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The High Cost of Cheap

There is a human cost to cheap chocolate. And the question is, are we willing to support child slavery in order to have the privilege of inexpensive candy?

There is a great alternative, though. Fair Trade certified products, including chocolate, are produced via a system that pays workers fairly, cuts out middlemen, and protects the environment.

Buying Fair Trade chocolate ensures decent living wages for workers, and that children will not be exploited. That they will get an education, rather than being forced to work in the fields. While it is a bit more expensive than other chocolate, the price reflects the fact that a living wage is paid to the workers who harvest it. It's also a higher quality product.

There are a number of great websites that sell Fair Trade chocolate, coffee, clothing, jewelry and more—such as www.serrv.org or www.globalexchange.org. They have a special program going for Halloween where you can handout out Fair Trade chocolate through "reverse trick-or-treating."

I've also found Fair Trade food at places like Whole Foods and Target. Ask for it where you shop. Let stores know that you will buy Fair Trade if they stock it. And contact candy companies to let them know you object to their business practices.

Halloween and Christmas are coming—times when we buy candy and gifts. Why not lead a ministry of giving Fair Trade chocolate to trick-or-treaters, or put Fair Trade trinkets in Christmas stockings?

In Isaiah 58:6, God tells his people: "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?"

You can either loosen the chains of injustice, or pull them tighter by simply ignoring the situation.

October23, 2009 at 4:19 PM

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