I have been trying to write this post all week. I’m really excited about the Sustainable Harvest International Offers Fair Trade Chocolate Tours in Belize post on TreeHugger. This post explains that you can take a trip with Sustainable Harvest International and see where your Fair Trade, organic chocolate comes from. Sustainable Harvest International also aids rural farming communities in Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. They teach rural farmers about:
Community Loan Funds
Improved Chicken Coops
Irrigation Systems (Coming Soon)
Multi-Story Plots (Coming Soon)
Non-Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers
Organic Vegetable Gardens
Seed Saving and Storage
Tree Nurseries (Coming Soon)
Then after the farmers have adapted these practices they stay in these communities for three to five years to make sure that their programs take hold.
Taking a Sustainable Harvest International trip to Belize is a little different than getting off of a cruise ship in Belize City for a day. On this trip, you get to see how important the cacao industry is for the local people. You will visit the actual farmers and learn about sustainable agriculture. Finally you get the chance to work on an cacao farm. There are several jobs that the volunteers fill, including building wood conserving stoves, touring local cacao farms, and attending presentations on Fair Trade and cacao cooperatives.
Participants on these trips also get a crash course in sustainable gardening. This includes planting techniques, compost, natural pest, and seed-saving. Also, tourist will visit with representatives from Toledo Cacao Growers Association and Greens and Black’s Organic Chocolate Company, to see how the cacao makes it from the farm to the store.