Monday, October 22, 2007

Hmmm, Might Want to Think Twice Before Buying Chocolate for Halloween

When we think of Halloween candy, most of us think of chocolates (except for dentists...they think of tooth decay). We load up on bags of brand names like Nestles and Hershey's, without giving it another thought. Perhaps we should give it a bit more thought though this year. Check out what Allison Anton has to say on her post as well as Beth Greer and the Healthy Parenting Blog.

Forty-three percent of the world's cocoa is produced on the Ivory Coast of Africa, where young children are often forced to work in labor camps under extreme conditions, with little to no pay as a result of major chocolate companies not willing to pay farmers a fair trade for cocoa beans. Fair trade means that the farmers are guaranteed a fair price for their crop, no exploitative child labor is allowed, and women’s rights and democracy are supported. You can visit the Fair Trade site for more info about fair trade and the Global Exchange for a list of Fair Trade Companies and more info as well as The Green Guide.

This hits a nerve with me being that I'm adopting from China. We've all heard of sweatshops, right?

Allison suggests these companies for fair trade chocolate:
Equal Exchange (100% fair trade)
Divine (100% fair trade)
Ithaca Fine Chocolates (100% fair trade)
Green and Black's
Endangered Species
You can click here for a list of brands also.

Don't get me wrong; it's a serious challenge to be a socially-conscious consumer. I fail miserably. But ignoring the issue doesn't make it go away. We have to start somewhere. Awareness is the first step.

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