With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you probably have giving and/or receiving chocolates, roses and other goodies on your mind! But if you haven't actually started your shopping yet (like me!) you're in luck, because the folks at Fair Trade USA have put together a helpful and socially responsible gift guide.
When you shop Fair Trade, you're supporting products that come from farmers and workers who've been justly compensated. This is REALLY important when it comes to chocolate, since the bulk of the world's cocoa is harvested in West Africa by child and slave labor. Hershey's and most of the big candy conglomerates use slave labor to fill their heart-shaped boxes, but thankfully, there are sweeter alternatives.
Fair Trade certification ensures that cocoa farmers receive a fair price for their harvest, and also strictly prohibits the use of slave and child labor. This Valentine’s Day, you can support a better life for cocoa farmers by sharing your favorite Fair Trade Certified confection with your friends and family. There are plenty of delicious options out there, including Sweet Earth Chocolates Classic Red Velvet Box, Sjaak’s dark chocolate with raspberry bar, ChocoDream Spreads, Kopali Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs, TCHO "My Heart's Desire" Adigard 12-Bar Sampler, Alter Eco Dark Velvet Chocolate and sweetriot riotous riotBar gift set.
Fair Trade also matters when it comes to flowers. Americans will buy more than 189 million stems of roses this Valentine's Day, the majority of which will travel all the way from Ecuador and Colombia. You can make sure that your long-stemmed symbols of love positively impact the lives of farm workers (many of whom are women) by looking for bouquets bearing the Fair Trade Certified logo.
If your local flower shop doesn't offer Fair Trade blooms, Fair Trade Certified roses can be found at Whole Foods Market. Just look for the big, beautiful blossoms and vivid colors with the green Whole Trade Guarantee sticker in the floral department. Before you hand over these special roses, make sure to read up on the farm they came from to add a sweet story to the gift.
You can also find guilt-free Fair Trade flowers online. One World Flowers will deliver beautiful Ecuadorian roses direct from the farm to your loved one. In addition to traditional red and pink roses, you can select themed bouquets like “Helping Haiti” and “Honoring Japan” that support much-needed relief efforts in those countries.
More information and gift ideas for coffee, wine, baked goods and apparel are available at the Fair Trade USA website. The organization has also provided us with a couple of great offers:
One World Flowers can use the coupon code
FairTrade5 to get $5 off their
Valentine's Day order.
We'll also give 5 readers a delicious taste of
Fair Trade goodness with an
Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment answering the following question:
Have you ever tried any Fair Trade products?
If so, what's your favorite?
1. Follow our blog (publicly) and leave another comment (or if you already follow, let us know).
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3. Blog about the giveaway, and link back here. Post your blog entry before you comment.
4. Add the Mama Manifesto button to your sidebar.
5. Follow us on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway: "Giveaway! Check out #FairTrade goodies for Valentine's Day & Win Fair Trade Chocolate from @MamaManifesto. Enter at mamamanifesto.com"
6. Become a fan of Mama Manifesto on Facebook by clicking the button on the left.
This giveaway will close Sunday, February 12, at 11 p.m.
We'll announce the winners on Tuesday, February 14. Happy Valentine's Day!
Prizes courtesy of Fair Trade USA