Valentine’s Day is a major chocolate buying holiday, but gifts for your sweetheart should not come at the expense of worker rights. Forced labor, child labor and trafficking continue in the cocoa industry in West Africa.
Here’s how YOU can make a difference:
Make Valentines for members of the Hershey trust calling on Hershey to end child labor, forced labor and human trafficking in its cocoa supply.
- Create your own personalized Valentine telling Hershey to use Fair Trade cocoa for its products, like the iconic chocolate Kiss. Address your valentine to Hershey Trust at 100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. Please mail your Valentines to Hershey by February 17, 2012.
- You can also download a Valentine to color and send here.
- If you make your own Valentine, please scan it and send the image to the Fair Trade Project at email@example.com. We’ll post some of our favorites online.
Why Hershey? Almost all major chocolate companies have begun to commit to using independent, third-party programs to certify that their cocoa suppliers comply with international labor standards, but Hershey continues to lag behind the industry.
Collect signatures on the Raise the Bar Hershey petition calling on Hershey to eliminate the child labor, forced labor and trafficking in their cocoa supply. Download a petition here.
Fair Trade provides a solution to global economic injustice! Fair Trade principles include a fair price for producers, the prohibition of child labor, community development, environmental sustainability and direct relationships between consumers and producers. See Green America’s chocolate scorecard.
You can raise awareness by hosting a screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate in your school or community. This important documentary exposes the ongoing use of trafficked child labor in the cocoa industry. Visit our Dark Side of Chocolate page to obtain a copy and toolkit, including discussion guide and background information. Visit Fair Trade Towns USA to download a list of more films about Fair Trade.
Educate students about Fair Trade in the classroom with these Fair Trade curricula resources. These classroom activities are great for audiences of ALL ages.
Show your love of social justice by giving those you love a Global Exchange Valentine’s Day gift of membership. (Hurry, these are available only while supplies last, and they’re going quickly!)
Happy Valentine’s Day, from all of us here at Global Exchange!
Posted on: February 8, 2012