There is nothing I love more in this world than my children. Every time I look at those love nuggets I thank my lucky stars. I am grateful that they are perfect in every way. And I am thankful for every moment they are granted the gift of childhood. This wonderful time when they look at the world fearlessly, full of wonder, kindness and joy. Sadly not every child is granted this gift.
Today I would like to bring a little awareness to our adult world. I will try to keep it short and as light as possible.
Valentines day is approaching and with it perhaps the biggest selling holiday for the chocolate industry. Every year millions of people stock up on chocolate treats that will be shared with loved ones as tokens of affection. The sentiment is noble, but in most cases the sources are not.
Let me be perfectly clear, most chocolate sold in your local store source from farms that use child labor. These are a huge contributing factor to child trafficking in some continents like Africa. Popular brands like Hershey’s and M&M Mars are NOT fair trade companies. These huge companies have taken their time and have been involved in child labor for years. I will never understand how this is ok. I will never understand how it is ok to keep exploiting children in the name of business. And I will never knowingly be a part of it. A lot of people have worked very hard to expose this injustice and change is on it’s way. Some day things will be different and fair, we can be a part of that.
I know none of us would ever knowingly support this type of scenario and that is why I share this information. I am not here to judge you. I am not here to tell you what to do. I am here to rely this information because it is the least I can do. Please understand that every time you purchase a bag of M&M’s, Kisses or any other non fair trade chocolate you are involved. Our choices matter.
We do not need chocolate to express our love. Love is something we share with our actions. This valentine’s day I encourage you to love with your actions and not with tainted chocolate. I encourage you to spread the word; in your community, your church, your family and friends. Take action and feel the love ripple all over you and into this wonderful world.
Don’t worry, I’m not all gloom :). You don’t have to give up chocolate, there are responsible companies out there that make delicious fair trade chocolate. Alter Eco, Divine and Equal Exchange are some. If you would like to give your valentine a chocolate treat shop responsibly and look for fair trade certified labels. Here are a few links that can be useful in your journey to guilt free chocolate Fair Trade USA and Food is Power. You can also watch the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate.
Let’s be part of something positive. Let’s be part of a movement that demands safety and freedom for all children. Hopefully one day all children can enjoy the gift of childhood.
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