Halloween is more than a month away, but some people are gearing up for the trick-or-treating season with a new approach. This October, some kids in the United States and Canada will not only be receiving treats at doorsteps, but they will be giving them in return. This “Reverse Trick-or-Treating” is an effort to involve youth in making the Halloween tradition more socially just by handing adults samples of Fair Trade-certified chocolate. The chocolate will come with a card containing information about the various social- and environmental-justice issues associated with the cocoa industry, and what the Fair Trade movement is doing to help cocoa-growing farmers.
Reverse trick-or-treating was started three years ago to raise awareness about exploitative labor practices and to inform consumers about companies that follow Fair Trade child labor and environmental sustainability standards. The novel campaign helps to inform a broad cross-section of people while also offering a chance for consumers to make their own ethical statements by choosing fair trade products. In addition, the exchange of “treats” between hands and the participation of youth in such awareness-raising offer a personally enriching and educational experience that can set the tone for giving and information-sharing during the holidays.
This year, schools, religious groups, and other trick-or-treating groups that plan to participate can order kits for free (plus a nominal shipping and packaging cost) by October 1, and individuals can order by October 13.
For more information, Green America provides background material on Fair Trade, associated products (ranging from food to handicrafts and apparel), and North American Fair Trade retailers. Global Exchange provides resources for the media.