Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Fair Trade

Economic action to create a just global economy for farmers and artisans


Valentine's Day Actions:
Fair Trade Activities for the Classroom

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are engaging more groups and individuals than ever before—to join us in calling on Hershey to go Fair Trade—and this time we are getting the kids involved!

Teachers from Seattle to Shanghai will be using Valentine's Day as an opportunity to discuss the problem of child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa, and help their students to take action!

We have organized three activities you can do in the classroom to get the kids involved:

  • Activity 1 – Make a Valentine – (Great for grades K through 6):
    Make a Valentine and send it to the CEO of Hershey, asking Hershey to go Fair Trade, or use a pdf valentine flyer that we will make available. We want Hershey to receive thousands of Valentines.
    Click here to download a PDF Valentine Postcard

    All Valentines can be sent to:
    The Hershey Company
    Attn: David West, CEO
    100 Crystal A Drive
    Hershey, PA 17003

    You can also scan your Valentine and email it to us at to be featured on the Raise the Bar, Hershey! Campaign website.

  • Activity 2 – Film Screening – (Great for grades 6-12):
    Join in the “National Week of Action” for screening The Dark Side of Chocolate by hosting a screening of the film in your classroom. This film is about 45 minutes and takes a behind the scenes look at cocoa farms in Cote D’Ivoire. After the film, we encourage the audience to discuss the issues, and sign a petition to Hershey, asking Hershey to go Fair Trade. We are able to distribute the film for the cost of postage and replication ($6).
    Click here to watch the film’s trailer
    Click here to order the DVD online and the Screening kit (including background info on the issue and discussion questions, $6)

  • Activity 3 – Discussion and Actions – (great for all ages):
    Learning about the issues in the cocoa industry can be a bit upsetting, but it’s important to remember that every one of us is capable of affecting change. After discussing some of the truths about chocolate, you can point to alternatives to slave-made chocolate and actions that each individual consumer can take.

    Here are three simple actions individuals can take to make change:
    • 1. Send a Valentine to Hershey or sign the petition (online or hardcopy) to speak out to Hershey, requesting Fair Trade
    • 2. Buy Fair Trade chocolate in the meantime. Check out our chocolate scorecard for a few brands to look for.
    • 3. Tell others! Tell your friends and family about these issues and prompt them to take the same actions. Ultimately, Hershey has to listen to their customers.

Finally, Global Exchange, our ally in this campaign, has developed curriculum about Fair Trade and chocolate. You can download the lesson plans here.

To learn more about our campaign you can visit You may find the report posted there especially useful in learning about this issue.


Sign up
Get our latest news, actions, green tips & discounts.

Order the Guide to Ending Sweatshops
Guide to Ending Sweatshops
Get our popular guide to ending sweatshops - including resources for buying sweatshop-free, companies to avoid, ways to take action, and more!
Get the Guide ยป