Avoid Toxic Valentines!
This entry comes from the Organic Consumers' Association, a great group!
Valentine's Day 2008
Break the Chains of Toxic Pesticides and Farm Worker Exploitation
Watch the OCA's Valentine Movie!(One Minute Flash Animation)
Show your support for Fair Trade and Organics this Valentine's Day: Click here to send a letter to the editor of your local paper.
Valentines Day marks the biggest shopping day of the year, when it comes to chocolate and flowers. But did you know that by purchasing organic and Fair Trade chocolate and flowers (see our buying guide below), your consumer dollars will no longer be going towards toxic pesticides, child slavery, and farm worker exploitation?
Over 40 percent of the world’s conventional chocolate (i.e. non-organic and non-Fair Trade) comes from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), where the International Labor Organization (ILO) and US State Department have reported widespread instances of child slavery. Exploitation of cacao farmers and farm workers is the global norm in the chocolate industry, rather than the exception.
- Read the First Annual Report: Oversight of Public & Private Initiatives to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector in Cote d'Ivoire & Ghana (pdf) -
Meanwhile, organizations such as the Pesticide Action Network point out that commercial flowers, produced in countries such as Colombia, are the most toxic and heavily sprayed agricultural crops on Earth. Fortunately, since OCA first launched it's Valentines alerts several years ago, half of Colombia's flower acreage is now Florverde Certified (which requires better treatement of workers and more sustainable farming practices). Taking a step beyond that, there are an increasing number of retailers across the U.S. who are providing organic flowers (see our list below).
This Valentine’s Day, join with the Organic Consumers Association and our allies around the world to put your money where your values lie and to show your loved ones that you truly care. Please break the chains of industrial agriculture and corporate globalization by choosing Fair Trade and organic flowers and chocolate for your Valentine’s Day gifts.
Valentines Buying Guide
This buying guide includes a list of companies that sell Fair Trade and Organic flowers and chocolate and paperless/ recycled cards, and gifts. Whenever possible, buy local (many of these sites can lead you to local, independent retailers)
Tree Free Greetings 866-873-3373
Green Field Paper 888-402-9979
Bloomin’ Flower Cards 303-443-3591
Local Harvest -find your nearest co-op or natural food store
Fair Trade Federation
Ten Thousand Villages
Dr. Bronner's-organic, aromatic soaps and lotions with an all-one message
A Greater Gift
Indigenous Designs -natural fiber and Fair Trade clothing
Robert Sinskey Vineyards
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
The Organic Wine Company
Organic Wine Press
Biodynamic Monthly Wine Club
California Organic Flowers (100% Certified - Next Day Delivery Guarantee Nationwide)
Diamond Organic Flowers(Prices listed include overnight delivery)
Organic Bouquet (Be sure to request organic flowers, as most of their products are not organic)
Florverde Certified flowers come from a unique certification program that improve the lives and living standards of floral farm workers and their families. These are not organic, but are a big step in the right direction. Over 300 million Florverde certifed cut flowers will be sold this Valentines Day. Look for the certification.
Equal Exchange 774-776-7400 (long-time leaders in the Organic and Fair Trade movement)
Divine Chocolate 608-251-3766
Ithaca Fine Chocolates 607-257-7954
La Siembra/ Cocoa Camino 613-225-6122
Sweet Earth Chocolates805-544-7759
Shaman Chocolates 877-990-3337
2/13/07 - A Valentine's Day for People Who Love the Planetby Martin Hickman, The Indepen