Did you know that aside from being VeganMoFo, October is also Fair Trade Month?
What are you doing for Halloween this year? Are you one of the thousands Americans who will be handing out candy when those trick-or-treaters come knockin'?
How would you like to make a difference this Halloween?
I would like to thank Noelle from An Opera Singer in the Kitchen for introducing me to the 5th Annual Reverse Trick-or-Treating Campaign through her post/giveaway about this event. The campaign is well underway, and Equal Exchange is making a difference this Halloween by raising awareness about child slave labor through CHOCOLATE!
Did you know that on West African cocoa farms, children are being trafficked and forced to work (slave labor)? Many of these children come from Bali or Burkina Faso, the poor neighbors of the Ivory Coast. When children are enticed with good paying jobs, it's no surprise that so many children happily accept the offer.
While some farmers will pay their workers a small sum of money (most do not), "some farmers will exploit the children’s vulnerability, forcing them to perform long, hard and dangerous work, while providing only minimal food and shelter. Some will beat and threaten those who try to escape, and at night lock the children in sheds or huts. It is these children, held captive and forced to work against their will, that are the focus of this ongoing crisis." (Source)
Because the Ivory Coast alone produces 40% of the world's cocoa and 50% of the cocoa consumed in the United States, this is a big problem! We definitely do NOT want to support this behavior! I always knew fair-trade products were supposedly "better" to buy, but I never really knew why. Under fair-trade laws, farmers are forced to abide by the rules of the International Labor Organization, including those against inappropriate child and forced labor. Now that I know, I will strive to only purchase fair trade chocolate from now on!
The goal of Reverse Trick-or-Treating is for the children to hand out the chocolate to the adults on Halloween! If a child is handing these informational cards (explaining the child labor problems in West Africa and how fair-trade offers a solution) and chocolates out, it will make more of an impact on the adults receiving the chocolates. Now, what if you don't have a child? I'm a college junior, so I plan on purchasing a pack to hand out to the freshmen in my hallway. I think no matter what your age, handing these out will still have a huge impact on people who take it seriously!
The Global Exchange is offering 1,000 free Reverse Trick-or-Treating kits to people who sign up, all you have to do is pay the $7.50 shipping! The kit includes 15 mini dark chocolate bars and info cards to pass out. Plus, if you are a large group and want to buy bigger packages (like I do!) you can buy big kits for $24 plus shipping.
ORDERS ARE DUE BY MONDAY, OCTOBER 17.
Click to order if: You are a school, non-profit, or other organization
Click to order if: You are a faith-based group or a current Equal Exchange interfaith customer
Click to order if: You are an individual or family just wanting to pass out a few chocolates!
Learn more about the efforts to reform the global cocoa industry
Learn more about child labor in the cocoa industry
Learn more about Reverse Trick-or-Treating
Equal Exchange has graciously offered to send ONE lucky reader an ENTIRE BOX of their dark chocolate minis! Perfect to hand out at Halloween or devour all yourself - and they are both vegan & gluten-free! :)
Here's how to enter! Leave a comment for each one!@cityxlights13) AND Equal Exchange on Twitter
3. Tweet the following: "Go Reverse Trick-or-Treating this year! Raise awareness of child labor in the cocoa industry and WIN CHOCOLATE! @cityxlights13 bit.ly/qe8jBj"
4. Subscribe to Passing Daisies by email
5. Comment below telling me how you plan to celebrate your vegan Halloween this year
6. If you purchase a kit, leave a comment saying you did
7. Follow Passing Daisies on Blogger or Google
You can get an additional entry EVERY DAY by tweeting once a day and leaving a comment saying you did! :) This contest ends on MONDAY OCTOBER 17 AT 10PM.
I hope you guys take this issue seriously. I sure did. I'm so glad I know more about fair trade practices now and why it's important to end this child slave labor!