2022 has been a year of considerable growth for Just Kai. We are encouraged by the increasing opportunities to raise awareness of, and encourage a reduction in, slavery in the supply chains of our food.
Table of Contents
Events and Projects
- Over much of the year the Just Kai team worked with Kindtype in a rebranding exercise, through which we gained a new logo, settled on fonts and colours to use throughout our publications and fully redesigned our website. The new website finally launched in August.
- In the lead-up to Easter, Heather spoke to Hosanna Avondale Baptist Church about child-labour-free options for Easter eggs, and also led the church in making approximately 200 marshmallow Easter eggs to be distributed to the congregation. Easter eggs made with child-labour free chocolate are now widely available in Aotearoa, but not yet any marshmallow ones!
- Just Kai had an information table at The Justice Conference in Auckland in September, and Heather was part of a panel discussion on Worker Exploitation at the conference.
- We were pleased to be back at the Devonport Ethical Christmas Market in early December, after it had to be cancelled in 2021. The people at the market were extremely interested in the information we had to share and we had a great deal of engagement.
- In the lead-up to Easter we worked with Tearfund to produce Spilling the beans - the bitter truth of chocolate. This report covered the production of chocolate, ethical issues in this process and what we all can do to help change things. We were pleased this generated considerable media interest.
- Through the middle of the year we worked with fair&good as they developed their Chrome Extension Find Fair, which enables shoppers to identify ‘ethical’ goods on many websites by highlighting them in orange. Our main role was generating new information, although we also spent some time collating our existing research. fair&good funded us to do new research on nuts, coconut and rice, identifying brands which are taking meaningful steps to respect human welfare. This work was done by a student, Neva Thogaru, supervised by Heather.
New and updated research
- Slave-free options for tea (including black, green, rooibos and herbal teas). It was interesting to note that the tea industry in East Africa has similar ethical issues to cocoa (small family farms, prices so low they need to have their children working on the farm to survive), whereas in Asia its more like the sugar industry (large plantations, with issues of forced labour, low wages and unsafe working conditions).
- Slave-free coffee. Here the issues are again similar to cocoa - small family farms and low prices so a lot of child labour. It was encouraging to see how many fair trade options are available.
- Nuts, coconut and rice. This is the result of the research for Find Fair described above. Note that not all the recommendations here meet Just Kai’s minimum standards throughout their supply chain, as Find Fair also includes products making significant progress towards those standards. Whilst we are confident that all recommended products are making significant efforts towards a slave-free supply chain, we only consider those listed first in the introductory section to be actually be slave-free.
- We regularly update our cocoa guide as new products become available (or existing products are either withdrawn or stop being certified); the most recent update was September 2022.
- Our sugar guide was updated in July 2022.
Other publications on our website
We encouraged others to take action:
- to submit on New Zealand’s proposed Modern Slavery legislation.
- to help end child labour in the cocoa industry by thanking their favourite chocolate brand for being child-labour free (or asking them to consider becoming so if they don’t yet have independent evidence they are). This call was cross-posted on fair&good.
As in previous years, we published seasonal guides at Easter and Christmas, as well as chocolate Advent calendar recommendations.
We started a monthly newsletter in October. Email email@example.com if you would like to receive these by email; we are not thinking to continue publishing them on the website in 2023.
We also published the following blogs:
- Keeping cool slave-free (on ice creams, ice blocks and soft drinks made with slave free sugar and/or cocoa);
- Can affordable chocolate be ethical? (short answer - yes! Mostly because the cocoa price is such a small portion of the total price the customer pays);
- Your morning coffee (a bit about issues in the coffee industry and slave-free options).
Media interviews and publications elsewhere
- quoted in Stuff: “The nasty surprise hidden in your fish this Christmas” (December)
- Interviewed on Radio Rhema (August)
- Good Magazine: “Where does your tea come from?” (for International Tea Day in May)
- quoted in Stuff: The worst ‘ingredient’ in chocolate Easter eggs is illegal for children (April).
- interviewed by Radio New Zealand on Easter chocolate (which led to a written article and quotes in the news on Easter Saturday morning).
- We submitted on New Zealand’s proposed Modern Slavery legislation (May).
- We submitted on the Redevelopment of the 2001 Cabinet Framework for Integrating Labour Standards and Trade Agreements (October).
We had around 31,000 unique visitors to our website in 2022, up from 8,200 in 2021. As in previous years, by far the busiest time of the year was Easter, with around 24,000 unique visitors in the month of April.
As was the case last year, our most popular post was our Easter list (21,929 direct views, not counting those that came via social media), followed by our cocoa guide (1079 unique views) and our salmon research (911 unique views).
Since August we have been monitoring which Google search terms lead to people clicking through to our website. In that time we have had around 2020 clicks from around 126,000 impressions. The most popular search term is ‘just kai’, followed by various seafood-related searches (‘kingfisher prawns’, ‘wild caught salmon nz’ etc.).
- Our main web presence other than our website is Facebook. In December we celebrated 500 followers (up from 358 at the end of 2021) and finished the year with 501;
- We have 63 followers on Twitter (up from 49 at the end of 2021);
- Late this year we launched on Instagram, and finished the year with 28 followers;
- We have 17 followers on LinkedIn.
Income and expenditure
In previous years Just Kai has had very few expenses; this year has been very different. We spent a total of $9270.46 in 2022 (up from $340 in 2021!). This was spent on:
- rebranding and website design: $5000
- events (attending the Justice Conference, Easter eggs project with Hosanna Avondale Baptist): $2028.53
- physical branding/information (T-shirts, banners, posters, flyers and business cards): $855.09
- research assistance September-December (separate from the Find Fair project): $849.41
- groceries (i.e. tasting samples for events, example slave-free groceries to display at events, a hamper of slave-free groceries as a prize): $228.27
- digital presence (web-hosting, email addresses, Facebook ads): $124.36
- donations (giving away excess donated for the rebranding projects, supporting the Outlaw Ocean project, Trees Water People*): $214.80.
*The donation to Trees Water People was a carbon offset, see below.
We received income of $11,855.23 as follows:
- donations for the rebranding and website project: $5077.96
- donations for attending the Justice Conference: $1829.38
- donations to fund a student: $3000
- untagged donations: $1943.70
- interest: $4.19
We are carrying over $2140.59 that is tagged to be spent on research assistance and $444.18 that is untagged.
Find Fair project
Note that the money for the Find Fair project is not listed above. We received a total of $2513.25 for the project, which was paid to the two people working on the project as wages. This is excluded from the main accounts as this was not research Just Kai would have carried out without being commissioned to do so, although we were glad to support the project.
Just Kai’s work is supported by the regular prayers of 62 individuals and families.
We see climate change as one of the drivers of the poverty that leads to child labour and vulnerability to slavery. For this reason we monitor our embedded carbon emissions in some detail, and seek to reduce them where we can (e.g. by the use of bicycles and public transport to get to events whenever possible). Using this tool, we estimate our 2022 carbon emissions to be 467.50kg CO2e. This comes from:
- T-shirts to wear at events (5): 240.0
- printing, posters etc: 92.8
- groceries (examples for the table, tasting samples we purchased etc.): 53.8
- transport: 43.6
- events: 37.3
Rather than buying carbon offsets as such, a donation of $40 was made to Trees Water People. This equates to an offset of roughly $50US per tonne. We chose to do this rather than buy offsets as such, as all their projects are chosen to directly benefit the people in the areas where they work, as well as absorbing carbon or preventing emissions.