Justice-Gingerbread-houseHappy wintertime (just about),

In this Fair Trade Roundup, you’ll learn about actions you can take to encourage chocolate companies to go Fair Trade. Don’t forget the “News to Peruse” section towards the bottom to get caught up on the latest Fair Trade news from around the globe.

Happy New Year to you!

Roundup Sections:

  1. Featured Fair Trade Update: Green America Challenges Godiva to go Fair Trade
  2. Global Exchange Update: 2013 Highlights & What’s Next for 2014
  3. Fair Trade News to Peruse

Cocoa beans Photo Credit: Green America

Cocoa beans Photo Credit: Green America

1) FEATURED FAIR TRADE UPDATE: Green America to Godiva: Protect cocoa workers and West African children by going Fair Trade
Green America is urging folks to sign a letter telling Godiva to go Fair Trade. Here’s more about this from Green America’s website:

One thing that hasn’t changed in recent years is Godiva’s failure to protect vulnerable workers at the beginning of its supply chain.  While other high-end chocolate companies use third-party certification to ensure that their products aren’t tainted with child slave labor and the exploitation of cocoa-producing communities, Godiva does not.  

The company insists that it requires its suppliers “to be in compliance with labor laws,” and donates some of its growing profits to organizations providing charitable work in cocoa-producing nations, but these efforts are no substitute for actually building a fair supply chain.  For this reason, we are urging Godiva to go Fair Trade.  No West African child should be forced to endure grueling cocoa-field labor for low or no pay so that American children can enjoy Godiva-coated Oreos.

What YOU can do:
Please sign Green America’s letter to Godiva telling them to go Fair Trade.

Color-in postcard to send to Ghirardelli's

Color-in postcard to send to Ghirardelli’s

2) GLOBAL EXCHANGE FAIR TRADE UPDATE: 2013 Highlights & What’s Next for 2014

In 1988, four friends co-founded Global Exchange to fight a worldview based on greed, domination, and unvarnished worship of power. We envisioned building a robust U.S. movement capable of creating change from the grassroots, powered by people-to-people ties. This year we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and we are proud to honor the dedication of people like you who have sweated and sacrificed to forge a working alternative from the ground up.

Your continued pressure on Hershey’s after it announced it would buy 100% certified sustainable cocoa by 2020 last fall, paid off, when it announced a third of its supply would be Fair Trade certified.

And you took that energy and continued to advocate for Fair Trade through October – Fair Trade month – taking action daily from our Fair Trade Your Halloween calendar. Then you also wrote to both World’s Finest Chocolate and Ghirardelli to urge both companies to go Fair Trade certified, and trust us, your voice is being heard.

Here’s what YOU can do next:

  1. To keep the pressure on Ghirardelli, download this color-in postcard to send to Ghirardelli’s CEO, Marty Thompson demanding the company let us know where its cocoa comes from and to make it Fair Trade.
  2. We’re proud of what we’ve done together. But to achieve the visions we set out all those years ago, we’re going to need your continued support. Please consider donating to Global Exchange so we can continue working to make trade fair.



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News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email Tex Dworkin.

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hersheysLast month, Hershey’s announced its next step toward 100% certified sustainable cocoa by committing to source cocoa through three of the world’s most recognized cocoa certifying organizations, including Fair Trade USA.

Global Exchange was excited to hear this announcement and praised activists like you for making a big corporation give in to the demands of the consumer to have a more sustainable product and have greater supply chain accountability.

Was calling this announcement a victory premature or even misleading?

To answer this question we must first unpack the meaning behind Hershey’s decision and the road that has led to it.

The push for Fair Trade

In 2006, Global Exchange joined a coalition of organizations to target the American chocolate icon Hershey’s to ‘Raise the Bar’ and go Fair Trade. The thought was: if this industry giant could start sourcing Fair Trade certified cocoa, other large chocolate companies would follow.

hershey report coverThrough the Raise the Bar, Hershey coalition, we collected countless petition signatures, held film screening showing the Dark Side of Chocolate, made thousands of Fair Trade s’mores, released Hershey’s true corporate social responsibility report, carried out a vibrant brand-jamming effortwent to the company’s shareholder meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania and staged a huge rally in front of the Hershey store in Times Square.

Fair Trade activists sustained this effort for seven years! You sent those letters to Hershey’s, you showed Dark Side of Chocolate in your communities, you served up Fair Trade s’mores, you submitted your brand jams, and you gathered in front of the Hershey’s store with the same message: It’s time to go Fair Trade.

Year after year, we waited for Hershey’s to make a change. And year after year, Hershey’s continued to fail on making any sort of Fair Trade commitment.

Then, in January of 2012 Hershey’s made a surprising turn: the company stated it would commit to buying Rainforest Alliance cocoa for its Bliss and Dagoba chocolate products. The Raise the Bar, Hershey coalition cautiously congratulated the company for taking its first step towards sustainably harvested cocoa and the elimination of child labor.

The campaign continued, however, to push Hershey’s to make a bigger commitment and this time to make it Fair Trade – the only certification that achieves the goal of supply chain transparency, a fair price for farmers, the elimination of forced child labor and a social premium aimed at fostering democratic community development.

In October of 2012, Hershey’s responded by announcing plans to source 100% certified cocoa by 2020.

“What does that mean?” we asked. Since the announcement did not state what kind of third party certification they had chosen, we continued to flood the company’s inbox with letters and petitions urging Hershey’s to choose Fair Trade.

So, when news came that Hershey’s would finally be working with a Fair Trade organization in their path to 100% certified cocoa, we saw a victory.

But what does that victory look like?

Hershey’s has announced that it has begun its path to being 100% certified sustainable by 2020. The company has released proposed benchmarks toward these 2020 goals, including 10% of its supply being certified by the end of 2013. In three years time, nearly half of the supply will be certified, with four years left to reach that 100% goal.

In the beginning stages, Hershey’s plans to buy from the three main certifiers in the game — UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, and Fair Trade USA. As the company’s buying volume increases, Hershey’s will be working with other well-established certifiers to reach more farmers worldwide.

According to the 2012 Cocoa Barometer, Hershey’s buys 200,000 metrics tons of cocoa from West Africa. This means that 200,000 tons will be certified as free of the worst forms of child labor, which is what UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, and Fair Trade safeguard against.  If one third of this is Fair Trade, that will be over 66,000 metric tons of Fair Trade cocoa! This will be a tremendous boost to farmers who currently produce more Fair Trade cocoa than the can sell at Fair Trade prices.

But why do we need to wait until 2020?

Raise the Bar and Fair Trade activists have asked for benchmarks in terms of volume over time. We don’t believe that progress can be made without verifiable steps in the right direction. Hershey’s has responded with pretty aggressive moves starting this year (10% of its supply by the end of 2013).

These benchmarks represent trial balloons though, and they are going to be assessing the results on various factors:

  1. Which one makes the biggest difference for the farmers
  2. Which one is the most cost effective (at this point the price paid is the close to the same for all the certifiers — the difference is where the premium is paid and who decides where it is paid)
  3. Which one is scalable and finally,
  4. Do consumers care and what will they demand.

So our work is not done yet!

And according to Tulane University’s study on certifiers and child labor, Fair Trade is doing more to combat child labor than other certifications so we as consumers must continue to push for even more purchases of Fair Trade Certified cocoa!

So, do we call this a victory or not?

All social justice movements are marked by small and large wins and small and large setbacks — the road is never straight and narrow with uncomplicated stages of struggle. Justice requires the long, messy work of keeping on, dedicating ourselves to a vision of the world where no children go to bed hungry; where families earn enough to send their kids to school and where there is space for communities to develop democratically.

There isn’t an end to the movement but if we want to stay engaged we have to celebrate the victories, even as partial as they are when we achieve them. If you never see the results of your letters, petitions, phone calls, and actions you aren’t going to be motivated to take the next step. We did make a difference: a large multi-national company listened to activists and conscious consumers. Now its up to us to make sure all of this happens — to push for and continue buy chocolate labeled Fair Trade Certified!

Hershey’s is still a large corporation and will make decisions from that perspective. For some of us, that will always be problematic. We prefer integrated systems with 100% transparency, fully Fair Trade, support for democratic cooperatives and educational labeling for the U.S. consumer.

Both struggles are meaningful and can be coordinated – pushing for Fair Trade values with the big companies and supporting the smaller companies that are 100% fully Fair Trade already. We want to support more farmers and push aggressively for the highest bar while educating and bringing lots of people into the movement in the clearest and most exciting way. That means we have to celebrate our victories when we can and then get up and keep on working.

hersheysWe won!

After years of pressure from Fair Trade activists like you, Hershey’s recently announced its next step toward 100% certified sustainable cocoa by committing to source cocoa through three of the world’s most recognized cocoa certifying organizations, including Fair Trade USA.

When Hershey’s made its announcement in October of 2012 to source 100% certified cocoa by 2020, many wondered what the commitment would look like and if that meant Certified Fair Trade.

Now it’s time for the Fair Trade movement to celebrate this milestone achievement of convincing the largest chocolate company in the United States to listen to its consumers and offer sustainably sourced cocoa that also addresses the worst forms of labor in its supply chain.

Global Exchange along with the Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition are filled with gratitude for all the years of activism from all of you to bring Hershey’s to this decision.

“This victory represents more than one company finally doing the right thing,” said Global Exchange’s Organizing Director, Kirsten Moller, “it represents thousands of consumers, children, churches, unions and YOU realizing our own power to make change and insisting that everyone is treated fairly by the big corporations that bring us our chocolate, coffee and T-shirts. After years of work, we have pushed GAP to address sweatshop labor, Starbucks to purchase Fair Trade, and now another big corporation has listened to consumer pressure and we have WON with the help of all of you… Enjoy your guilt-free kisses!”

Global Exchange will continue to monitor Hershey’s “21st Century Cocoa Plan” to ensure that its promise is kept to improve cocoa growing communities. We hope to see Hershey’s maintain its timeline of going fully Fair Trade by 2020 and serve as an example to all major chocolate companies out there to continue to raise the bar and improve its supply chain accountability.

In the meantime, let us congratulate Hershey’s on this huge step in the right direction and celebrate this monumental victory for the Fair Trade movement.

Now that Hershey’s has pledged to take these initials steps of going Fair Trade, we must continue the quest to get all chocolate companies to make the same commitment.

Let’s urge World’s Finest Chocolate to go Fair Trade! Take action today.

Read the Raise the Bar, Hershey Coalition statement on Hershey’s timeline transition to certified cocoa.

Postcard colored in by Drea

This Easter season children around the Bay Area sent postcards to the Hershey Corporation asking Hershey to make sure its Cadbury brand Easter chocolates are not produced using child labor.

In addition, over 5,000 people signed Raise the Bar Hershey Coalitions petition urging Hershey’s and Cadbury to offer Fair Trade Chocolate Easter eggs and get slave labor out of our Easter baskets.

Young Fair Trade activist Natalie's postcard to Hershey

Why Hershey’s Easter chocolates?

In 1988, the Hershey Company purchased Cadbury’s US chocolate business, including the exclusive rights to make and sell well-known brands like York Peppermint Patties, Cadbury Crème Eggs, and Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Bunnies.

And while Cadbury has demonstrated its commitment to ending forced child labor on the West African cocoa industry by selling Fair Trade certified chocolates in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the same cannot be said of Cadbury’s chocolate products in the United States.

Natalie's colored-in postcard for Hershey

Unfortunately, the Hershey Company refuses to meet the standards set by Cadbury’s overseas operations, even though hundreds of thousands of US consumers have called on Hershey to raise the bar and remove forced child labor as an ingredient in its products. These same consumers are eager to purchase treats for their families that align with their values.

What to Do:

*Check out Green America’s Chocolate Scorecard to find some companies that offer delicious fair trade chocolate.

*Visit our Facebook page to see and comment on the postcards.

Cocoa tree ripe with pods

On January 30th, after years of being targeted by organized consumer Fair Trade actions including creative holiday kid’s actions, brand jamming contests, protests and rallies at flag ship Hershey store and shareholder meetings, Hershey has finally made a move!

The Raise the Bar Hershey’s campaign which has been calling on Hershey to go Fair Trade, collected over 100,000 petition signatures through Change.org and other sources, and organized petition deliveries, shareholder resolutions, and Facebook actions to blanket Hershey’s wall with messages.

Two days ago Hershey’s announced that it will make a commitment to purchasing Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa for all of its Bliss Chocolate products and it will invest $10 million dollars in education and its smart-phone CocoaLink project to teach West African farmers to be more efficient.

So what does this actually mean?  Have we won an important first step or are we being duped?

*The following sentence was updated on 3/27/2012 for clarification.

Original sentence: Hersheys’ CocoaLink, funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a project that aims to increase yields and productivity on small cocoa farms by introducing new plants, techniques and inputs to small farmers and provide them with real-time advice through a cell phone network.

Updated sentence: According to World Cocoa Foundation Communications Manager Marisa Yoneyama, “CocoaLink is possible through a public-private partnership between The Hershey Company, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and The Ghana Cocoa Board.” In early 2009, the World Cocoa Foundation announced a new, $40 million program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and 14 chocolate industry companies to significantly improve the livelihoods of approximately 200,000 cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria.

The (cell phone network) idea is that by increasing yields, farmers will have more income and the need for child labor will decrease.But will this work, and how would you know for sure?

Since passage of the Harkin-Engel Protocol over 10 years ago, Global Exchange’s Fair Trade program, along with the Raise the Bar Hershey’s Coalition, has been calling for a code of conduct for suppliers that would ban child labor and put measures in place to enforce such codes. Following Harkin-Engel, the whole chocolate industry committed to ending child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in their cocoa supply chains. A decade later, hundreds of thousands of children continue to labor in hazardous conditions in West Africa, particularly in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, and the US Department of Labor has noted five West African nations whose cocoa may still be tainted by forced and/or child labor.

It’s not clear how increased yields would actually eliminate the worst forms of child labor but monitoring is a good first step.  This is the first commitment that Hershey has made to using an independent, third – party certification system to ensure that its cocoa is grown sustainably, including the monitoring of forced and child labor.

This commitment is a welcome first step for Hershey to improve its supply chain accountability and shows that it is responsive to consumer pressure.

You did it!!  Your petitions, actions, questions and demands were heard!

This announcement also demonstrates that The Hershey Company acknowledges the severity of the labor abuses that taint the West African cocoa sector, where Hershey’s sources the majority of its cocoa.

So why aren’t we happier?

Well, Global Exchange has been committed to Fair Trade since its beginning in this country, and we believe that Fair Trade certification is the best way to achieve the goal of supply chain transparency, a fair price for farmers, and the elimination of forced child labor in the production of our chocolate.  There is a difference between Rain Forest Alliance Certification and something that is Fair Trade certified.

Fair Trade independent third-party certification addresses poverty, sustainability and empowerment of producers (and workers) in the world’s poorest countries through guaranteed minimum prices plus an additional social premium to be invested in community development.  Rainforest Alliance certification, also independent third-party, encompasses all aspects of sustainability as well, but does not offer guaranteed prices, relying instead on the farmers’ capacity to increase yields and efficiency and negotiate for themselves in the global marketplace. According to Rainforest Alliance’s own website:

Fairtrade labelling standards are designed to tackle poverty and empower producers in the world’s poorest countries, giving them a guaranteed price for their products. Rather than emphasizing how products are traded, Rainforest Alliance certification…focuses on how farms are managed.

Cocoa (or cacao) pods, where chocolate comes from

Increasing yields and efficiency may be a way to increase income temporarily, but without price guarantees it only means more cocoa for Hershey’s.  Relying on the market to set prices and farmers’ incomes means that when yields increase, prices will drop.   What will the efficiency and higher yields cost in terms of chemical inputs, strain on water resources and natural sustainability? Rainforest Alliance focuses on management rather than workers, on efficiency rather than justice. Hershey’s, you picked the wrong one!

Any model that is not truly sustainable, that chooses short-term gain for individual farmers over community development will not produce the conditions necessary to eliminate trafficking and forced child labor.

So is this a victory or not?

Yes, we should recognize this as a positive step forward but we can’t overstate it or we risk becoming too complacent and leaving the public confused.

Hershey’s has taken a step forward by:

  • Responding to consumer pressure and Fair Trade activism: WE have convinced the largest chocolate company in the U.S to change the way it does business!
  • Acknowledging the problem.
  • Agreeing to third party verification.

We would like Hershey to continue taking more steps. Yes, we can celebrate. And then get back to work.


We recently shared a quick report back from last week’s Hershey rally in Times Square in a blog post full of links to photos and quotes from the energizing day.

Now we want you to see for yourself what an extraordinary sight it was, with 2-300 people, mostly K-12 students, standing up for the rights of youth on the other side of the globe. It was a profoundly embarrassing moment for Hershey, when hundreds of youth – the demographic that much of the company’s products and merchandising caters to – came to Hershey’s own front doorstep carrying signs, shouting chants, and calling Hershey out in public for using child labor in the cocoa fields.

Check out the incredible youth energy on this 15-second video, + more at http://www.youtube.com/raisethebarhershey.

The rally was an extraordinary success. First to arrive at the scene were 5th grade students from Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Fired up and ready to go, these 11-year-olds grabbed hold of the megaphone, initiating the chanting and marching outside the Hershey Store for the next few hours. Moments later, students from New York and New Jersey high schools arrived and began chanting and dancing along the streets, calling on Hershey to go Fair Trade.

Photo Credit: Diane Lent

Members of the coordinating organizations and a countless number of the thousands of locals and tourists that constantly throng Times Square joined the protest, grabbed signs to enthusiastically hold high, picked up informational flyers, signed petitions, and participated in the call-in action to Hershey. The turnout to hold Hershey accountable for failure to eliminate child labor from its supply chain was so huge that there wasn’t enough space in front of the Hershey Store and we completely filled the sidewalks on both sides of the street as well as the adjacent loading zone, but that only made our chants louder! Anyone who drove between the two massive groups on Broadway, the major thoroughfare through Times Square, heard our cries for justice reverberating in their cars.

I was the Master of Ceremonies and  speakers included 11-year-old Marie Hogan, Global Exchange’s San Francisco Sweet Smarts chapter leader, and Neil Rathan, an NYC teacher whose use of Global Exchange’s Fair Trade unit inspired his students to launch Children Against Chocolate Aided Oppression (which challenges forced and child labor in the cocoa industry and promotes Fair Trade). The band Left on Red, the Raging Grannies, and New Jersey’s St. Benedictine Academy also performed songs and slam poetry.

Another amazing speaker in attendance was human rights advocate, Kerry Kennedy as she addressed the crowd and repeated what we all know: “There’s nothing sweet about child labor.” Watch the video of her speaking for yourself and do us a favor and stand up with the youth by spreading this video around to your networks and spreading the word about Fair Trade.

Only you can ensure that the message of these youth reaches out across the internet, educating millions of people and resulting in real change.

Share it on Facebook and send out a tweet about it:

“Must-see rally video: “Nothing sweet about child labor.”- Kerry Kennedy & youth @ NYC Hershey store http://bit.ly/mEpKPW #HersheyGoFair RT

Let’s show Hershey that we will not back down. We will continue to urge Hershey and other chocolate companies to end their abuses in the cocoa industry.

Thanks and congratulations to each of you who helped make the rally a success, whether you came to the rally, forwarded an invitation to folks in New York (MANY participants heard about the rally through your forwarded emails, Facebook, etc), participated in the call-in action, etc. Your dedication to the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign is an inspiration to us all.

The chant at the end? “Hershey, make your chocolate fair, or we’ll be back here in Times Square.”

Got $5 to spare? Make a contribution for the next rally!

Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates:

The ‘Raise the Bar Hershey’ rally took place in front of the Hershey store in Times Square. Lots of people turned out, including school kids and Kerry Kennedy, and Global Exchange’s Adrienne and Emily.

Check out Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Child Labor has got to Go! to read all about it and see pics. And check back here on our Fair Trade blog in a few days for a new video from the rally.


The third annual Fair Trade Calendar Photo Contest is in full swing. The time is NOW to submit Fair Trade themed photos on behalf of your business or organization for the chance to be included in the 2012 Fair Trade calendar. You can enter photos from producer or consumer countries. The 12 winning Fair Trade photos will be featured in the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar.

Here’s What to Do:
1) Submit Photos (June 1-26, 2011)
1.    Read contest Guidelines/Eligibility for details on qualifying, specifications, etc.
2.    Email each photo, with a caption up to 50 words to photocontest@ftrn.org;
3.    Pay submission fee of $10/photo at Fair Trade Resource Network’s Online Store;
2) Vote for Photos (June 27 – July 16, 2011)
Vote online for your favorites, with a link announced on FTRN’s website on June 27. The 12 winning photos will be featured each month in the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar. Over 1500 people voted for their favorite photos in last year’s contest!

To learn more about the Fair Trade Calendar Photo Contest, visit FTRN’s website or email photocontest@ftrn.org.


Thanks to Fair Trade Sports for sharing this gem on its blog. That’s where I first discovered it. According to the post, TMB Bank launched this short film as part of a new brand vision, “Make THE Difference,” to inspire people to start thinking differently.

This video encompasses the wonderfulness of kids, soccer (er, football), and well, life in general! 1,380,434 people (and counting) on YouTube have watched it. Have you?

3blmedia: Fair Trade USA and Textile Exchange Form Strategic Partnership
Going Green Examiner: Why Choose Fair Trade?
axiomnews: United Kingdom Sees Meteoric Rise in Fair Trade
GOOD: Finding a Sweet Spot for Fair Trade Sugar Farmers
PRNewswire: On-Trend Products Defying Economic Downturn
Evening Times (UK): Schools to go into battle for Fairtrade cup

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!

Elizabeth & Shelley at Hershey's

Today, the Hershey Company’s board of directors and shareholders came together for their annual meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

So, what better day than today to call on Hershey’s to chart a new course into a future free of child labor and poverty in communities that grow the company’s cocoa.

Green America’s Fair Trade coordinator, Elizabeth O’Connell and former Global Exchange Fair Trade intern, Shelley Alingas attended the shareholder meeting and were able to get up to the microphone and ask questions about child labor and speak out on behalf of the thousands of West African children forced into labor on the cocoa fields during the Q&A period.

The Raise the Bar, Hershey Campaign, sponsored by Global Exchange, Green America, and the International Labor Rights Forum, also used today to announce the winners of the Hershey Brand Jamming contest. The Brand Jamming contest brought attention to Hershey’s failure to crack down on child labor and other abuses in its cocoa supply chain by asking activists all over to use their creativity to create mock advertisements telling Hershey’s to raise the bar on their corporate social responsibility.

The Grand Prize overall winner of $1,000 was Jason Pearson of San Clemente, CA whose one-minute mock video advertisement “Brand Jam” tells the real story of where cocoa comes from.

Thousands of people all over voted for their favorite entries for the best slogan, best video, and best ad. Congratulations to all our winners and entrants! A big thank you also goes out to all those who voted.

The winner for Best Slogan: “Hershey: Sweet Chocolate. Bitter Story” submitted by Tyson Weems of Portland, ME.

The winner for Best Video: Behind the Hershey Smiles, submitted by Aaron Thurman: Indianapolis, IN.

The winner for Best Poster: Children Behind Bars, submitted by Jason Pearson of San Clemente, CA

All first place winners will receive a Fair Trade chocolate gift basket. The winning entries will be used by the Raise the Bar Hershey campaign to call attention to Hershey’s failure to address child and forced labor in its cocoa supply chain. Winning entries will be featured at Green Festivals nationwide, on t-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers. For more on the winners and a list of the runner-ups, visit the Brand Jam winners page.

To reinforce the message that has been sent at the Hershey’s shareholder meeting concerned consumers across the country are sending emails to Hershey and posting on the company’s Facebook wall. They join the 30,000 people who have already contacted the company to make it clear that cocoa made with forced child labor is unacceptable.

As GX’s Fair Trade Cocoa Director, Adrienne Fitch-Frankel states:

“Hershey shareholders deserve to know the facts: Hershey has failed to eliminate child and forced labor from its cocoa supply chain, nearly a decade after committing to do so. This creates a dangerous level of risk for investors, and an intolerable situation for the children effected.”

Let your voice be heard. Send a message to Hershey’s board and shareholders by signing our online petition. We are trying to collect 10,000 new signatures today to send a clear message to shareholders.

Stay connected with Global Exchange’s Fair Trade cocoa campaign by signing up to their e-mail list and get the latest updates on the Raise the Bar campaign and other actions you can take to get Hershey’s to go Fair Trade.

Happy almost Earth Day! Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates:


The Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign brand jamming contest entries are in, and wait till you see them! The mock Hershey ads, slogans and videos call on Hershey to eliminate child and forced labor from its cocoa supply chain, and shift sourcing to Fair Trade. For one week only campaign coordinators Green America, International Labor Rights Forum and Global Exchange invite you to vote for your favorite contest entry finalist.

Graphic Credit: Green America

The deadline for voting is Tuesday, April 26th, so vote soon. The winners of each category will receive a Fair Trade chocolate gift basket, and the overall winner will receive a $1000 grand prize. Winners will be announced April 28th, the day of Hershey’s annual shareholder’s meeting.


Green America is making it easy for you to help Supermarkets go Fair Trade. From Green America’s website:

Many Fair Trade products – from coffee to cocoa to tea to fruits – belong on supermarket shelves. Yet, most supermarkets are only offering a fraction of the Fair Trade products that are available, and are not actively promoting the products they do offer. Please join us in encouraging supermarkets to sell more Fair Trade products and to educate their customers about the importance of purchasing them.

Here’s how it works: Simply go online to select from a list of supermarkets that you shop at and send them a message asking them to offer more Fair Trade products and promote them.


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.

This downloadable/printable Easter color-in letter encourages Hershey CEO David West to shift towards Fair Trade cocoa. So print it out, color it in, and mail it in to add your voice to the Fair Trade mix.


Want your Tee Design on an AP T-shirt? Submit your custom designs: April 1 – May 8!

Autonomie’s Project’s commemoration of World Fair Trade Day (May 14th), in partnership with the Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade Boston, is a World Fair Trade Day Tee Design Contest. They’re looking for folks to come up with a new, unique design for one of their adult tees to be sold on AutonomieProject.com. Visit Autonomie’s Project’s website for details.

Article: US market has ‘barely scratched the surface’ of Fair Trade market potential
Article: Cooperative Coffees Products Get “Fair for Life” Certification
Blog Post: Artisans in India Share Examples of Fair Trade Impact
Article: More Australians look to fair trade eggs

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!

The Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign brand jamming contest entries are in, and wait till you see them.

Professional looking graphics mixed with creative messaging result in some wonderful mock ads depicting the truth behind Hershey; that this company is contributing to instead of helping to alleviate child slavery rampant in the cocoa industry.

The mock Hershey ads, slogans and videos call on Hershey to eliminate child and forced labor from its cocoa supply chain, and shift sourcing to Fair Trade.

Vote for Your Fave:  For 1 week only campaign coordinators Green America, International Labor Rights Forum and Global Exchange invite you to:

1.  VOTE for your favorite contest entry finalist;
2.  SHARE this post with your friends, family, and coworkers by using the Share and Tweet buttons (located on top right of this post.)

The deadline for voting is Tuesday, April 26th, so please take a few minutes to vote for your favorite, and Share and Tweet this post to help spread the word.

The winner of each category will receive a Fair Trade chocolate gift basket, and the overall winner will receive a $1000 grand prize. Winners will be announced on Thursday, April 28th, which just also happens to be the day of Hershey’s annual shareholder meeting:)

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this Hershey’s Brand Jamming contest thus far, either by spreading the word or submitting an entry, and good luck contestants!