Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Happy February: Think Fair Trade this Valentine's Day
In West Africa there are many coffee and cacao plantations that operate through slave labor. Many of these slaves are children who have been kidnapped from the forests around their villages or lured with the promise of rewards. Some have been promised jobs or adventure. But what really happens is that they are put to work on these plantations to grow the products that go into your candy bar or morning coffee. So if you want to tell your special person you really love her/him, please choose fair trade. If it can't be fair trade, then at least buy coffee from East Africa or South America and Belgian chocolate (guaranteed slave free). It doesn't necessarily cost more, you just need to look at the label. For flowers, instead of cut flowers that may be coming from a flower plantation that does not pay fair wages, consider a potted plant sourced locally.
If you can buy Fair Trade, my friends at Fair Trade USA just published their Fair Trade Valentine's Day Gift Guide. This one has a lot of unique products for men and women (as well as a tip on how women can get their significant other to buy Fair Trade Certified roses this year...). A few of my favorites are the "Helping Haiti" rose bouquet from One World Flowers (shipped directly from the far in Ecuador), the recipe for chocolate mousse cake, and Weaver's Astral Blend coffee that supports breast cancer research.
Many people don't realize that human slavery still exists in our world. This Valentine's Day, please consider sending a message with your pocketbook that this is not acceptable. As a special thank you for your consideration, the first five people to comment on this post will receive an Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa bar from Fair Trade USA.
I did not receive any compensation for this post. I have been involved with the organization Just One for some time now and ending human slavery is an issue about which I care deeply. Thank you.