Every Halloween and Valentine’s Day, I remind people that a lot of cheap chocolate that you find in grocery stores is made with unfair labor — sometimes child labor — and encourage everyone to opt for organic, fair trade chocolates. This advice often goes over well for Valentine’s Day, when people are more willing to spend a little extra for their sweethearts!
The advice does not go over so well at Halloween, however. People seem to want to spend as little as possible on strange, demanding kids in costume. These penny-pinching adults still want to give out chocolate — can’t have the neighbors thinking you’re a Halloween Grinch — but like to bend their usual adherence to organic, fair trade goods since these cheapo chocs won’t pass through their own lips.
Well, penny-pinchers may be surprised this year by a strange reversal. Some trick-or-treating kids will be giving out free treats to adults this year! And yes, the free treats are organic, fair trade dark chocolates — and vegan too — to fit almost everyone’s dietary restrictions!
Those kids are participating in Global Exchange’s Reverse Trick-or-Treating program — which, if you’ve got an idealist child, I seriously urge you to help him participate in the program. Besides helping educate your community about the social and environmental problems associated with the current cocoa trade — and the solutions created by fair trade products — the Reverse Trick-or-Treating program means free chocolate for your kid.
That’s right — I said free, though you will need to fork over $5.50 for shipping. The idea is that your kid will give out the chocolates, not eat them. Still, sweet is the gift of giving, and the Reverse Trick-or-Treating kit comes complete with a set of 15 chocolates and educational cards. Simply request a kit on Global Exchange’s website by Oct. 13.
The chocolates in the program were donated to this cause by Equal Exchange, Sweet Earth and Coco-Zen — all companies that make chocolate without compromising stellar eco-ethical creds. Commend them for their good efforts by opting for their organic, fair trade chocolates when you buy them — to give out to trick-or-treaters — or just for yourself!