will learn a lot more about what role firms and other stakeholders can play in collaboration (a Trusted Partnership is our phrase) with other sectors to advance peace in ways that also help to solve problems faced by firms, government, non-profits, community members, and various other stakeholders.
Date of First Show: April 26 (Fri) 2:30 pm
Tim McCollum, co-Founder, Madecasse Chocolate
Joe Whinney, Founder and CEO, Theo Chocolate
Mike Godfrey, VP, Sustainable Agriculture, Rainforest Alliance
Dr. John Forrer, Associate Director, ICR, GW School of Business