WorldFinest_color-inFebruary brings us Valentine’s Day and we have chocolate on our minds.

While chocolate Valentines will be given and received, thousands of children will be at work on the cocoa fields, forced to serve under harsh conditions.

But not all chocolate! Certified Fair Trade chocolate ensures that forced child labor is not part of the cocoa supply chain that makes it to your loved one.

This Valentine’s Day, join us and demand that World’s Finest Chocolates GO FAIR TRADE.

Why World’s Finest Chocolate? In 2001 World’s Finest signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol, committing itself to immediate action to stop the worst forms of child labor in cocoa plantations in West Africa. Now over 10 years later, they still haven’t lived up to their promise of embracing Fair Trade Certification.

The time is now for World’s Finest to go Fair Trade.

Reaching over 40,000 schools and youth groups across the U.S., it is uniquely placed to supply quality Fair Trade chocolate to the thousands of schools and faith communities who demand that their chocolate be up to the highest ethical standards and give a meaningful boost to the world’s poor farmers.

Take action today! Send a Valentine’s card to Edmond Opler, the President of World’s Finest, encouraging him to act on his company’s commitment to Fair Trade! You can also download this free postcard, add your (or your child’s) artistic flare and send it to the World’s Finest headquarters.

Come on World’s Finest! Being the “finest” requires a true commitment to fairness.




Jessica handwriting Valentine cards going to new Global Exchange members

Update Added 4:30pm 2/7: Apparently this IS a good deal, because I just learned the Valentine Gift Membership Package is close to selling out, so grab yours soon, they are only available while supplies last.


When you’re deciding what to get that special someone for Valentine’s Day, chocolate is a pretty safe bet.

But “Fair Trade” chocolate AND a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world – well that’s even better! Introducing the Global Exchange Valentine Gift Membership Package, which does all of the above. Available now while supplies last.

Global Exchange Valentine Gift Membership Package

Chocolate companies have a nasty tendency to use cocoa grown using child and forced labor.  That’s why it’s important to choose Fair Trade chocolate. Fair Trade certification is designed to achieve the elimination of forced child labor in the production of our chocolate.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to show your love for those you care about AND for the planet and workers around the world.

Global Exchange Valentine Gift Membership Package, up close and personal (tea pictured not included)

Choose a Global Exchange Valentine Gift Membership Package, a truly thoughtful gift that includes:

  • One-Year Membership to Global Exchange;
  • Jumbo chocolate bar (3.5 oz.) from Divine Chocolate
  • Chocolate minis gift bag from Equal Exchange
  • Six colorful Fair Trade bangles
  • Collectible River Stone ‘Heart for Haiti’
  • Fair Trade Reusable Tote Bag; plus…

The best part? YOU GET ALL THAT FOR JUST $35!!! (Usually a Global Exchange membership alone costs $35)

When your friends and family unwrap their Global Exchange Valentine Gift Membership, they will join a compassionate community of dedicated activists working for peace, justice and human rights.

You choose the recipient(s), and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll send out the membership card and gift package, plus keep your recipient in the loop about Global Exchange programs and events with our newsletter and e-mail action alerts.

Get Your Gift Membership in 2 Easy Steps: 

Step 1: Click here to get started
Step 2: Enter payment information and place your order by 3pm PST February 10th to guarantee arrival by Feb, 14.* It’s that simple! (*For shipments inside the United States. For international orders, please contact Corey Hill at or by calling 415-575-5537.)

Together We Can Bring Real and Lasting Change. Remember, your deadline to order if you want your gift to arrive by Valentine’s Day is 3pm PST this Friday!



Happy almost February everybody. Here’s your monthly dose of Fair Trade news and updates, assembled just for you hungry readers. Don’t forget to scroll to the end of this post for the “Fair Trade in the News” section!


Almost all major chocolate companies have begun to commit to using independent, third-party programs to certify that their cocoa suppliers comply with international labor standards, but Hershey continues to lag behind the industry.

Valentine’s Day is a major chocolate buying holiday, but gifts for your sweetheart should not come at the expense of worker rights. Forced labor, child labor and trafficking continue in the cocoa industry in West Africa.

Here’s how YOU can make a difference!

♥ Create your own personalized Valentine telling Hershey to use Fair Trade cocoa for its products, like the iconic chocolate Kiss. Address your valentine to Hershey Trust at 100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. Please mail your Valentines to Hershey by February 17, 2012.

♥ You can also download a Valentine to color and send.

♥ If you make your own Valentine, please scan it and send the image to the Fair Trade Project at We’ll post some of the favorites online!


Graphic Credit:


From The CNN Freedom Project website:

In “Chocolate’s Child Slaves,” CNN’s David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields.

David McKenzie and Brent Swails of CNN revealed:

The Freedom Project wanted our team to answer one question: Ten years after all the major players in the chocolate industry promised to end trafficking and child labor in Ivory Coast, was that promise kept?

Sounds riveting, no? Air times and more info are online here.

Here’s a video clip from this project:


Graphic Credit: USFT


United Students for Fair Trade (USFT) has its 9th national convergence coming up. This year the theme is Fair Trade: Where Do We Go From Here? Here’s the where, when, what and why’s about it, from the USFT announcement:

Kick off your spring with more than just a spring-cleaning –join United Students for Fair Trade for our 9th National Convergence, coming up on March 2nd-4th at the University of Maryland at College Park. USFT is proud to open our annual convergence to both students and professionals to learn more about the exciting future of the fair trade movement. Register by February 1, and receive an official USFT Alta Gracia (union-made, living wage apparel) t-shirt. Registration is limited to the first 300 participants—and spots are filling quickly! Registration closes February 17th.

The theme “Where Do We Go From Here?” will cover all questions that have come up during this pivotal time in the fair trade movement with speakers representing the worker, NGO and company voices behind the movement.  There will be workshops and discussion sessions, along with the chance to browse a Fair Trade marketplace and stock up on fair trade goods. At this convergence, you will learn skills that will help you organize a movement on campus, inspire others, and empower fair trade producers all at the same time!

USFT National Convergence Links:
-Event on Facebook
-Event Registration
-Event flyer download

Questions? Contact Maria Louzon, National and Convergence Coordinator at (443)883-5226 or



From Fair Trade Resource Network announcement:
We invite you to learn about, and voice your perspectives on, this major issue on Webinar 120 on January 31 entitled “Should Unorganized Farmers Be Included in Fair Trade?

Just $5 to Register for Webinar 120
January 31, 1:00-1:50pm Eastern time

1.    Rodney North, Equal Exchange, The Answer Man – Information for the Public & Media
2.    Michael Sheridan, Catholic Relief Services, Director of the Borderlands Coffee Project (based in Ecuador)

FTRN’s Executive Director, Jeff Goldman

Level: Intermediate

Cost: Just $5 to Register for Webinar 120



The Hershey Company: Hershey Expands Responsible Cocoa Community Programs in West Africa

The Hershey Company today announced its plan to reinforce cocoa sustainability efforts by accelerating farmer and family development in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown. Read more.

Huffington Post: Bring Fair Trade to Electronics

Reports about the inhumane or dangerous working conditions in Chinese factories that manufacture the innovative products for Apple, Inc. — most recently by the New York Times — have brought publicity Apple probably does not want. For this student of China’s high-tech industry, however, the revelations are not surprising. Read more. How Ethical are Those Valentine’s Day Treats?

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? It feels like we just got done with holiday craziness! If you do the Valentine’s Day thing, you’re probably planning a date night or a gift, and there’s most likely a decadent dessert in the works. How can an ethical eater make sure that those Valentine’s Day indulgences aren’t at the expense of human rights? Read more.

NYGF (New York Gift Fair) 100 days of design: Designing Change: Fair Trade Principles Inspire Innovative Products by Madeline Kreider Carlson

How do mission-driven businesses integrate principles and design? For members of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), a commitment to the nine Principles of Fair Trade not only provides the ethical foundation for their business practices, but inspires the design of products as well. Fair Trade Federation members are businesses based in the U.S. or Canada who engage in long-term trading relationships with artisans and farmers in developing countries. Their business models create sustainable, positive change by: Read more.

TIME/Techland: Will the World Ever See Fair Trade iPads?

Apple has taken the brunt of recent criticism, but don’t think that by boycotting the iPhone you’ll be doing workers in China any favors. Foxconn, the company under the most scrutiny for its labor practices, makes products for a huge swath of the consumer electronics industry including Nokia, Samsung and many others. Read more.

Responsible Cocoa: CLCCG (The Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating group) 2011 Annual Report Released

The annual report was prepared by the Offices of Senator Tom Harkin, Representative Eliot Engel, The United States Department of Labor, The Government of Cote d’Ivoire, The Ghana Ministry on Employment and Social Welfare, and the International Chocolate and Cocoa Industry. See highlights and view photos from the CLCCG annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. Read more.

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Shop fair. Give fair! This Valentine’s Day celebrate your sweetheart with fair trade jewelry! We’ll give you a FREE fair trade, organic chocolate truffle if you spend $50 on jewelry! In case that doesn’t settle your chocolate cravings, join us in the store on Sunday, February 13 for a fair trade chocolate tasting!

This chocolate-filled promotion starts TODAY! Come check out our growing collection of beautifully hand-crafted jewelry; we have everything from Brazilian geode rings to Balinese precious and semi-precious gemstones to Peruvian butterfly-wing earrings to 98% silver earrings from the Hmong tribe of northern Thailand and Vietnam.
Global Exchange Fair Trade Store. 4018 24th St (b/t Noe and Castro). San Francisco, CA. (map)
When: February 7-14, or while supplies last (Store hours: Sun & Mon: 11am-6pm. Tues-Fri: 11am-7pm. Sat: 10am-7pm).

This Sunday, join us for a fair trade
chocolate tasting! San Francisco-based artisan chocolate company Coco-Zen will be providing organic, Fair Trade Certified chocolate to sample this Sunday afternoon. Bring the kids to make Valentine’s Day cards, or use our color-your-own Valentines asking Hershey’s to go fair trade!
Where: Global Exchange Fair Trade Store. 4018 24th St (b/t Noe and Castro). San Francisco, CA. (map)
When: Sunday, February 13. 1pm-4pm.
Price: FREE!

We hope to see you soon! Happy Valentines Day from the San Francisco Global Exchange Fair Trade Store!

It is said that more than 58 million pounds of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day each year. Unfortunately, behind those chocolate treats lies the sinister truth of child and forced labor in the cocoa fields.

Child, forced and trafficked labor remain widespread in the West African cocoa fields, which is the source of 70% of the world’s cocoa. Fortunately, there is a way you can take action today to help bring an end to child slavery, poverty and environmental degradation in the cocoa fields, and that is through Fair Trade.

For four years, Global Exchange has organized its National Valentine’s Day of Action by encouraging educators nationwide to bring social justice into the classrooms by teaching Global Exchange’s Fair Trade cocoa curriculum. Bringing Fair Trade into the classrooms teaches the youth to support small farmers across the world, who are standing up against exploitation by transforming trade one cocoa bean at a time.

Help us reach our goal of reaching 4,500 youth and you’ll be eligible to win a Fair Trade prize!

I’m an educator and I’m interested in teaching the Fair Trade curriculum.  Please send my FREE Fair Trade organic cocoa beans to use with the unit!

I’m excited to win a Fair Trade prize!  I know an educator and would love to refer them to the free Fair Trade Curriculum available online.

Once you’ve done that, here are more actions to take to make this Valentine’s Day a Fair Trade one.

I’d LOVE to make or color in valentines asking Hershey to have a heart and start sourcing Fair Trade. (Scan/email your valentine and get 10% off Global Exchange stores.)

I would like to host a Dark Side of Chocolate film screening during the National Week of Action, February 4-14.

I plan to shower my sweetie with Fair Trade chocolate this Valentine’s Day, by shopping at Global Exchange Fair Trade store’s Valentine’s Day page.

Stay updated on the Global Exchange Fair Trade campaign all year long to find out how to take action the rest of the year.

How excited were we when we found out that Oprah showed us some love this Valentine season? SooOOoo excited.

Our Online Store was listed as the place to find Organic and Fair Trade goodies in O Magazine and on Given the sluggish economy, getting this ‘knod’ from Oprah was certainly a welcomed boost for us. We are especially happy to see Fair Trade making it into the mainstream, especially this time of year when consumers purchase massive amounts of chocolate. Yay Oprah! Now we just gotta wait for that O Effect!

You can find these Dark Chocolate Mini Boxes at the Online Store along with the rest of our Valentine’s Day items, including the Milk Chocolate version of the Heart box called our Heart of Gold. Clever, eh?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Don’t let your sweetie catch you without any sweets.

Pictured above is our Fair Trade Valentine Action Kit.


*According to the International Labor Organization, more than 284,000 children work on West African cocoa plantations in “the worst forms of child labor.” *60% of these children are under the age of 14 It is estimated that Fair Trade chocolate represents less than 1% of the world’s roughly $60 billion chocolate market. *According to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and National Confectioners Association, in 2005 more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate were sold for Valentine’s Day.


Each Fair Trade Action Kit includes a stack of retro-inspired Valentines to hand out, a heart box of Fair Trade chocolates, and more! Everything you need to start spreading the word about Fair Trade chocolate to those you care about this Valentine’s Day.

If you would like to learn more about Fair Trade chocolate, visit our fair trade campaign page