late companies, social justice organizations, consumer and faith-based
groups who have banded together to
fight child labor in the cocoa industry.
One of the major projects of this coalition has been the Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign, which promotes
the use of fair trade chocolate for Halloween and year-round. Coalition
members provide kits which include a
piece of organic, fair trade chocolate
and informational cards that trick-or-treaters can pass out door to door.
Altogether, last year Equal Exchange
alone was able to reach over 200,000
Protecting the integrity of fair trade
has also been an issue that is very close
to the heart of the company, and as
fair trade has grown, Dickinson has
seen some changes that concern him.
One is the inclusion of large-scale
plantations in the fair trade system,
which he believes dilutes the original fair trade ideals and undermines small-
scale farmer co-ops. “Small farmers are happy with the success of fair trade so
far, but are concerned about where the model is going. They believe they are
losing control over the model that they helped create because so many large-
scale short-term commercial interests have taken control over setting standards
and making key decisions to the detriment of the small farmer organizations
that started the fair trade movement,” says Dickinson.
“The plantation model has been very controversial because it’s very top-down
and doesn’t allow small farmers to have much of a voice. We believe this is a
much weaker model than the original focus on small farmers. We would argue
”the other and creates credibility.”