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Valentine's Day 2012
from Organic Consumers Association
Editor's Note from Susan Lutz: Unchain Your Heart! True love is action in motion. Find a way to say you care the most by giving organic and Fair Trade gifts. Check out the Organic Consumer's Associations great suggesstions.
Join 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 by choosing Fair Trade and organic flowers and chocolate for your Valentine’s Day gifts.
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.
Break the Chains of Toxic Pesticides and Farm Worker Exploitation
Valentines Day marks the biggest shopping day of the year, when it comes to chocolate and flowers. By purchasing organic and Fair Trade chocolate and flowers (see our buying guide), your money will no longer be going towards toxic pesticides, child slavery, and farm worker exploitation.
Oversight of Public & Private Initiatives to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector in Cote d'Ivoire & Ghana (pdf)
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 norm in the chocolate industry.
Organizations such as Pesticide Action Network point out that commercial flowers, produced in Colombia and elsewhere, are the most toxic and heavily sprayed agricultural crops on Earth.
Since OCA first launched it's Valentines alerts several years ago, half of Colombia's flower acreage has become Florverde Certified (which requires better treatment of workers and more sustainable farming practices). There are an increasing number of retailers across the US who are providing organic flowers.
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About The Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 76 million organic and socially responsible consumers.
The OCA represents over one million members, subscribers and volunteers, including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic marketplace. Our US and international policy board is broadly representative of the organic, family farm, environmental, and public interest community.
The Organic Consumers Association was formed in 1998 in the wake of the mass backlash by organic consumers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's controversial proposed national regulations for organic food. Through the OCA's SOS (Safeguard Organic Standards) Campaign, as well as the work of our allies in other organizations, the organic community over the last eight years has been able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of consumers to pressure the USDA and organic companies to preserve strict organic standards. In its public education, network building, and mobilization activities such as its Breaking the Chains campaign, OCA works with a broad range of public interest organizations to challenge industrial agriculture, corporate globalization, and the Wal-Martization of the economy, and inspire consumers to "Buy Local, Organic, and Fair Made."