I know it’s over a month away, but with the cooler weather that has set in, my kids and their friends are suddenly all a buzz about Halloween.
I usually don’t buy my Halloween candy until Halloween morning. If I buy it any earlier, it doesn’t last until October 31st and I end up buying more that day anyway. But this year, I just ordered my first bunch of Halloween candy. This won’t be candy that I’ll be handing to the kids who knock on my door. It’s candy that my boys will be handing out as they go door to door.
They will be taking part in Reverse Trick-or-Treat, a program that Global Exchange is sponsoring. From their website:
This year, Trick-or-Treaters across the US will unite to help end poverty among cocoa farmers and promote Fair Trade as an alternative by giving Fair Trade chocolate back to adults while Trick-or-Treating door-to-door in their communities. Each chocolate is attached to a card with information about problems in the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade provides a solution.
What is so special about Fair Trade chocolate? For chocolate to be Fair Trade Certified, the farmers who grow the cocoa beans must be paid a fair wage for their crop. Some of the other criteria for Fair Trade Certification include using sustainable growing practices, providing workers with safe and healthy working conditions, and making sure that no abuse of child labor occurs.
It’s this last condition that I find so important when considering buying Halloween candy. In the past, I never thought about how the candy that I bought to hand out for Halloween came to be. But now, I feel it’s right to think about the fact that there could be children in other countries who work in unhealthy conditions on the farms that supply the cocoa beans for a lot of the mainstream Halloween candy that is sold in the U.S.
My children are going to get a lot of candy come Halloween time. I can’t control who gives them what. But I can control the candy that my family gives. So this year, not only will we be reverse trick-or-treating, we’ll be handing out Fair Trade candy to all the Hannah Montana’s and Iron Men who knock on our door.
I know that it’s going to be more expensive. I also know that giving out Fair Trade treats this year will be healthier for the kids in my neighborhood and for kids in other parts of the world, too. It’s worth the extra money.
Image courtesy of flickr