29 March 2009

Fair Trade Easter Bunnies

So what is Fair Trade, exactly?

Chocolate, coffee, and other imported foods and goods get the Fair Trade certification from TransFair USA when sellers deal directly with farmers (rather than middlemen) and pay a fair price for goods made under fair labor practices and using environmentally sustainable farming practices.

The Fair Trade Federation has more information about the process.

Cadbury, manufacturer of some of Britain's most popular chocolates, has opted to use fairly manufactured and traded chocolate in their products -- but so far, only in the United Kingdom, and not in the United States, where Hershey manufactures products with the Cadbury label.

If your springtime activities include an Easter celebration, please include Fair Trade chocolate in the festivities. Granted, it will almost certainly be more expensive; if you spend the same amount on Fair Trade chocolate that you would on the usual stuff, you won't end up with as much of it. But maybe having a smaller amount of really good chocolate that you know doesn't support child labor or other abuses of farm workers is a good trade-off.

And sign a petition here to ask Hershey to follow Cadbury's UK lead and buy Fair Trade chocolate for all of its products as well.