Thanks Bro: There are 150,000 Haitian Peanut Farmers and Very Few Haitian Lime Farmers
Hello, Mr. Milne. I note that you are an attorney. That must certainly be the reason that this article is written with such care.
It is very exciting to read articles from influential and important people who are changing our world so dramatically every day.
I was just thinking this was another random article about a Clinton Foundation “program” that allowed any foreign-owned corporation to get the cheapest possible or free land, labor or natural resources from Haiti. Then I realized: there was an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday detailing how Firmenich initiated this project. This company apparently uses “high quality lime oil” formerly available in Haiti to make perfumes. This project was apparently inspired by a donation of $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation directly, as well as a generous invitation to former President Clinton to speak to their trade association about how public-private partnerships could transform the world for a personal payment of $260,000.
I am a very unsophisticated person and absolutely not a lawyer nor an expert in the type of “metrics” you seem to hint at in this very finely-written, sophisticated article.
The Haiti earthquake occurred 12 January 2010 and devastated vast areas of the country. According to every political “factchecker” on earth, no one disputes that “hundreds of millions of dollars” were raised by the Clinton-Bush Haiti fund and related Clinton entities after the quake. So why are you just now getting around to accepting $250,000 four years later from a Swiss fragrance manufacturer and taking another two years to “catalyze” the planting of a few hectares of trees?
I can’t really tell how many lime trees are being planted, who paid for them, who has planted them, who will be tending them, who will harvest the limes, where, exactly, in Haiti the trees are being planted, who will be paid for the limes once harvested, and how and where the lime oil will be extracted. I can’t tell what the price will be for the lime oil that is the intended end product.
I did grow up in an orange grove (I’m one of those ‘little people’ Mr. Milne) and while I do not currently work in agriculture, I know that four years is a mighty optimistic time frame for any type of citrus to bear a commercial crop.
More like at least six years.
Now I’m looking at these suppliers of lime oil: most of them are in Mexico and Peru. We do the eating limes here in California, Mr. Milne. This is the state where your masters come to obtain public cash for political purposes. I am seeing prices of $190 to $200 a gallon for ‘regular’ or ‘Persian’ Lime oil from Mexico, which is extracted in a cold press process (I honestly don’t know about these essential citrus oils) and $229 to $250 a gallon for Key Lime oil from Italy. According to this company that makes and sells presses used in the extraction of a variety of agricultural products, there are about 110,000 hectares of limes in Mexico right now and that country is probably the biggest big lime oil and other by-product producer.
So lookin’ at this little lime nursery ya got there, Mr. Milne. I see this picture got put in the Wall Street Journal. It’s hard to come by pictures when you sit in an office, isn’t it, Mr. Milne? I don’t know, that’s just what I experienced in my day, that if a business or organization had to use somebody else’s picture maybe they weren’t doing the work they said, but I’m not an attorney and ‘Metrics’ expert like you or anything. ** SEE BELOW — they aren’t limes they are MORINGA — amendment — Haitians say the canopy and nursery are PLANTAIN starters, not even Moringa!
Frankly I just don’t understand global philanthropy that focuses on passing through “donations” from for-profit companies to get sweet deals of free or almost free land and natural resources, especially when those deals are brokered by U.S. based organizations to benefit foreign companies like Firmenich using non-sustainable processes at every step along the way.
But that’s just me.
Haiti: Impact Mega Style!
I see there is a pretty good lime and lime oil industry in Mexico and they have about 110,000 hectares, as I noted, in three different Mexican states. A hectare is about 2.5 acres. So right here I see that students who are being educated in agricultural technology in Florida (ha ha ha, imagine that! Citrus and agriculture in Florida!) can plant about 4,000 trees on 29 acres — or 12 hectares. So let’s say those 2,000 little seedlings I am estimating from that nice greenhouse picture will plant up about 6 hectares worth of limes. Using top current technology and techniques which I am sure are being shared with the Haitian “smallholder” farmers.
I grew up in a 10 acre grove, Mr. Milne. My family lived there and we supported ourselves. Isn’t that interesting?
Right, I thought not.
Well back to our mega lime project transforming the world in Haiti to enrich so many people. Thinking I’ll give you the 4,000 trees there, because maybe there’s more than one greenhouse. So I found this student who wrote a complete cost plan for a citrus grove in California that came up with about $5,200 profit per acre after 6 years of operation. He had about a $2,700 cost per acre for planting and preparation.
Even if Clinton Foundation Spent a Dime (Which they Didn’t)
So I know the Clinton Foundation is very well prepared so you could afford about 1,000 acres or should be having about 1,000 acres or 404 hectares of lime trees for this $250,000 that Firmintech donated to the Clinton Foundation. Right? That’s .03% of the Mexican specialty lime crop grown for oil Mr. Milne: an amazing metric and one I think is so appropriate after your organization has taken in at least $2 billion over the past decade.
I think it is so incredibly significant a metric that you, at this late juncture, after receiving such a vast amount of financial resources, good will from pretty much every ‘celebrity’ in the world, carte blanche at every world’s airport -
Can’t even come up with a citrus planting effort in Haiti worthy of a first-year ag student in Florida or a graduating senior at a public polytechnic university in California.
Or the 10 acre grove I grew up in.
Helping Haiti Transform its Economy!
Oh, and those peanut farmers you “helped?” There are, according to the people who actually work with them, 150,000 such farmers. So you “helped” 4% when you “helped” 6,500. Way to go!
And that Caracol Industrial Park where your boss & his friend got the Korean Clothing manufacturer to come in and hire Haitian people to sew clothes for less than 60 cents an hour?
There are 4.8 million Haitians in their labor force and World Bank estimates there is at least 40% unemployment. So those 2,000 people working at Caracol for the Korean clothing manufacturer make up .04% of the Haitian labor force. I don’t think that Clinton Foundation got anywhere near the total amount of $13.4 billion estimated to have been received by all charities, NGOs and governments worldwide for “Haiti Earthquake Relief” but I can say that the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund reported it raised $55 million from 2 million individual donations.
The World Bank reports that Haiti’s GDP was $6.6 billion in 2010, the year of the earthquake. So this Clinton-Bush Haiti fund raised about .05% of the country’s total GDP or roughly $55 per every Haitian.
Put another way, those of us ignorant ‘little people’ out there who add things up and subtract them have added up that in total Clinton “entities” have officially (I can use my words carefully too!) received $2 billion in revenue in the past decade.
Aka 30% of the whole country of Haiti’s GDP during the earthquake year and 20% now.
And all ya got to show for it is getting around to telling some charities to plant some lime trees.
Payscale at the Controversial Caracol Industrial Park
Is less than 60 cents an hour a good wage? Let’s give them 60 cents an hour and 40 hour a week jobs. These lucky Haitians with jobs working for the Korean company are getting a great wage of $1,248 a year (less than estimated Haitian average annual income of $1,300 a year — one of the world’s poorest nations).
But really: Trump!
So I was reading that the Clinton Foundation was declared a “four star” charity by Charity Navigator! It’s even on your website now!
I also read that the Trump Foundation had 2014 revenue of $500,849 and expended $596,700. During the same tax year your organization had approximately 300 times the revenue that Trump had ($177,804,602) and expended about 200 times more money ($91,281,145).
And the best you can do is write vaguely about a few small things other organizations, including foreign for-profit perfume manufacturers, are doing in one of the world’s poorest countries, and talk about how a charity with a confused mission and inadequate systems (Charity Navigator) caved and did what you wanted — and attempt to indicate this is some type of “achievement.”
Donald Trump wasted exponentially less money than you.
Note: readers have pointed out that pictures credited by Clinton Foundation and the Wall Street Journal (included in my article) are both from a brochure prepared by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance in 2015 for a separate crop: Moringa (note: the brochure is for the small tree Moringa, but all depicted actual products are something else, ranging from corn to plantains to breadfruit). It is also outside the scope of this article but the Smallholder Farmers Alliance was among many organizations protesting the “dumping” of vast quantities of U.S.-grown peanuts on Haiti by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, thus destroying the livelihoods of numerous Haitian peanut farmers.
The Moringa you see in stores comes from Africa. Last November the “Smallholder Farmers Alliance” in the U.S. represented by the for-profit Kuli-Kuli company, had an Indiegogo campaign that was fully-funded ($100,000+) for the Moringa trees & production that are depicted with these photos used by Clinton Foundation in their press release here on Medium of today; the campaign does not mention anything about the Clinton Foundation.