Despite Covid, 2020 was a busy year for Just Kai!
Heather spoke at:
4Cs (a programme for elderly folk in Whangarei) in August, raising awareness of the issue of Modern Slavery in our food supply chains and what we can do about it;
- a video of this talk was shown at a discussion group in Hawkes Bay later in August, and Heather joined them for some questions after;
World Vision Youth Advocates in October, teaching them about her research process so they could do similar research on slavery in the supply chains of coffee;
Hosanna Avondale Baptist Church in November, raising awareness about Modern Slavery as well as giving her testimony of how God healed her and called her into this work.
Just Kai also had a table at the Devonport Ethical Christmas Market, providing information on slave-free options for chocolate gifts and the main Christmas meal.
All of those were well-received, and we gave away fliers and had conversations with around 100 people across the three awareness-raising events.
Just Kai published 16 blog posts, including:
- an Easter egg buying guide;
- two Christmas buying guides (one on the main meal and one on chocolate gifts);
- articles on Samoan cocoa and Australian sugar, and why we think those products are reliably slave-free without needing specific certification;
- various revisions to our cocoa guide as options changed;
- information about significant changes to one of the certifications we recommend, UTZ.
One new research article was published, on seafood (shellfish, crustaceans and squid).
Christine produced buying guides (based on existing research) on:
Heather wrote an Easter email for Tearfund, providing advice on slave-free chocolate Easter eggs. Just Kai also featured as part of a broader email on ethical gifts sent by Tearfund for Christmas.
An article about Heather and her Just Kai work featured in the February issue of The Baptist, the bi-monthly magazine of New Zealand Baptist churches.
- Just Kai’s summary information was sent out to members of a church as a result of the article in The Baptist.
In order for Modern Slavery to be eliminated from our food supply chains, many structural changes are needed. Just Kai advocated for various changes this year through submissions:
- In July Heather submitted to Bonsucro, one of the sugar certifications we recommend, advocating they require a Living Wage to be paid to growers and mill-workers. Currently they have good provisions to prevent both child labour and forced labour, but don’t require adequate pay;
- In October Heather submitted to MBIE on their Plan of Action against forced labour, asking for a Modern Slavery Act for New Zealand.
As of 26/2/21, Just Kai has 358 Facebook followers and 27 Twitter followers. The website had 4300 unique visitors over the course of 2020, with the cocoa guide being by far the most visited page (more than 600 unique views).
Just Kai has very limited costs, mostly spending money on printing and example groceries for the table. All labour is voluntary. In 2020 we spent $250 and received $200 in gifts.
\ Our carbon footprint is estimated at 150kg CO2e, a third of which was due to Auckland’s sudden lockdown in August - the bus home from Whangarei was cancelled so kind relatives made a special trip to Auckland and back to drop us home. Even without that, transport would still have been the biggest contributor, followed by around 40kg CO2e on printing.