Fair Trade Cacao Pods New Internationalist
Last year we helped parents plan a green Halloween, and here's a way you can take it one step further this year. The folks at Global Exchange have started a Reverse Trick-or-Treating program as a way to highlight the plight of cocoa farmers and to showcase the benefits of Fair Trade.
Despite six years of promises from major chocolate manufacturers little has been done to tackle the documented problem of forced child labor on many farms that supply their cocoa. Moreover, low cocoa prices have left cocoa farmers in poverty year after year." In contrast, "Fair Trade certification prohibits the use of abusive child labor. Also, the guaranteed Fair Trade price paid for cocoa raises farmers' incomes and creates hope for a better future for their children."The program is simple. Individuals and groups sign-up through the reverse trick-or-treating website to receive samples of fair trade chocolates along with cards outlining the program. Kids hand out the cards and samples to adults when they go to the door on Halloween. The cards and chocolates are donated by fair trade chocolate companies with participants picking up the shipping tab.
This is the second year of the program and kids that participated last year gave the program rave reviews saying that it's a great way to "make Halloween meaningful". This year nearly a quarter of a million samples and information cards will be distributed.
Fair Trade certification bodies are starting to highlight the environmental benefits of supporting fair trade farmers. While they don't yet require organic certification, they do promote sustainable, small-scale, chemical-free farming.