Valentine’s Day in Hershey

Very early, and not quite yet bright, we jumped in the car and headed north…for Hershey, PA.  At 9:00am we met Jasper Perry-Anderson, a Philadelphia eighth grader who created an online petition encouraging the company to increase its commitment to ethically sourced cocoa to prevent abusive child labor on the cocoa farms from where it sources.

In just two weeks, Jasper’s petition on Change.org gained more than 16,000 signatures from individuals around the world.  In addition to the petitions  we delivered more than 500 Valentines made by kids for the members of the Hershey Trust.  These Valentines were made by students from across the country, though largely from New York State thanks to NYSUT  and the New York Labor Religion Coalition.  The Valentines contained statements like “This Valentine’s Day, I want to give my Valentine chocolate from laborers who have earned fair wages” and “We have feelings and so do Africa’s kids. They suffer.” Continue reading “Valentine’s Day in Hershey”

Push Hershey to take action on Fair Trade by Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching, chocolate companies are poised to rake in the profits from consumers stocking up for trick-or-treating. This is precisely the moment that Hershey does not want a public relations disaster, so our Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign is pulling out all the stops.

We’ve teamed up with Change.org, an online platform for social change, to send targeted messages about Fair Trade to five of Hershey’s top executives. We’ve already recruited more than 47,000 signers, but we need more! Please sign our petition today!

Change.org made this timely video to illustrate what’s wrong with Hershey’s chocolate, and to inspire everyone to sign the petition and not buy Hershey chocolate. Watch now and please share with your friends this Halloween!

Also, this weekend, Raise the Bar, Hershey! supporters will be leading three simultaneous actions in front of the Hershey stores in New York City, Chicago, and Niagara Falls, collecting more petition signers and letting consumers know about the child labor issues that plague Hershey’s chocolate. To join one of these actions, please e-mail our Fair Trade Director, Elizabeth O’Connell.

Finally, next Tuesday, Elizabeth will drive directly to Hershey’s headquaters in Pennsylvania to deliver the signed petitions to company representatives in person. Right now is the moment to turn up the heat on Hershey.

Please sign our petition telling Hershey to commit to
buying Fair Trade certified chocolate »

We Want More From Our S’mores

We’re kicking off the summer camping and picnic season this July Fourth with a new way to support Fair Trade and put pressure on Hershey to clean up its supply chain.

Please join us in our new “we want more from our s’mores” campaign and make all of your summertime s’mores with Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate. (Find the best companies ranked on our chocolate scorecard.)

Then, to join with thousands of others who are using their summertime snacks to take a stand for Fair Trade, here’s the plan:

  1. Register your s’mores — Between now and the week of Labor Day, we’ll cumulatively total how many Fair Trade s’mores have been made across the United States. (You can find vegan marshmallow recipes here.)
  2. Send us Hershey petitions — At your s’mores event (or any event) collect signatures demanding better from Hershey. Send them in, and we’ll forward them on to Hershey at the end of the summer.
  3. Send us a photo — We’re also collecting a “photo petition” for Hershey. Print out these signs (or make your own), and send us a photo asking Hershey to go Fair Trade.
  4. Host a Dark Side screening — The film The Dark Side of Chocolate takes you behind the scenes and onto the cocoa farms of the Ivory Coast where children are trafficked to work harvesting cocoa beans. Share this film in your community to raise awareness of the problems in the chocolate supply chain.

Also, remember when you shop for your s’mores to ask for Fair Trade chocolate if your supermarket doesn’t carry it, or thank them if they do. You can find resources to help “Fair Trade Your Supermarket” on our campaign site.

What do we want? Fair Trade! When? Now!

Wednesday June 8th was a sizzling day to be in Times Square, and not just because it was 97 degrees and sunny! Students and others from across New York and even further came together in front of the Hershey store to say “What do we want? Fair Trade? When do we want it? Now!”

In fact, so many people showed up for the “Raise the Bar, Hershey” Rally that we had to expand to both sides of Broadway. We shouted call and response chants from one side of the street to the other to make sure that everyone in Times Square could hear what we were asking for.

Students from Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, New Jersey and others came to the rally as a field trip, since they had been learning about social justice in their classrooms. Many of them had made posters with original messages like “Hershey Tastes Good, Feels Bad”. See pictures from the rally here.

Continue reading “What do we want? Fair Trade! When? Now!”