Help Raise the Bar on Chocolate Fundraising
Who hasn’t enjoyed a bar of World’s Finest Chocolate? They’re the ones you schlepped around as a kid for those school fundraisers or purchased from your local church group to help fund after school activities. But little did you know, those candy bars you purchased to support your school or youth group may have come at the cost of another child’s education on one of the world’s cocoa farms.
According to the International Labor Organization, the U.S. State Department and others, over 284,000 children work in hazardous tasks on West African cocoa farms such as using a machete or applying pesticides unprotected. 66% of children working on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast don’t attend school. Some farms even use child slave labor! The root cause of this is poverty – the average cocoa farming family earns between $30 and $110 dollars per household member a year.
The solution is Fair Trade. Fair Trade certification requires farmers be paid a living wage, prohibits abusive child labor and encourages sustainable farming. Fair Trade cocoa farmers can afford to send their children to school and pay adult workers instead of using children (or child slaves). While the chocolate industry has taken limited steps towards addressing public concern about child slavery, none of these guarantees the minimum price producers need and the independent certification consumers want.
Global Exchange is working with schools, churches and community groups from around the country to pressure World’s Finest to stay true to its fundraising legacy by purchasing at least five percent of its cocoa from fair trade cooperatives. Together we hope to bring fair trade chocolate to all of the many schools and faith communities that have been learning problems of poverty and child labor in the chocolate industry and desperately want to do their part by selling fair trade chocolate in their fundraisers.
Why World's Finest?
World’s Finest is a pioneer of “product fundraising” and the leading manufacturer of chocolate for school, church and community fundraising. With an estimated annual sales of over $110 million, World’s Finest ranks among the eight largest chocolate companies in the U.S. Now in its third generation, the family owned firm has a fifty-year legacy of supporting education, community development and other charitable causes with their chocolate. We think its time that they live up to that legacy by offering Fair Trade.
Through its partnership with the Quality Schools Program division of Readers Digest (QSP), World’s Finest Chocolate reaches over 40,000 schools and youth groups across the U.S. In over fifty years of fundraising, World’s Finest and its community partners have sold nearly six billion bars. While nearly fifty cents of every one dollar bar of World’s Finest has gone to support local schools, youth groups and other charitable organizations, scarcely do these pennies reach impoverished cocoa farmers and their families.
Demand for Fair Trade Certified chocolate is growing among students, teachers and communities of faith that share a deep concern for the welfare of the worlds’ workers and farmers and don’t want the profits of their school or community fundraisers to come at the expense of cocoa farming families. World’s Finest is uniquely placed to supply quality fair trade chocolate to the thousands of schools and faith communities who demand that their chocolate be up to the highest ethical standards and give a meaningful boost to the world’s poor farmers.
Join schools, churches and community organizations from around the country in demanding that World’s Finest take seriously its decades long commitment to education and community development by supporting Fair Trade. Help make sure that the funds raised by your school, church or community group don’t come at the expense of child workers and poor cocoa farmers.
Send World's Finest a Letter
Download the color-in World's Finest petition postcard. (.pdf)
Sign the online petition urging World's Finest Chocolate to go Fair Trade.
Reach out to the President of World's Finest Chocolate, Edmond Opler, and encourage the company to embrace Fair Trade Certification as an important solution to ongoing problems of poverty and child labor on cocoa farms. You could talk about why Fair Trade is important to you and your community and why World’s Finest can be a leader.
World’s Finest Chocolate
Attn: Edmond Opler, President
4801 S. Lawndale
Chicago, IL 60632-3062Stay Connected With the Movement
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for regular updates on the progress of the campaign, and new and exciting ways for your group to get involved.