Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 17th 2017 Contents A16 business
guardian.co.tt Monday, April 17, 2017
Seafood joins fair
PORTLAND, Maine --- Fair trade coffee,
bananas and ... scallops? Yes, very soon.
Fair trade certification status, which is
conferred by independent groups to denote
environmental sustainability and fair work-
ing conditions, has been around for years.
But it's just now on the rise among seafood
products in the US, where consumer interest
in the story behind the fish and shellfish they
eat is growing.
Certification of seafood products, includ-
ing tuna and shrimp, began in 2014, and the
volume of imports of such products grew
more than 350 percent last year to more than
1.2 million pounds (500,000 kilogrammes),
said Fair Trade USA, a California-based non-
profit group. The first company to offer fair
trade seafood harvested from U.S. waters
will have scallops on the market this month.
The company, Bristol Seafood of Portland,
Maine, is looking to capitalize on the growing
interest in authenticity of seafood, said its
president, Peter Handy.
"There's a certain sanctity to food when
it comes to the story about it," he said. "It
tastes better the more you know."
Independent groups, including Fair Trade
USA, provide certifications to a host of
products that people buy in stores, rang-
ing from fruit and nuts to home goods. The
certification is most commonly associated
with coffee, which launched the fair trade
movement in the 1990s.
To achieve certification, companies need
to submit to an audit and interviews to make
sure the food is produced with fair working
conditions and environmental stewardship
along the supply chain. Packaged products
can then bear a "Fair Trade Certified" seal,
which carries a price premium.
Fair Trade USA currently certifies shrimp
from Mexico, yellowfin tuna from Indone-
sia, and skipjack and yellowfin tuna from
Maldives. It is the only group currently cer-
tifying seafood as fair trade, representatives
for the nonprofit said.
Interest in the seafood supply chain has
grown since an Associated Press investiga-
tion of slave labour conditions in Thailand's
shrimp fishery, said Ashley Apel, senior
manager of the seafood programme for Fair
Trade USA. Even before that, a 2014 study by
a pair of economists from the University of
Kentucky said more than 80 per cent of con-
sumers were at least somewhat influenced
by labels that tell the story of seafood. (AP)
dies at 85
WOODSIDE, Calif ---
Robert W Taylor,
who was instru-
mental in creating
the internet and the
computer, has died.
He was 85.
Taylor, who had
died at his home in
the San Francisco
of Woodside, his son,
Kurt Taylor, told the Los Angeles Times.
In 1961, Taylor was a project manager for
NASA when he directed funding to Douglas
Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute,
who helped develop the modern computer
Taylor was working for the Pentagon's
Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1966
when he shepherded the creation of a single
computer network to link ARPA-sponsored
researchers at companies and institutions
around the country.
Taylor was frustrated that he had to use three
separate terminals to communicate with the
researchers through their computer systems.
ARPANET, as it was known, evolved into
the internet. As Taylor predicted, the limited
communications tool morphed into a system
that supplies people with fingertip access to
everything from encyclopedias to investment
A few years later, Taylor went on to work at
the Xerox Corp's famous Palo Alto Research
Centre, or PARC, where he oversaw a team that
helped create the Alto, a pioneering personal
The Alto supplied each researcher with an
individual workstation instead of sharing time
on a room-sized mainframe. It was designed
to use a graphical user interface, which ena-
bled the user to command the device through
icons, windows and menus instead of typing
text commands in computer language.
The technology inspired Microsoft's Win-
dows software and the Apple computers.
Taylor's engineering team also helped de-
velop the Ethernet and a word processing
programme that became Microsoft Word.
Taylor retired in 1996.
In addition to Kurt, he is survived by his sons
Erik and Derek and three grandchildren. (AP)
SAO PAULO --- A secret communica-
tions system was used to discuss and ar-
range the payments of bribes. A detailed
spreadsheet mapped out who got what,
all veiled under a system of codenames.
And overseeing it all, there was an entire
department at the Brazilian construction
giant Odebrecht whose only purpose was
to ensure the graft ran smoothly.
Though deals were often sealed over din-
ners and coffees, there was nothing casual
about the massive corruption scheme that
Brazilian prosecutors are investigating in-
volving bribes and kickbacks paid to hundreds
of politicians in exchange for state contracts,
beneficial legislation and other favours.
The Supreme Court opened investigations
into about 100 politicians last week, based
on testimony provided by current and for-
mer executives at Odebrecht. Their testimony
describes how bribery and kickbacks were
simply part of doing business.
"There was a rule: Either we don't contrib-
ute to anyone, or we contribute to everyone,"
explained Emilio Odebrecht, chairman of the
board, referring to payments to politicians.
Odebrecht appears to have opted for the
latter. Court documents released last week
and prosecutors' statements offer a peek into
the highly organized way the company man-
aged millions of dollars in bribes.
The scheme was overseen by the blandly
named Division of Structured Operations,
which investigators refer to as simply "the
bribe department." It had its own hierarchy
and its own accountants. It also used its own
off-the-books communications system,
called Drousys, to communicate about the
bribes both internally and externally.
The payments were detailed in spread-
sheets, held in the Drousys system, accord-
ing to testimony and the judge's decision
released this week. On those spreadsheets,
politicians who received bribes and the inter-
mediaries who delivered them were referred
to by nicknames.
The man who is now President Michel Te-
mer's chief of staff, Eliseu Padilha, was called
"cousin." Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Edu-
ardo Paes was "little nervous one." Others
were "decrepit," ''Viagra," ''little boy of the
forest" and "Dracula."
One congressman even protested on his
Facebook page when his nickname --- "to-
tally ugly" --- was reported in the Brazilian
press last year.
The employees at Odebrecht may have had
some fun with the nicknames, but their reve-
lations so far show that they took corruption
Prosecutors are investigating the testimo-
ny and deciding whether to bring charges.
The politicians have denied wrongdoing,
with many saying the funds they received
from Odebrecht were legal campaign con-
Iran boosts gas production
TEHRAN, Iran --- Iran said yesterday
that it has more than doubled produc-
tion at a giant undersea gas reservoir
over the last four years.
President Hassan Rouhani, who will
stand for re-election next month, had cam-
paigned in 2013 on promises to boost Iran's
natural gas production. He said daily Irani-
an production at the South Pars Gas Field,
which Iran shares with Qatar, has reached
540 million cubic metres, up from just 240
million when he was elected in 2013, state
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said US$20
billion has been invested in the field over
the past decade, and that another US$15
billion would be invested in the coming
years, without providing specific details.
Qatar produces more than 590 million
cubic metres per day from the field and
plans to increase production by 10 per
cent by 2022.
Iran's total gas production stands at 750
million cubic metres per day, of which 550
million is consumed domestically.
Iran exports to neighbouring Turkey and
Iraq, and pipelines to Pakistan and Oman
are in the works. Iran imports some 12 mil-
lion cubic metres per day from neighbour-
ing Turkmenistan. (AP)
Rick Elliott of Bristol Seafood in Portland, Maine, examines a bag of scallops at auction in
New Bedford, Mass. Fair trade certification status is now gaining prominence with seafood
in the US. AP PHOTO
Robert W Taylor
How Brazil's Odebrecht organised graft
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