FTkidsThe following post is written by Parker Townley of Fair Trade Campaigns. Parker has been working extensively this summer preparing for the Back to School Photo Contest raising awareness among college students on child slave labor and mobilizing campuses to advocate the use of Fair Trade chocolate. See how you can take action today!

Every child deserves an education.  But, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), child labor is a reality for 168 million boys and girls in Latin America, Africa and Asia.  Can you imagine your brother, sister, cousin, neighbor, or YOU picking cocoa beans instead of going to school as a child?


It’s easier than you think to make a stand for children. Fair Trade standards prohibit child slave labor on certified cocoa farms in Latin America and Africa. 

Combat Child Slave Labor with Fair Trade Colleges & Universities!

Our mission is to connect college students to a global movement, mobilizing campuses to advocate for change. Advocates challenge their College or University to live up to commitments to sustainability and social justice.

Your actions can empower hundreds, even thousands, on your campus to purchase Fair Trade chocolate and provide a much greater impact to the farmers and artisans who grow, pick and ship the chocolate (and other products) you love.

FTCUThree Ways YOU can Make a Difference:

1)    Join us for the Back to School Photo Contest from August 25th to September 12th. Thousands of students will be raising awareness about issues in the cocoa industry and taking action on their campuses. Participating groups receive event kits that include Fair Trade Chocolate samples!


2)    Find a campaign near you – we’ve got over 100 campaigns on campuses across the country. Connect with a group of passionate advocates in your community.

3)    Start an official Fair Trade campaign on your campus. You have the power to educate your community, get started today by clicking here.

Get your university to commit to a system that prohibits child slave labor in the production of the chocolate available in your dining halls, cafes, offices, and sporting events. We challenge YOU to change the world one university at a time!

Questions? Feel free to contact Fair Trade Colleges & Universities National Organizer Parker Townley at: ptownley@fairtradeusa.org

For Tuesday’s Fair Trade round-up, the lovely Tex highlighted Ben & Jerry’s appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where they introduced a new ice cream flavored packed with Fair Trade ingredients.

When I first saw the clip last week, I was among friends that work within the Fair Trade movement and we were just floored. Like, jaw-dropped, pointing at the screen and exclaiming, “Is this for real?” type of floored. If you haven’t seen the clip yet, I highly advise taking the time to watch it now and see what I am talking about. It was like seeing a really good friend on television.

Because for those in the movement who have been working hard throughout the years to promote and educate people about Fair Trade, this four minute segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon just increased the visibility and knowledge of Fair Trade to a whole new (and bigger) audience.

Every flash of the shirt with the Fair Trade Certified logo, and every time ‘Fair Trade’ was mentioned, was a huge opportunity, in a way, to open up the concept of Fair Trade into people’s homes and into their minds.

Not only was it great that Jimmy Fallon worked with Ben & Jerry to create the new (and delicious sounding) ice cream flavor, Late Night Snack, but Fallon is further putting his support behind advocating for Fair Trade by donating the profits of the ice cream to Fair Trade Universities, an initiative helping students increase awareness and availability of FT products on campuses around the country.

Jimmy Fallon. How are we not friends? We have so much in common: We both love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to the point where a song can be sung about it. We both love The Roots (Jimmy Fallon’s house band). We love Top Chef. And now, we’re both Fair Trade advocates. Let’s be friends.

On that note, I encourage everyone to visit a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop to find Late Night Snack, with Fair Trade vanilla ice cream, caramel and Fair Trade fudge covered potato chips. Already given an A grade by SlashFood. So delicious, that Stephen Colbert is already declaring an ice cream war.

However, it is only once Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream is converted to Fair Trade Certified ingredients will it be able to compete. He’s in luck though, because Ben & Jerry’s has already made the commitment to make the full FT switch by 2013. Good news for Chubby Hubbies, Chunky Monkeys and Fair Trade producers around the world.

And because we (I) can’t get enough…