MAKE YOUR KITCHEN SLAVERY-FREE
Coffee anyone? Make mine slavery-free please.
It is estimated, that more than 40 million people globally are trapped in slavery or slavery-like conditions – one in four of them a child. Much of the coffee and tea we drink and the cocoa used in the chocolate we eat and drink, can be traced back to these children and adults working in conditions of slavery.
Fostering slavery-free kitchens and tearooms is a simple act for anyone to initiate. However, as an awareness-raising and social change action, it can have a deep personal impact whilst having a real community change. By deciding to buy only products working to eliminate slavery from their supply chain we can help eradicate child labour, forced labour and human trafficking and make a difference in our world.
ACRATH, in collaboration with Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and the Archdiocese of Melbourne, developed a Resource Kit to help schools, workplaces, parishes and homes, transition to a slavery-free environment by creating a slavery-free tea room/kitchen. The kit explains the ‘how to’ transition to new products, includes awareness-raising resources, and a ‘where to buy’ slavery-free tea/coffee/drinking chocolate guide. The kit is intended to be a dynamic resource for anyone, anywhere in Australia, particularly for schools.
Support for the Campaign
Minister Urges MPs to Go Slavery-Free
Victoria’s Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas has urged all Members of Parliament to make their electorate offices slavery-free, starting with tea, coffee and chocolate.
"I am certain that no one in this place wants to drink beverages where there’s slave labour in the supply chains that bring them to us. It’s a simple and small action that can make a significant difference. We must, as a collective, contribute to and support grassroots campaigns such as this. By thinking globally but acting locally, we can change the world one cuppa at a time," Minister Thomas told the Victorian Parliament during her member’s address on 23rd February 2023.
Aquinas College Ringwood Victoria
The staffroom, and CafeN9ne (Wurundjeri Trade Training Centre) at Aquinas College in Ringwood went slavery-free in 2017. They followed these important steps:
- Michele and a team of people ran a ‘taste and see’ for staff to demonstrate that slavery-free products tasted good. Alongside the tasting was information about the ethics of going slavery-free. This awareness-raising was ongoing.
- Once teachers were ‘won over’, Michele and her team took the issue to the College executive, who agreed to go slavery-free.
- The team involved Year 11 Foundation Maths students, and they did a cost comparison of current tea and coffee products and slavery-free products.
- They worked very closely with the accounts/buying staff to show how and why the transition could happen.
Aquinas teacher Michele Armstrong and hospitality assistant at the school’s Wurundjeri Trade Training Centre, Rhonda Wheeler, enjoy a cup of slavery-free coffee.
‘In 2015 I first started the discussion about buying slavery-free tea and coffee for our staff room. It took a couple of years and the involvement of students, but by 2017 it had happened,’ said Michele.
Member of Victorian Parliament Commits to Savery Free
Today I had a cuppa with local lady Cindy who works with Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans. ACRATH’s vision is 100% slave-free coffee, tea and chocolate.
I love coffee and chocolate and will be consciously choosing coffee, tea and chocolate brands for my office that are slavery-free. And I know they will taste better too!
By deciding to buy only products certified slavery-free, we can help eradicate child labour, forced labour and human trafficking and make a difference in our world. (Ben Carroll MP, 9th June 2023)