You probably had a little bit of chocolate over Valentine’s weekend. Was any of it fair trade? If you’re beginning to see the importance of fair-trade chocolate — like making sure that the workers who pick the cocao beans get fair wages and followed child labor laws —  maybe it’s time you share that importance with others. You don’t need to preach, though. Instead, you can bake it forward.

Bake it Forward is a way to share fair-trade chocolate and its importance in a way that people will embrace. Who’s not going to embrace some homemade baked goods? Here’s what you do:

1. Buy some fair-trade chocolate in a store near you, or purchase it directly from a company online. 

2. Bake something to share with five to 10 friends, family and co-workers. Click here for recipe ideas.

3. Download* the 4-per-sheet black and white flier or 4x6 color photo postcard below to attach to each plate of your baked goods. (PDF)

4. Give them away!

The Bake it Forward site has ideas on where to shop for fair-trade chocolate both online and in stores. What should you make? You can take any recipe that calls for chocolate chips, baking chocolate or cocoa powder and simply substitute fair-trade items in their place. I took the recipe for chocolate cake that is on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa canister, and simply substituted Green & Black’s Cocoa for our Valentine’s dessert.

* the downloads are in pdf form. Click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page to find them.

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