Did you know that last year Americans spent 7.4 billion dollars on Halloween festivities? 2 billion of that was spent on candy. Many consumers are not aware that much of the chocolate that they consume is made with cocoa beans grown in the Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. Sadly thousands of children, as young as ten are trafficked to harvest the beans on cocoa farms in this area. Young boys like Abdul who are forced to work long hours without pay, beaten and often work in dangerous conditions.
One way that you and your community can TAKE ACTION is to buy chocolate with the Fair Trade label.
Fair Trade Certification verifies and acknowledges the commitment of chocolate and producers of other commodities to meet internationally recognized Fair Trade standards. These standards include: wages that meet or exceed legally established minimums; absence of forced or child labor; safe working conditions, including protection from exposure to harmful agrochemicals; and adherence to national and international labor protections, including those established by the International Labor Organization of the United Nations.
Additionally, Fair Trade Certified growers receive funds, called Community Development Premiums, which can be used to complete self-determined projects like schools, health care facilities, and roads. These Community Development Premiums are funded from the sales of Fair Trade Certified products and are a direct result of YOUR purchase.
As consumers we have the power to TREAT those working on the cocoa farms to a better life, a life free from exploitation. TAKE ACTION. Ask your family, friends, neighbors, school, faith community and local candy retailers to choose Fair Trade Chocolate.
Our friends at STOP THE TRAFFIC and Fair Trade Campaigns are hosting a photo contest from October 1st - October 31st. Click on the photo to learn more and get involved!