Valentine’s Day Guides: Fair Trade Pointers from Cupid’s Arrow

Courtney Lang February 3, 2012

The ‘Pink and white’ holiday sparsely sprinkles the shelves until…BAM, New Years is over and Valentine’s Day hits everyone upside the head. Reminder folks: show some affection or prepare to spend the evening situated with reality, no chocolate or flowers unless you buy it for yourself. Despite loving that special person (or yourself) so much, it’s a good idea to spread some love to the people who meet the demand for chocolate, flowers and wine. Purchasing Fair Trade products may just keep you ‘grounded’ when cupid and hearts start floating around your head. Those of us at Fair Trade Towns did research to provide you with some useful fair trade shopping guides.

Build Awareness around Chocolate Sourcing

If you’re a chocolate addict, receiving your own heart shaped box filled with chocolate might launch you into an obsessive hype to protect it from others…”Mine…ALL Mine!”  But if you take a moment to stop and think about the stacks of hearts shipped throughout the nation, and the amount of chocolate that needs to fill those suckers, it’s enough to turn an obsession with chocolate into a true heartache. We encourage the biggest and smallest chocolate addicts to check out Global Exchange’s webpage devoted to the fight against unfair cocoa sourcing in West Africa. The website has plenty of information about chocolate sourcing and how Fair Trade practices can help make a difference.

To arm yourself with chocolate minis on Valentine’s Day, check out Equal Exchange to order a My Fair Trade Valentine set, fully equipped with a loving informational Valentine card and fair chocolate to give to those around you.

Cure the Unfair Addictions: 

Chocolate will only take a loved one so far until they start requesting wine, flowers, and jewelry. The most popular Valentine’s purchases can all be found in the Fair Trade market.

  • Wine, Baked Goods & Chocolate Samplers – Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade Certified Valentine’s Day Gift Guide covers the broad spectrum, from wine and baking ingredients to underwear!
  • Jewelry & Gifts –  Serrv’s  Valentine’s Day Collection dapples into unique gifts such as scarves, jewelry, decorations and of course…more chocolate.
  • Flowers –  If you are simply looking for flowers, order them online or by phone from One World Flowers, a fair trade flower supplier.

If you are planning a casual or romantic holiday, encourage a fair and equal market by supporting the farmers and producers who make your gifts. Keep that chocolate addiction a fair one and be sure to make a meaningful purchase with the many loving intentions that embody this season.

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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.