Scary, Creepy, Spooky … But Is It Fair Trade?

If a child knocks on your door this Halloween and hands you candy, chances are you’ve just been reverse trick-or-treated by Global Exchange. The human rights organization has hit on a novel way of getting the word out about fair trade practices: they’re giving kids trial sizes of fair trade chocolate bars attached to an information card to hand out at houses while trick-or-treating.

The card reads, in part, “Like Halloween, chocolate should be a source of joy for all children, including those in countries where cocoa is grown. Unfortunately, that is not the case today. Despite six years of promises from major chocolate manufacturers little has been done to tackle the documented problem of forced child labor on many farms that supply their cocoa. Moreover, low cocoa prices have left cocoa farmers in poverty year after year.”

Kind of a bummer on a holiday that’s best known for sugar rushes, but the cause is a good one, even if canvassing for it is tricky. Can tots as young as four (such as Oliver, in the press release) really understand the complexities of global trade enough to want to willingly hand out the candy on their own? Global Exchange is betting yes. It says that thousands of kids in the U.S. and Canada will be reverse trick-or-treating this year, so be ready to defend your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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