Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and for those of you looking to give a meaningful gift, we’re here to help. Show your loved ones how much you truly care by gifting something that supports workers' rights, protects the environment, and positively influences communities around the world.
Check out these Valentine’s Day gift ideas, and the inspiring stories of the hardworking farmers and workers that made these gifts possible.
Americans will buy more than 189 million stems of roses this Valentine's Day, the majority of which will travel all the way from Ecuador and Colombia before they’re sold to doting beaus. You can make sure that your long-stemmed symbols of love positively impact the lives of farm workers (many of whom are women) by looking for bouquets bearing the Fair Trade Certified logo.
is a family-owned flower estate located in Cayambe, Ecuador, a region known as the The Cayambe center of Ecuador’s flower industry. In recent years the flower workers at Hoja Verde have elected to spend part of their Fair Trade Community Development Premiums on medical services for specialized preventative and urgent care.
Children and youth who attend school may receive reimbursements for medicines and vitamins purchased. The fund covers 85 percent of the refunds for a maximum of $60 per person. This medical support program also includes vaccinations, benefiting over 100 workers and 150 children.
Even though Americans spend $16 billion a year on decadent cocoa products, cocoa farmers face tremendous instability and extreme poverty. Fair Trade certification ensures that cocoa farmers receive a fair price for their harvest, creates direct trade links between farmers and buyers, and provides access to affordable credit. Fair Trade also strictly prohibits slave and child labor.
Confederación Nacional de Cacaocultores Dominicanos, or CONACADO
, is one of the island country’s top three cocoa producing and exporting entities. Founded in 1988 as a response to low global cocoa prices, CONACADO aims to decrease members' dependency on middlemen by exporting their products directly to consumer markets.
CONACADO has formed a Women’s Community Group. They help women jumpstart small businesses like selling crafts or making jam and chocolate wine. The cooperative also dedicated Fair Trade funds and volunteer time to build a playground for local kids, and an aqueduct system.
Nothing completes a Valentine’s Day dinner like a freshly prepared dessert. There are many high-quality Fair Trade Certified ingredients available for baking: baking mixes
, and coffee
The Alter Trade Cooperative
is located on the island of Negros in the Philippines, and was created in 1997 to fight poverty by helping sugarcane workers gain access to land, resources and markets.
The cooperative promotes environmentally friendly production through the development of sustainable agriculture and organic farming technology at the producer organizations level. Specifically, they provide incentives to organic production in the form of collateral-free loan package, subsidies for organic inputs, and seeds for diversification.