A Sweeter Lenten Promise
Make your Lenten promise sweeter this year
by choosing to purchase only Fair Trade chocolate.
For Catholics and Christians, the season of Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter. It is meant to be a time to reflect on our relationship with God. The traditional three components to this season are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. People will “give up” something for those 40 days as a sacrifice. We do this in an effort to “remove things in our lives that get in the way of our relationship with God” and to stand in solidarity with the poor. Sometimes, we forget these components of Lent and choose to give up something arbitrary.
Growing up, I mostly gave up foods that I liked, like candy or chocolate. I did not put too much thought into it other than choosing something that would be difficult for me to do. In college I started to think of Lenten promises in a different light. I wanted my Lenten sacrifice to be more meaningful. I tried to do something positive like volunteering or regular prayer instead of giving up something.
During Lent we consider how we can eliminate things from our lives that will allow us to become better versions of ourselves and deepen our relationship with God. What we decide to give up often has a direct connection to some sustainable change we would like to make in our lives.
By purchasing Fair Trade chocolate, I will be standing up for fair wages and safe working conditions for farmers, and supporting responsible environmental stewardship.
For my Lenten promise this year, I’ve decided to give up a non Fair Trade item and swap it for a Fair Trade version. For 40 days, I will not purchase or consume any chocolate that is not Fair Trade. This will make me stop and think about the purchases I make every day, and become more conscious of the hands that went into creating the products I consume. Through this, I will see how accessible Fair Trade products are in my community. I will also take the time to educate myself through books, articles, and videos about the dark side of cocoa farming and the impact that Fair Trade makes.
In conventional cocoa farming, child labor and forced labor are often used to harvest the cacao. There are an estimated two million children working on cocoa farms today. Farmers are often paid a low price for their crops, and the market is unstable, with prices fluctuating widely. Local environments are negatively impacted by the pesticides and chemicals used on the trees.
By purchasing Fair Trade chocolate, I will be standing up for fair wages and safe working conditions for farmers, and supporting responsible environmental stewardship. I am guaranteed that there has been no child or forced labor used on Fair Trade certified farms. And through the Fair Trade premium, money will be invested back into cocoa farming communities.
Make your Lenten promise sweeter this year by choosing to purchase only Fair Trade chocolate. Some of my favorites are: Divine Dark Chocolate Bars, Alter Eco Truffles, & Almond with Sea Salt Bark Thins! And the best part is, you still get to eat chocolate!
- Fair Trade Cocoa 101 – Fair Trade Campaigns
- The Dark Side of Chocolate (video)
- Inside Big Chocolate’s Child Labor Problem – Fortune
- Is There Child Labor in Your Chocolate? – Huffington Post
- How to Practice Lent – CRS Rice Bowl
- Why Shop Ethically – CRS Ethical Trade
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