Saturday, February 12, 2011



Valentine's Day is coming up on Monday, and now is a good time to look at the root of where a lot of our chocolate comes from ie child labour in the cocoa industry. Here's an item from the International Labor Rights Forum on what you can do to end this exploitation.
Valentine's Day 2011 Actions for the Hershey Campaign

Valentine's Day is a major chocolate buying holiday, but your gifts for your sweetheart should not come at the expense of workers rights! Forced labor, child labor and trafficking continues in the cocoa industry in West Africa. Almost all major chocolate companies have begun to commit to using independent, third-party programs to certify that their cocoa suppliers comply with international labor standards, but Hershey continues to lag behind the industry.

There are two easy and fun ways to take action to tell Hershey to go Fair Trade leading up to Valentine's Day:

1.SEND VALENTINES TO HERSHEY! Create your own personalized Valentine telling Hershey to start using Fair Trade Certified cocoa for its products, like the iconic chocolate Kiss. Address your Valentine to Hershey CEO David J. West and mail it to: 100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. You can also download this PDF of a Valentine to mail to the company. If you make your own Valentine, please do scan an image of it or take a photograph of your Valentine and send it to ILRF Campaigns Director Tim Newman at: We'll post them online and you can get a 10% discount to Global Exchange's store by sending your images and photographs to us! Please mail your Valentines to Hershey by February 18, 2011.
2.HOST A SCREENING OF THE DARK SIDE OF CHOCOLATE! You can host a screening of this documentary that exposes the ongoing use of trafficked child labor in the cocoa industry in your community. Click here to order your DVD and click here to download a screening toolkit. ILRF and partner organizations across the country are especially encouraging people to host screenings during a national week of action leading up to Valentine's Day from February 4-14.
You can also send an e-mail to Hershey online here.

Together we can support cocoa farmers and workers and make Valentine's Day sweet for everyone!

Also, don't forget about our petitions to Hershey! You can download the petition here and collect signatures in your community.
If you want to get a jump on things go to this link to send the following letter to the Hershey Corporation.
Subject: Time to Raise the Bar, Hershey!

As a chocolate consumer, I am deeply concerned about labor rights abuses in the cocoa industry. Forced labor, trafficking and child labor continue on West Africa's cocoa farms.

While many companies are working to trace their cocoa and institute labor standards among their suppliers, I am disappointed to learn that Hershey is lagging behind its competitors in this area. I believe you can be a leader in responsible cocoa sourcing.

I ask that you meet the goals of the “Raise The Bar, Hershey!” campaign, which include:

* an agreement to take immediate action to eliminate forced and child labor in your cocoa supply chain;

* a commitment to sourcing 100% Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa beans by 2012 for at least one of your top five selling chocolate bars that prominently displays the Hershey name; and

* a commitment to making at least one additional top five selling bar 100% Fair Trade Certified™ every two years thereafter, so that Hershey’s top five selling cocoa bars will all be 100% Fair Trade Certified™ within 10 years.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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