Neighbors for Neighbors

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This Week's Events at the Jamaica Plain Forum

Meet Your Chocolate Farmer: The Story Behind Your Treats
When: Friday March 19, 2010
Where: First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, 6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain

Come meet a cacao farmer and a staff member of CONACADO cacao co-op in the Dominican Republic who will share their history. In 1988, the cacao industry in the Dominican Republic was dominated by four major exporters. Most Dominican cacao production was low quality, unfermented beans shipped to the United States at low prices. Seven hundred small-scale farmers came together to form CONACADO with the goal of producing a higher quality cacao, directly accessing new markets, and getting better prices. Over 20 years later, this small-farmer organization now has 10,000 farmer members who produce approximately 25% of the cacao exported from the Dominican Republic. The co-operative's success in quality improvement and marketing means that the majority of their cacao has been sold as high quality fermented beans, primarily to niche markets: Organic, Biodynamic, and Fair Trade.

Ramón Matías Frías González is a cacao producer and Secretary of the Board at CONACADO. Basilio Almonte de los Santos is an agronomist and Technical Director at CONACADO’s office in Santo Domingo. They will be joined by members of Equal Exchange, a local Fair Trade organization and proud partner of CONACADO.

Chocolates and cocoas featuring organic and Fair Trade cacao from CONACADO’s farmers will be served.

Co-sponsored by Equal Exchange and Fair Trade Boston

Hidden JP History: Worker Housing and the Legacy of Robert Treat Paine
When: Friday March 21, 2010
Where: First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, 6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain

Speaker: Prof. Ruediger Volk

Come learn the inspiring local history of Robert Treat Paine and his work to build affordable housing in the Hyde Square neighborhood. Paine was a prominent business leader and great grandson of a signer of the Declaration of Independence with the same name. Paine pushed to expand homeownership for working families, organizing alongside the Workingman’s Cooperative Bank.

Co-sponsored by the Jamaica Plain Forum

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