This summer, chocolate lovers from coast to coast are leaving consumer alert message at supermarkets, asking other shoppers to think before they buy Hershey's child labor bars and choose Fair Trade instead. I wonder if they are listening at Hershey?
In a heart felt show of support for children a world away, consumers are taking a high-tech stand in supermarkets across the nation to inform other shoppers about the labor violations associated with Hershey's chocolate products. Folks are leaving smart phone-enabled "Consumer Alert" cards on the shelves in front of Hershey products, as well as on Hershey's S'mores promotional displays, reading: "Hershey's chocolate is tainted with child labor."
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|Hershey action alert QR code|
"For too long Hershey has ignored consumer requests to buy ethical, certified cocoa for its chocolate bars," said Maria Louzon, student organizer for USFT (United Students for Fair Trade). "We hope Hershey won't be able to ignore the message when it's placed on its products."
As you might imagine, summer is a major sales season for Hershey, and the company heavily promotes its iconic chocolate bars as an essential part of the S'mores recipe. With National S'mores Day coming up on August 10th, the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign is working hard to get the word out to consumers that they should choose Fair Trade for their favorite campfire treats. Until Hershey makes a commitment to ending child labor in its cocoa supply chain by making the move to Fair Trade certified cocoa, consumers must take a stand and work to help Hershey make the change to fair trade. I mean it's not like they haven't already made the commitment-what are they waiting for?
Almost 10 years after chocolate companies, including Hershey, committed to eliminating abusive child labor, forced labor and trafficking from their cocoa supply chains, these abuses continue on West African cocoa farms, where Hershey purchases the majority of its cocoa. That just isn't right! While many of the biggest chocolate companies have started to source cocoa that has been certified by independent, third-parties to comply with international labor standards, Hershey still hasn't begun instituting policies to responsibly source its cocoa.
|Find out how you can raise the bar by clicking the kiss!|
Over 42,000 consumers have taken action in the "Raise the Bar, Hershey!" campaign by sending e-mails, postcards, petitions, and making phone calls (their number is 1-800-468-1714 BTW), to the company asking it to end child labor. Do you feel like it's time for you raise the bar too?
There are so many ways to raise the bar this summer for children and participate in the campaign to push Hershey toward fair trade. You can check out the campaign , download a consumer alert card, print it out and film and upload your experiences. You can even register s'mores you make throughout the summer using Fair Trade Certified chocolate as part of the "We Want More From Our S'mores" effort. If you find yourself totally frantic this summer and strapped for time, take the easy peasy way to consumer action and sign the online petition on Change.org.
Whatever you choose to do to raise the bar for children, be sure to share this initiative by emailing this post to your friends and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. Then, pat yourself on the back for being a part of creating a brighter tomorrow for children. Your actions matter.
P.S.- I am really glad that you stopped by our Environmental Booty Blog and I hope you have learned or shared a thing or two. I hope that , now that you've found us, you won't lose us! You can "Like" us on our new Facebook fanpage, join our green living online community, subscribe to our posts, download our community toolbar or Tweet with me on Twitter to stay in touch! - Shane*