Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Valentine's Day With A Heart (Fair Trade)

Have you started planning for Valentine's Day yet? Now, if you're not the type to purchase gifts for a loved one on Valentine's Day, let me commend you and your valiant efforts in the fight against consumerism. Then again, you or your sweetie may be like me-- talking tough about not wanting material goods, but then melting at the mention of chocolate. And who am I to tell you how you should celebrate the day?

What I will tell you, though, is that if you are planning on gift-giving, you have some wonderful fair trade options that I urge you to consider. I've talked about fair trade before, but basically fair trade products let you know that the people who grew, created, or manufactured them were treated justly and got a fair price for their efforts.

If you are thinking chocolate, please think fair trade. Child labor runs rampant in the chocolate industry, especially in the Ivory Coast, which supplies nearly half the world's chocolate. Fair trade chocolate is a valentine for both your giftee and the West Africans in the cocoa industry! If you buy this gift pack from Global Exchange, you get not only chocolate for yourself/your S.O., but a set of fair-trade themed valentines you can use to support the campaign to get World's Finest to buy fair trade.

If you're looking for gifts, you have so many options!

And don't forget to check for bricks-and-mortar versions of these stores (Ten Thousand Villages, especially, is everywhere), or other places (Whole Foods, among others) which sell things like fair trade chocolate (this PDF lists stores that carry Divine Chocolate, from an awesome cooperative in Ghana).

Any other good options you've come across?


Lucia said...

Working in fair trade, I want to say thank you for this wonderful post!

stelt said...

An open standards (=fair) Valentine card at