I was recently horrified to learn that there is an unforgivably strong connection between many of the large corporations that manufacture chocolate candy bars in the United States and child slavery in Africa. Please read this excellent post for more information; you should also read this one and this one while you are at it.

How do more people not know about this? Why didn’t I? Or maybe people do know, but they don’t think changing their personal shopping/eating habits will make any difference…so they continue to buy that chocolate anyway?

I was already buying Fair Trade Certified chocolate most of the time, but armed with this knowledge, it will be 100% of the time from now on.

What about you?

Because October is Fair Trade Month, the kind folks at Fair Trade USA sent me two bags of Fair Trade Certified goodies. I kept one, and I’m going to send the other to one of you.

Fair Trade USA is a non-profit organization which strives to cultivate a global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. By certifying products and suppliers who protect local ecosystems and guaranteeing that farmers are paid a fair, honest price, Fair Trade USA works to help people make conscientious purchases.

Fair Trade USA marked Fair Trade Month 2011 with the launch of a social media initiative, and there are now three “Fair Trade Finder” apps to help consumers find Fair Trade Certified products more easily:

The Facebook app, the Android app, and the iPhone app each allow consumers to enter their location to find out where they can buy Fair Trade Certified products nearby, and be among the first to populate the map with other Fair Trade Product locations.

Buying Fair Trade Certified items isn’t very hard. These products may cost more, but in purchasing them you can help make a big impact on the lives of thousands of farmers, workers, and their families in 58 developing countries. Please keep those child laborers on the cocoa plantations in mind…

Included in this giveaway is the following:

  1. 10 oz. of Green Mountain Coffee
  2. 16 oz of Organic Fair Trade Honey from Wholesome Sweeteners
  3. 24 oz. of Raw Can Sugar (from Malawi) from Wholesome Sweeteners
  4. one 3.5 oz Pure 85% Dark Chocolate Bar from Sweet Riot
  5. 3 mini chocolate bars from Green and Blacks
  6. An assortment of tea bags from Choice Organic Teas and Sencha Naturals

To enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment below, making sure I have your email address in case you are the winner. This giveaway will close on 10/27/11 at midnight (which is just 2 days from now). I’ll choose a winner with the help of random.org on Friday 10/28/11, then I will mail these goodies right out to my lucky reader. US residents only, please. THANKS.


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  1. 1

    Evan Thomas — October 25, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    I would love to win this giveaway. I love those little chocolate bars.

  2. 2

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — October 25, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    I’ll be honest Winnie…I did not know of it until recently too and I’m sickened that companies know of this practice and still use these resources anyway. One commenter said it was better than the families having no money at all; it seems there must be a better way to get much needed income into the hands of families in poor nations without having children be slave labor.

    So, I’m all about now making sure my coffee and chocolate are sourced from Fair Trade practices, even if the cost is a premium. In this case, it takes more than a village, it takes a whole damn country.

  3. 3

    Emily — October 25, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

    Yum, what a fun package of treats!


  4. 4

    Michelle Stahnke — October 25, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    Wow, I had no idea this was happening. It is sickening. I was already buying Fair Trade organic coffee, but I’ll make sure I’m buying Fair Trade chocolate from now on, too. Thank you for sharing these.

  5. 5

    Robin — October 25, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    I do know the reasons why it’s good to get Fair Trade {and am currently trying very hard to find FT Coffee in my area – it’s proving difficult} but I’m quite sure I don’t realize to what extent is the toll of non-FT items. I’m going to read the articles you posted. It is terrible what is done in the name of cheaper products. We are lower income than many but we are still able to prioritize our purchases and do the best we can with what we have. I think the saying that applies to medicine should also be applied to our shopping habits: First do no harm.
    Thanks for this giveaway and the heads up on the android ap. :) {altho’ I’m pretty certain I’m going to have to mail order in anything FT}.
    cokelush at gmail

  6. 6

    Kristi — October 25, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    Thank you so much for continuing to spotlight the sad state of the chocolate industry with this. I know that Fair Trade supports the ideals I try to keep my purchases within. I will have to download the app!

  7. 7

    Brenda — October 25, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    Thanks for this article. Would love the package!

  8. 8

    Stephanie — October 25, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    This is the year of my candy awakening as well… so horrifying. :( Thank you for highlighting Fair Trade month, and for this awesome giveaway!

  9. 9

    Julie @BananasForBourbon — October 25, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    Thank you for bringing up this issue. It’s definitely something that gets pushed to the back of my mind during my countless hours in the kitchen. I’ve been experimenting with fair trade coffees, finding a brand that’s as good as my past-usual Peets. :)

  10. 10

    Claire — October 25, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    It is tragic what goes on in the world in the name of capitalism, and so frustrating how deeply involved our food systems are in social injustice. Its hard to trust that anything you didn’t grow yourself was produced in a sustainable and just way. I try to buy fair trade, and I hope with all my heart that it truly is fair for everyone.

  11. 11

    Cookie and Kate — October 25, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    I had no idea about the chocolate! Thank you for letting me know. Great giveaway concept!

  12. 12

    Meagan — October 25, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    Way to support a great cause!

  13. 13

    Shirra — October 25, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    I had no idea. Thanks for spreading the word. I’ll be looking for FT chocolate from now on.
    Crossing my fingers in the hopes of winning some yummies!

  14. 14

    Tiffany — October 25, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

    looks delicious!

  15. 15

    brandi — October 25, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

    i LOVE green mountain coffee! when I can’t get my favorite locally roasted coffee, that’s the kind i always buy. great giveaway!

  16. 16

    Jessica — October 25, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    This is such a fantastic giveaway! Of course I love the contests for free mixers and cookbooks and all of those gadgets, but to have one to celebrate/honor such a commendable month of awareness is really refreshing. I would love to sample some of these products!

  17. 17

    heather — October 25, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

    Many of the items I buy are fair trade, including that particular brand of raw sugar. I use it for so many things, and come to think of it, I’m almost out. Thanks for the reminder to run to the store, and for promoting such a worthy cause!



  18. 18

    Jen — October 25, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    I support fair trade! jen AT trimpe DOT org.

  19. 19

    KB — October 25, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

    This is awesome!

  20. 20

    Sandra — October 25, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    I didn’t know that it was Fair Trade Awareness month, but I’m glad to know now. I do try to buy fair trade when possible. Thanks for the links, I’ll definitely read them!

  21. 21

    Wendy — October 25, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    Hi Winnie – I was looking for kale recipes and “found” you! Glad that I did. Thank you for sharing this information on Fair Trade. I look forward to visiting you, again.

  22. 22

    Lisa (This Little Piggy) — October 25, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    Thanks for reminding me it is Fair Trade Awareness month. I always look out for the sign on things like chocolate.

  23. 23

    Victoria — October 25, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    I learned this at a food show a few years ago. It has resulted in me eating less chocolate since the Fair Trade is more expensive.

    But since that means I can now get into my old clothes without holding my breath all day long, its a win/win solution.

    And the chocolate is actually better tasting when it is guilt free on ALL counts.


  24. 24

    jacquie — October 25, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    i have been hearing more and more about “Fair Trade” products and who/how individuals in other countries are so affected (& devastated) by what we purchase here. so perhaps the word is getting out there? and then one can only hope that people respond to that message …..

  25. 25

    Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) — October 25, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    We purchase fair trade products for our home but I know we consume many non fair trade items when dining out or at friends’. I’m currently mired in a dilemma about what to do with the halloween haul. I know I can’t forbid non-fair trade treats but my daughter gathers so many she doesn’t even eat it all!

  26. 26

    kelly — October 25, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    thanks for the info.! I’d love to win.

  27. 27

    Brandi — October 25, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    We are so lucky to have an organization that looks out for people. I will pass this on this information so everyone can be more educated on what is going on in this world of ours.

  28. 28

    Amanda — October 25, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    All of those items look delicious! I’ve been doing my best recently to purchase more organic/fair trade food. Thanks for telling us about the unfairness in the chocolate industry! I had no idea!

  29. 29

    Z.Grimm — October 26, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Thanks for the article and the links, and educating others about this.

  30. 30

    Nicole — October 26, 2011 @ 2:53 am

    What a great selection of products, and a worthy cause behind them. I’d love to win.

  31. 31

    Dorothea — October 26, 2011 @ 3:21 am

    Fair Trade is such a worthwhile concept, thanks for writing about it. There isn’t a Trader Joes, or a Whole Foods store near where I live, so thanks for such an awesome giveaway.

  32. 32

    Lindsay N — October 26, 2011 @ 4:22 am

    Would love to try some fair trade products and make the switch.

  33. 33

    Jennifer Carr — October 26, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    This is such great information. Thank you for spreading the awareness. I’m going to download the app right now.

    Jen Jen.Martin.Carr@gmail com

  34. 34

    Meg Rosenberg — October 26, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    Heartbroken re: several commercial chocolate products I can no longer buy, but happy there are Fair Trade alternatives. Try Mast Brothers chocolate from Brooklyn, it’s a consolation!

  35. 35

    Dana — October 26, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    Thanks for producing such an informative blog!

  36. 36

    Tina W. — October 26, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    I try to be careful about buying only fair trade products but I’m sure I”m not anywhere 100% successful – yet.

  37. 37

    Cat — October 26, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Thanks for bringing this information out. Many people are more price conscious than company conscious.

  38. 38

    bunkie — October 26, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    awesome giveaway! thanks for the info!

  39. 39

    Bridget — October 26, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    The give away and the information are great! I went ahead and downloaded the iphone ap to help find fair trade items where ever I am!

  40. 40

    Paula — October 26, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    I must live under a rock for this is the first time I’ve heard of this Winnie and in reading the links you provided and doing more googling on it, I come to find out this has been known publicly since 2001?!
    I’m will diligently be looking for fair trade cocoa and chocolate to use in my baking. I won’t be looking at a regular chocolate bar in quite the same manner now. Thank you for posting this, who knows how much longer I would have gone without knowing about this?

  41. 41

    Shanna — October 26, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    I learned so much by reading this. Thank you.

  42. 42

    Shewanna — October 26, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    I’ve been trying to support fair trade products and would love to try out some of these brands!

  43. 43

    Kathryn — October 26, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    Wow, what an important message. This is my first visit to your blog but it sure won’t be the last.

  44. 44

    France @ Beyond The Peel — October 26, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    It’s sad isn’t it.I knew it was bad but I didn’t know how bad. We buy organic fair trade luxury items. Sugar, chocolate and coffee fall into that category.We don’t need them to live, so if you want them, I figure, you might as well be willing to pay for them. That being said, there is the occasional time when I buy baking chocolate (once a year), but this is a very good reminder to hold fast to what you know is right!

  45. 45

    kelley chapman — October 26, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    upon following your page and devouring your website, i have made many changes to my eating habits, cleaning habits and just TRYING to do right by the environment. THANK YOU. Because fair trade and organic items are costly…i balance it by shopping for myself and my kids at consignment shops. i feel better ALL the way around. XOXO

  46. 46

    Marilyn — October 26, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    I’m also pretty appalled that I didn’t know this. Thanks for drawing attention to it.

  47. 47

    Jennifer — October 26, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    I’m a chocoholic and trying to make the switch to all fair trade!

  48. 48

    Amanda — October 26, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    I would love this! Fair trade is where it’s at.

  49. 49

    Melody — October 26, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Wow, that was an eye-opening article. I had no idea this was the case.

  50. 50

    Faye — October 26, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    I buy fair trade coffee, but I hadn’t heard about chocolate, thank you for lettin us know!

  51. 51

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — October 26, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

    Big kudos to you for highlighting this huge issue – and what a perfect time of year to highlight it as we all transition to times of the year we most associate with chocolate! And I have to admit I’m not always as good a shopper as I should and could be. Thanks for the reminder and a listing of some of the products.

  52. 52

    Carla — October 27, 2011 @ 12:14 am

    Thanks for your fabulous blog. I love learning about food and political issues at the same time. There is so much going on out there that we are not aware of. Fair Trade is the way to go!

  53. 53

    Ashley B. — October 27, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    Thank you for sharing an important message–it’s a good thing that there is an ethical way to get all the chocolately goodness we need!

  54. 54

    AJ — October 27, 2011 @ 11:03 am

    i love sweet riot chocolate! thanks for posting and creating awareness about this issue!

  55. 55

    Joanna — October 27, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

    Wow, the post you linked to was eye-opening. Thanks for sharing it and for letting me know about better ways to get my chocolate fix.

  56. 56

    Nirvana — October 27, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    This is such an important topic — thank you for bringing attention to this critically important subject matter. We really should be aware of where our food comes from, and the ethics behind every one of our meals and snacks. I also try to buy fare trade crafts and home decorations when I can.

  57. 57

    Stacy @ Every Little Thing — October 27, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    What a great giveaway, especially for this time of year! I will most definitely explore their website. I feel like Fair Trade is something I need to support much more than I do.

  58. 58

    Fair Trade Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups | Healthy Green Kitchen — October 31, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    […] today is Halloween, and since I decided not to eat chocolate that’s not fair trade anymore (here’s why), I wanted an alternative to the mini Reese’s peanut butter cups I usually pilfer from my […]

  59. 59

    Eileen — January 12, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    Winnie, did you see this article? Nestle is FINALLY putting some action behind its words. Maybe Hershey will follow suit! Until then, I made the switch to fair trade this year as well. Endangered Species Chocolate Squares are my favorite.

  60. 60

    Paula — January 23, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    I originally commented back in October but I had to come back to this post and tell you that my local grocery store is now carrying fair trade chocolate chips and cocoa! I’m so excited to have finally found this and so happy that my grocery store did a major renovation enlarging their organic food section and now fair trade chocolate is readily available to me. Thanks again for bringing this issue to my attention.

  61. 61

    Winnie — January 23, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    Paula this is great news! I recently found fair-trade chocolate chips, too. Yay for cookies ;)