Ten to twenty thousand groups of children will hand chocolate back to adults during their regular neighborhood trick-or-treating rounds this Halloween. The children will distribute Fair Trade certified chocolate attached to a card explaining the labor and environmental problems in the cocoa industry globally and how Fair Trade provides a solution.
The event, Reverse Trick-or-Treating, was launched three years ago to raise awareness of the pervasive problem of child labor, forced labor and trafficking in the cocoa fields, to empower consumers to press the chocolate industry for more fair cocoa sourcing policies, to shift the industry toward sourcing Fair Trade certified cocoa, and to inform consumers about Fair Trade companies that are leading the way to industry reform.
The Reverse-Trick-or-Treating program has joined nonprofit organizations, such as Global Exchange, with Fair Trade Certified chocolate companies such as Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and Sweet Earth, and local schools, faith groups and youth organizations to raise public awareness about Fair Trade Certified chocolate.
"Kids have a well-developed sense of fairness. I regularly hear stories of US schoolchildren who are really outraged to learn that mainstream chocolate companies are making them complicit in the enslavement of their peers," said Adrienne Fitch-Frankel, Director of Global Exchange's Fair Trade Campaign, "Kids are eager to show solidarity and make it possible for their peers to do go to school and go out and play. That is why so many kids are thrilled to participate in Reverse Trick-or-Treating and make a difference. Now, it's up to the chocolate companies to listen to their important message."
The Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign is an initiative of the human rights advocacy group Global Exchange.
Nearly a quarter million Fair Trade Chocolates and informational cards have been provided in the United States by Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and Sweet Earth, and in Canada by La Siembra, under the leadership of Equal Exchange. Equal Exchange is a full service provider of high quality, organic coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate and healthy snacks. 100% of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting over 30 small farmer cooperatives in 16 countries around the world.
The national organizations with a lead role in Reverse Trick-or-Treating are Africa Action, Fair Trade Federation, Global Exchange, Green America, International Labor Rights Forum, Not for Sale, Oasis/Stop the Traffik, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and the United Methodist Church.