Kids everywhere love Divine Chocolate!

At Global Exchange we love to celebrate Fair Trade all the time, but this Easter, things will get even sweeter with free chocolate!

Come by anytime Saturday April 7 through Sunday April 8 and you’ll get a free piece of Fair Trade chocolate with any purchase of $20 or more at our Global Exchange Fair Trade stores. From handmade baskets to colorful spring gifts, Global Exchange is excited to help make your Spring have a positive global impact.

For some, Easter means nibbling cute chocolate bunny rabbits, but for many others, especially in West African cocoa-exporting countries, chocolate is a terrible reminder of the harsh reality of child slave labor.

Global Exchange remains committed to supporting Fair Trade cocoa producers around the globe and generating a better world for all of us, kids and adults alike. You too can show your support this Easter by purchasing chocolate from two amazing Fair Trade chocolate vendors: Divine Chocolate and Equal Exchange.

What makes Divine Chocolate so divine and Equal Exchange equally as inspiring? The cooperatives that produce the cocoa, of course!

How Fair Trade has impacted the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana and CONACADO in the Dominican Republic:

Fatima Ali, proud member of Kuapa Kokoo. Photo courtesy of Kuaka Kokoo.

Just listen to the shouts of “papa paa!” from the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, a cocoa cooperative started in 1993 which now owns 45% of the Divine Chocolate company itself. “Papa paa” means “best of the best” in the Twi language of Ghana, and is a motto which extends beyond the high quality of the cocoa grown by the farmers and into the cooperative’s commitment to Fair Trade and the betterment of members’ lives.

The social premium that members receive through the cooperative’s  Fair Trade certification translates into real benefits for the community at large, such as clean water wells. Kuapa Kokoo also has a strong focus on gender empowerment, which means that women like Fatima Ali, a local Kuapa Kokoo Society recorder and proud owner of a 5-acre farm, can aspire to leadership positions they previously thought impossible.

CONACADO producer & the bright orange cacao pods that become chocolate bars. Photo courtesy of Equal Exchange.

For over 25 years the worker owned co-op Equal Exchange has been advocating “Small Farmers, Big Change”– and it’s working. In the Dominican Republic, Equal Exchange’s farmer partner cooperative CONACADO has been able to sell over 40% of their cacao on the Fair Trade market.  By participating in Fair Trade, CONACADO has been able to provide school supplies and scholarships for members’ children as well as launch the “Cacao Route,” an eco-tourism project that also generates local income.

One woman who came by the San Francisco store said the other day, “It’s so great that kids these days can eat really good chocolate!” It sure is! And not only that, when you buy Fair Trade chocolate it means that cocoa-producing farmers benefit.


  • Check out this awesome recipe for Chocolate Satsumas, perfect for enjoying the marvelous citrus fruits that are in season at your local farmers’ markets. Or make a delicious Earl Grey Chocolate Tea Cake for your Easter Sunday brunch–(our stores sell Fair Trade tea too!) Have a great Fair Trade chocolate recipe? Share it in the comments!
  • Don’t forget to get your free Fair Trade chocolate. Come by the San Francisco, BerkeleyArlington, VA or D.C. stores  on Saturday April 7 & Sunday April 8.

Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates. This week, a few deadlines for you to keep in mind, along with some creative ways to incorporate Fair Trade into your Easter or Passover celebration.


Domincan Republic Fair Trade cocoa farmer/cooperative leader


Easter and Passover are two of the BEST times to ask Hershey to eliminate child and forced labor from its supply chain and start sourcing Fair Trade.
Easter:  More chocolate is sold in the US at Easter than any other time of the year, except Halloween. And Hershey manufactures Cadbury Crème Eggs and other products sold in the US.
Passover:  Passover is a time of reflection on slavery specifically, and an appropriate time to raise awareness about forced labor.

Here are some suggested actions you can take at your congregation and/or family gathering:

Easter and Passover:

  • Screen the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate in the weeks leading up to Easter or Passover. (Please order the DVD at least two weeks before your screening.)
  • Collect signatures on the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign petition.


  • Kids:  Color in this letter and send it to Hershey!
  • Use Fair Trade Certified eggs, bunnies, minis, and other chocolates for Easter egg hunts, baskets, and festivities, listed here

Use Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Haggadah insert during your Passover Seder.  The insert is written in the lyrical language of the Haggadah, and evokes the themes of Passover, to integrate modern social justice issues seamlessly into your Passover observance.

Graphic Credit: ILRF


The window of opportunity to enter the Hershey Brand Jamming contest is about to close! This contest is part of the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign’s efforts to urge Hershey to end child and forced labor and trafficking in the cocoa fields of West Africa, as well as shift sourcing to Fair Trade, which prohibits these practices. The winner of the Hershey Brand Jam contest will receive $1,000.

There are two ways for you to get involved:

  1. Enter the contest yourself
  2. Help spread the word by clicking the Facebook “Share” and Twitter “Tweet” buttons next to this post and encourage others to do the same.

In case you missed it, here’s a bit more about the contest: Brand jamming generally uses parody, satire, and humor to expose undesirable corporate practices, often with mock ads. The brand jamming contest has three categories:

  1. Slogan/tagline
  2. Advertisement, up to 8.5×11
  3. Video, up to 2 minutes

For contest information, go to the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign web page.


The Green Festival is celebrating its tenth year, and this weekend it hits San Francisco once again. So if you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, head for the Fair Trade pavilion at the SF Green Fest to shop, learn, and explore!
Here’s a sneak peek of the event guide.

FTF Annual Conference ~ Building Up Fair Trade
The US Fair Trade community will connect in Milwaukee at the Fair Trade Federation conference from May 6-8. They’re adding to the list of speakers, marketplace vendors, and participants all the time. So check here for registration info and updates.


Article: ILRF Highlights of the 2010 Tulane University Report on the Cocoa Industry
Article: Hershey under fire for allegedly relying on child labor in cocoa supply chain
Press Release: New Premium, Minimum Price and Trade Standards in Coffee

Check back here on our Fair Trade blog for more Fair Trade News Round-Ups…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!

Annual Mayan celebration--Guatemala, March 2011

P.S. I just returned from a trip to Guatemala where I traveled with some folks from by eBay to learn about Guatemala’s history, political landscape, and culture. We explored how Fair Trade and economic empowerment impact local artisan groups throughout the country. I’ll be sharing pictures and stories from our journey right here on our Fair Trade blog soon, so stay tuned!