Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fair trade flowers, chocolate, and more for Valentine's Day

It's hard to believe, but Valentine's Day is just around the corner again, and I'm writing my annual post nice and early so you have plenty of time to get in on the sales and specials, and order all the fantastic fair trade items you want.

As most of you know from earlier posts about fair trade, fair trade certification is about letting consumers know that the people who grow/harvest/make their products got a fair price and humane working conditions, which is a big step above the often horrible conditions (child labor, pesticide poisoning, intimidation and exploitation, etc) involved in producing non-certified versions. Valentine's Day is an especially big deal for two fair trade products-- chocolate and the newly available fair trade flowers-- because it's estimated that Valentine's Day accounts for 12% of chocolate and 25% of flowers sold in the U.S.

Luckily, there are a ton of great options for getting great fair trade products for Valentine's Day (and don't miss the action steps to promote fair trade, at the end of the list.)

  • Chocolate
    • Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates: From fantastic looking boxes of truffles (Cherry Chipotle or Green Tea, anyone?) to bags of chocolate hearts in a variety of flavors, there are a ton of awesome choices here-- and they're fair trade, organic, and many are even vegan! (Plus, suprisingly affordable, too.)
    • Ithaca Fine Chocolates has fair trade, organic chocolate Art Bars that also include a collectible card with a reporduction of a work of art, and 10% of profits go to art education.
    • Not all Sjaak's Organic Chocolates are fair trade, but they do have a number of neat fair trade options for Valentine's Day, including heart-shaped cherry truffles, a chocolate heart-shaped shell filled with small chocolate hearts, and a chocolate "nuts and chews" assortment in a Valentine's Day box. (Some are vegan too.)
    • Equal Exchange doesn't have Valentine's Day-themed chocolate, but they do have plenty of chocolate (and cocoa, and coffee, and tea.) And if you use the the code "valday08" you can get 10% off.
  • Taking Action
    • Click here to send e-mails to five big chocolate and flower sellers, asking them to offer fair trade and organic products.
    • If you're a teacher or have a school-age kid, and you send in a request by Friday January 25th, Global Exchange will send you a free package of 30 Valentines for a classful of kids, with detachable postcards the kids can send to World's Finest asking them to offer fair trade chocolate options. (There's also a curriculum for teachers to use if they want to talk about fair trade with their K-6 students.)
      • You can also buy a Global Exchange Action Kit, with the same valentines and postcards but also including fair trade chocolates, decorations, and an "I Love Fair Trade" iron-on.
    • If you join Co-op America (an organization dedicated to "Economic Action for a Just Planet," including but not limited to fair trade) for just $20 by February 14, you'll get a free gift of fair trade chocolate bars in a nice fair trade keepsake box. (If you're already a member, donate $25 or more and you can get the gift too.)
    • For more, here's Transfair's list of 12 ways to support fair trade.
As usual, this list is U.S.-centric (sorry!) so please feel free to comment with sources for fair trade goods in other countries. And if you're looking for the whole range of non-Valentine's Day fair trade products (like bananas, rice, sugar, molasses, tea, coffee, vanilla, spices, wine, and more) please check out this post.

Are you planning to make fair trade a part of your Valentine's Day?


MoneyChangesThings said...

Also good to support V-day efforts and Vagina Monologs performances around the world, standing up for women.

Emmie said...

Very informative blog. Thanks for all the information.

Young said...

Yes! I love my fair trade chocolate. It's great when doing the right thing tastes so good!

Anonymous said...

Hey..... I got my favorite flowers and chocolate gift set at 1-800-FLOWERS. Its a very nice store.

Kim Glann said...

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, I like your blog. I put a link of this post on my blog posting about V-Day:

Flower said...

Nice Blog!!

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I really like your blog- have to check on it more often. If you are interested in
maybe you should have a look at my blog :)

Flower said...

Well Done!!

Flower said...

Keep up the good work..

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