Trick-or-Treat & Fighting Abuse of Kids by Chocolate or Cocoa Harvest, etc.

Dear Kevin,

One of my best not-kept secrets is that I grew up in Hershey, PA – benefitted from Mr. Hershey’s endowment to great public schools and, yep, the regular smell of chocolate wafting through the air. So I’ve taken our cocoa campaigns to heart, literally. Even with limited funding, we keep working on this issue because the problem is nowhere near solved.

We have a long way to go, and we kindly ask if you can give $30.00 in honor of our 30th Anniversary to fight child labor in chocolate?

We’ve made progress for sure. Under pressure from activists, Hershey, Mars, and Nestle finally started adding some fair trade certified cocoa. But there is still too much to do. Their market power means they can do more. We need to push for an alternative and send them a message that child labor needs to stop and cocoa farmers need their fair share of the profits. We can’t give up!

Coming of age in the US, very few of us are aware of what life is like for kids in other parts of the world. I know I had no idea! If you have a chance to talk to your kids and friends about the extensive and persistent use of child labor in cocoa, you may be surprised by their outrage. The problem resonates pretty deeply with most kids. So I’m always super impressed by kids who come to us and want to help raise awareness about the problem. Kids like Myles Feingold-Black, a middle schooler in Takoma Park, Maryland who has decided to dedicate his Bar Mitzvah project to the issue of child labor in chocolate. Myles told us he decided to do this because “it seems morally wrong to not offer proper education to every child, no matter how wealthy or poor they are. The importance of making sure that every child gets a good education should be a country’s top priority, not making sure that companies get the most profit out of their chocolate.”

As a member of our ILRF family, Myles is excited to support our efforts and we applaud his message to the rest of our community. Halloween is one of the biggest holidays of the year for the chocolate industry. Join us in promoting fair trade chocolate with your purchase this year, and send a message to major brands that consumers demand better.

Our Fair Share for Cocoa Farmers candy wrappers, developed with our ally Green America, include easy-to-follow info-graphics explaining some of the unfair economics that suppress wages for cocoa farmers. They were so well received last year, we are sharing them again! They are best combined with chocolate from Fairtrade certified companies who not only know where their cocoa comes from, but have a direct and long-term relationship with the farmers, agreements to pay a premium above market prices, and invest in farming communities.

Our continuing work in this vast industry is only possible thanks to donors like you. Please, Kevin, give today to help eradicate the scourge of child labor in the cocoa industry.

Have a safe and fun holiday,

Judy Gearhart
Executive Director

PS. Help make our Halloween extra sweet by making a donation to ILRF today. We only have 3 more days to reach our fall fundraising drive goal of $13,500.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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