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Dreaming of a Fair Trade Christmas

This week, as the holiday shopping season gets into full swing, we examine some of the impacts our consumption patterns have on people and planet. We take a look at some of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and what gadgets we use and ask whether 'ethical shopping' is a way out of the quagmire. Today's co-host is New Internationalist co-editor Jess Worth who's done some research into the ethical shopping sector and has found that all is not as simple as it seems at first glance. We also hear from a number of guests from all over the world:

  • Albert Tucker, Fair Trade consultant from Sierra Leonne and Barbara Crowther from the UK's Fair Trade Foundation, discuss the pros and cons of big business involvement in the Fair Trade sector.
  • NI co-editor David Ransom speaks with Greenpeace's Sarah Holden about the fishy business of pirate fishing and its impacts on our oceans and the workers who get caught in the nets of the global seafood industry.
  • The vast majority of electronic goods end up as waste in Asia - mostly China - where they may have been manufactured in the first place. Greenpeace China's toxics campaigner, Jamie Choi, describes the impacts this enormous e-waste burden is having on human health and the environment in China.
  • Australian author/activist Sharon Beder diagnoses the CSD (Compulsive Selling Disorder) epidemic afflicting the politicians and governments around the world, as read by Radio New Internationalist producer Rachel Maher.

Today's music comes from two CD's from the World Music Network - Riverboat Records series. Granada-born vocalist and lyricist Benjamín Escoriza's Carambola delves into Spain's Moorish roots blending Flamenco and North African traditions. Meanwhile, take two volcanic island nations of Hawaii and Reunion and what do you have? The explosive combination of master accordionist and guitarist Rene Lacaille with the eclectic genre-defying talent of Bob Brozman erupting hot musical magma in the form of their album Digdig.

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