Break the Chains of Toxic Pesticides and Farm Worker Exploitation
Valentines Day marks the biggest shopping day of the year, when it comes to chocolate and flowers. By purchasing organic and Fair Trade chocolate and flowers (see our buying guide), your money will no longer be going towards toxic pesticides, child slavery, and farm worker exploitation.
Over 40 percent of the world’s conventional chocolate (i.e. non-organic and non-Fair Trade) comes from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), where the International Labor Organization (ILO) and US State Department have reported widespread instances of child slavery. Exploitation of cacao farmers and farm workers is the norm in the chocolate industry.
Organizations such as Pesticide Action Network point out that commercial flowers, produced in Colombia and elsewhere, are the most toxic and heavily sprayed agricultural crops on Earth.
Since OCA first launched it's Valentines alerts several years ago, half of Colombia's flower acreage has become Florverde Certified (which requires better treatment of workers and more sustainable farming practices). There are an increasing number of retailers across the US who are providing organic flowers.
Fair Made is any product grown, sewn, sold, or traded that is:
A list of companies selling Fair Trade and Organic flowers and chocolate and paperless / recycled cards and gifts. Whenever possible, buy local (many of these sites can lead you to local, independent retailers)