Valentine’s Day the Fair-trade Way

UU Service CommitteePrograms

UUWC wishes you a Valentines Day filled with love and laughter.  We also hope you will consider a few things when choosing gifts for those you love.

For flower farmers, fair trade certification means more than just a fair wage.  It requires that farms provide employee benefits including 12 weeks maternity leave and child care. Read more  about the growers.  Each fair-trade flower sold by the Hoja Verde flower farm in Ecuador, enables the cooperative to send one more child to school.  from Bread for the World blog

We are all looking for the best value for our money.  But the least expensive often comes with hidden costs.

  • Harvesting cocoa is dangerous work with long hours. Children laboring on cocoa farms must cut cacao pods down from high branches with machetes, split them open, and scoop out the beans, while they are also exposed to harmful pesticides without the necessary protective equipment. What’s more, the children who labor under these conditions are unable to attend school or to pursue other avenues for safe and sustainable work that could bring them and their families out of extreme poverty.
  • A similar picture emerges when it comes to flowers. Many of the roses and carnations grown in South America are exported to be sold in American florist shops. In many of the flower plantations in countries with big cut-flower industries, such as Colombia and Ecuador, pervasive problems include poor health and safety conditions (especially pesticide exposure), the use of child labor, sexual harassment, and targeting of union organizers.

from UU Service Committee

If you choose to put your dollars to work creating a world that protects workers and the earth, here are some links:

Buy Fair Trade and support a local business at

Flowers & Chocolate

to learn more about the issues, see >>

Tainted love: The dirty truth behind America’s traditional valentines

Child Labor: The Hidden Ingredient to the Billion-Dollar Chocolate Industry?

many more products