India has come under heavy criticism for blocking the implementation of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement reached at Bali in December 2013.
Proponents celebrated the Bali “package” as a long-awaited achievement by the WTO, which had failed to reach a significant agreement since 1995. However, critics lamented that the Bali deal was skewed in the favour of developed nations.
A few years ago at a World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) conference my good mate Geoff White from Trade Aid in New Zealand was giving an update on happenings in what had historically been called the “Pacific Rim” regional grouping of WFTO.
Basically the Pacific Rim included the few countries, spread around the Pacific and over half the globe, that didn’t fit either geographically or thematically into the other formalised WFTO regions – which had adopted the names WFTO Europe, WFTO Asia, WFTO Africa and WFTO Latin America. We were the rump, without the formal structure and meaningful names the other regions had taken up. They, and the global secretariat, had been pushing for us to name ourselves formally – and get organized…
I had a weekend away at the beach with fourteen friends who meet every three months or so for shared, home-made curry banquets.
The weather looked like rain so my partner and I took along a few games, including New Internationalist’s new Pucket game, for potential indoor entertainment. Though I’d toyed with the Pucket game a bit, and watched a YouTube video or two of it being played, I’d never actually played it myself, so I wasn’t sure if there’d be much interest. Especially since many of the curry clubbers were variously into either more cerebral or more relaxing pastimes… and Pucket is definitely neither.
What it is is an updated version of an old French table game called ‘Table à l’élastique’ or ‘Passe Trappe’, and it has been variously described as “backgammon on steroids”, “wooden, noisy and you get to ping things”, and “the most addictive game to hit the market in years”.
Have you ever stood under a coconut palm for shelter during a rainstorm? Hmmm. Not such a good idea. For a start, a coconut palm isn’t much of an umbrella. But the big issue is falling coconuts. A typical coconut weighs in at about 2k, and falling 25m from near the top of the palm turns it into a deadly projectile. If you value your brain, get out from under that coconut palm in a hurry. And listen to the thuds from a safe distance as the coconuts hit the ground.
A few years ago I was in a meeting which had a pre-release view of the now ubiquitous fairtrade label seen on coffee and tea around the developed world. When it flashed up on the screen I actually burst out laughing and blurted ‘looks like a dead fish!’. It also on quick reflection looked like an animated little enzyme that regularly ran across our black-and-white TV screens in Australia in the 60’s (yes I’m that old) gobbling up germs to advertise some cleaning product or other. Continue reading →
Two of our producer partners put Australian politics to shame.
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship recently announced that Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder and CEO of soleRebels, has received the Foundations Social Entrepreneur of The Year Award for 2012. In announcing the award Schwab Foundation Chairman and co-founder Klaus Schwab said “Bethlehem embodies the vision and values of the global social entrepreneur community, and we are proud to honor her exemplary work in creating a highly innovative, ethical and sustainable business that continues to make a strong social impact.”