To: Mark Lawhorn
From: A. Nonny Mouse
Subject: Educational Films Evaluation
As you requested, I have selected and evaluated two educational films on ethical issues in business.
According to Fairtrade.org (http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/), Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
The films I evaluated are: Fair Trade, Fair Profit: Making Green Enterprise Work, 2002, Earth Report, and The Bitter Taste of Tea: A Journey into the World of Fair Trade, 2008, Tom Heinemann. Both films explore fair trade and its effect on third world countries, but with different slants. One film focuses on the positive opportunities fair trade has provided for several third world countries, while the other portrays fair trade as a good idea with poor implementation.
The criteria I developed to grade each film include the following four categories: content, authoritativeness and authenticity, timeliness and relevance, and technical qualities.
Fair Trade, Fair Profit: Making Green Enterprise Work
Fair Trade, Fair Profit is a 27 minute film exploring the positive effects fair trade has had on poor and destitute third world countries. These countries include Chipapa, Mexico; Tanzania, Africa; Denmark; Brazil; and Uganda, Africa.
The narrator for the film is Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop. This immediately lends credibility to the film. The Body Shop holds reputation as a company which continuously endorses and promotes fair trade and sustainable products. Although the film was produced in 2002, I believe the content is still relevant today, and perhaps even more important. Information about fair trade has increased exponentially in the past decade and it is important for people to have facts and see first hand where their extra dollars are going.
The countries portrayed in the film are unbalanced. Shown are the slums of Mexico and Africa, and the struggling countryside of Brazil. Chipapa is the poorest state in the Mexico. It is seen as a source of primary resources and subject to armed and social movements. Tanzania, Africa is fighting Malaria, a deadly disease that claims the lives of millions. In Brazil, landowners have denied land access and gathering rights to natives who harvest the babassu nut, their only source of income. And in Uganda, those living in the slums outside of the city are distributed funds in hopes that aiding individuals who pursue entrepreneurship will benefit the entire community. Tucked into the middle of these gripping stories is a segment on organic cookies produced in Denmark. I think it is wonderful that Danish Delight cookies have been organic and fair trade since 1972, but I do not believe their philosophy parallels the struggles of the other segments. The decision to include Denmark felt odd and unnecessary. Denmark is not a third world country, nor are the owners of the bakery facing poverty or disease.
The film includes onsite filming in each country and interviews with natives. The information provided is very informative and opened my eyes to issues previously unknown. The subjects interviewed are very compelling and caused me to form a bond with each one. I really want them to succeed! The end of the film contains a thorough summary stating the history, marketing, and benefits fair trade has to offer. There is also an address, fax and phone number, and website posted for those who wish to seek more information.
This is not a film produced with a large budget. The color is not as