In 2013 we told you about an ethically sourced smartphone, the Fairphone. Today the Fairphone 2, which runs a customised version of Android 5.1, sells the idea that it is ‘as repairable as a modern smartphone gets’.
Owners can replace the screen, microphone, speaker, camera, and main circuit board using nothing more than a screwdriver, with all the replacement parts available directly from Fairphone. The new phone has gone up in price from €325 to €525 and is concentrating on turning into a movement rather than just being a product.
The company’s founder and CEO Bas van Abel says that the most ethical smartphone is the one you already own. The fact that the phone can easily be take apart is quite the party piece.
(Link: www.theverge.com, Image, screenshot of video)
Tags: fair trade, Fairphone, mobile phones, Smartphones
A recent tightening of the Dutch law regulating the sales of alcoholic drinks in supermarkets has affected fair trade stores, Volkskrant reports.
Another victim of the law are tourist information offices who often sell regional beers as part of their services. The new law states that a store needs to have a floor space of at least 15 square metres and needs to sell both pre-packaged and unpackaged food. Fair trade shops tend to fall short of this regulation.
Huub Jansen, spokesperson for Wereldwinkel (the Dutch fair trade chain), called the regulation “strange, because we are still allowed to sell wine through the iInternet and in Christmas packages.”
Junior minister Martin van Rijn hopes the new rule makes it harder for youths to purchase alcohol. “Producers in developing countries are hurt by this regulation”, parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp of D66 countered. She feels Van Rijn should see if a solution can be found for Wereldwinkel.
Jansen added: “Most of our customers are middle-aged women. Our wine turnover is 250,000 bottles a year. That is a substantial hit for wine producers in Chili and South Africa.”
See also: Botox voucher in employees’ Christmas package
Tags: alchohol, beer, Christmas package, fair trade, kerstpakket, racism, teenagers, wine
A Dutch company has started building a mobile phone that they say is made from conflict-free materials by well-paid workers while also addressing what happens once the phone has reached the end of its life.
The phone is called the Fairphone and the manufacturer is still looking for customers who would like to pre-order one. Apparently they need 5,000 orders to start production. Currently they’ve sold 2,400 phones, 48% of their goal. The pledge drive lasts for 19 more days. Techcrunch calls this the world’s first ethically sourced smartphone.
The Fairphone runs on Android, uses a quad core processor, has dual SIM trays and both a front and rear camera. The price is 325 euro.
UPDATE 6 June: they have their 5,000 orders and have crowdfunded 1,6 million euro.
(Video: Vimeo / Fairphone, Image: crop from the video)
Tags: fair trade, mobile phones, Smartphones, Waag Society
In 2007 the Dutch mint started with a pilot project that made it the first in Europe to print money using cotton for which the producers have not been exploited. So far, the 20 and 50 euro bills produced by De Nederlandsche Bank have contained 10 to 14% fair trade cotton.
Paper factories prefer blends of cotton, and according to the mint (PDF, Dutch) “currently there is not enough good fair trade cotton to make up 100% of a bill. But the fair trade cotton market is growing spectacularly.”
The use of fair trade cotton in Euro notes is the result of a bet that the youth chapter of Christian union CNV made in 2005 with the Minister of Finance at that time, Gerrit Zalm.
(Via the print version of De Zaak.)
Tags: banknotes, cotton, fair trade, money, unions, youth organisations
On Thursday the criminal court in Amsterdam threw out a case against reporter Teun van de Keuken for complicity in slavery. Van de Keuken, who co-hosts a consumer advocacy show on TV called ‘Keuringsdienst van Waarde’ (a pun referring to the Dutch Food and Drug Administration), instigated the case against himself after eating a number of chocolate bars that he claimed were produced by slaves. During the case, the court heard testimony of a former slave who was forced to work on a cocoa plantation when he was a child.
The case was dismissed on technical grounds, since Van de Keuken himself was not a harmed party, and therefore could not initiate the prosecution against himself. Van de Keuken is now contemplating a civil suit.
Van de Keuken started his own guaranteed slave-free chocolate brand two years ago called Tony’s Chocolonely, using cocoa produced by Ghana’s Kuapa Kokoo co-op. The chocolate bars were made in co-operation with Dutch fair trade company Max Havelaar.
Earlier this year, Van de Keuken was sued unsuccessfully by chocolate importer Bellissimo Foods, who claimed that it is impossible to produce slave-free chocolate. Irony is dead.
Tags: chocolate, Chocolonely, fair trade, Keuringsdienst van Waarde, Max Havelaar