The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

Kind 101, Seasonal

Give a little extra love this Valentine’s Day

Flowers?  Chocolate? Perhaps a little wine?  Looking to share your love this Valentine’s Day? What if the gift you choose brings a smile to your loved one’s face and to those who made it?

When you buy a gift with the Fair Trade Certified™ label, you know that the farmers who produced it are paid fair prices, earn healthcare benefits, receive education and earn development funds to improve their communities. This is a huge step up from buying conventional flowers, but in order to be truly kind, it is best to seek both Fair Trade and Organic certifications. Fair Trade does a tremendous job at promoting labor rights and community development, but not all Fair Trade certified farms are organic. Therefore, when flowers lack the double certification, flower laborers and the surrounding environment are exposed to extremely toxic chemicals. Did you know that one fifth of the chemicals used in flower production in South America (for example DDT and methyl-bromide) are restricted or banned in the United States and Europe? Exposure to these chemicals has serious consequences for the flower laborers. In Colombia, two-thirds of the flower laborers suffer from impaired vision, respiratory and neurological issues- and for female laborers- stillbirths and babies born with malfunctions.

It’s simple. Looking for the Fair Trade and Organic label when you choose a bouquet of flowers can impact the earth and the life and farmer like Elvia in Ecuador. Supporters of Fair Trade have helped Elvia and her two daughters pursue their education. By day, Elvia works hard packing beautiful roses at the Agrogana flower farm in Cotopaxi, Ecuador and at night you’ll find her at the adult school program that was funded by the Fair Trade premium. As a member of the farm’s Fair Trade committee, she and her co-workers have invested the Fair Trade premiums to establish a children’s reading program, health clinics and a shopping club for low-priced groceries.

Fair Trade Valentine's Day

There are countless stories like Elvia’s thanks to Fair Trade. Here are a few Fair Trade gift ideas that will bring even more meaning to Valentine’s Day this year.

  • Roses: The majority of roses purchased for Valentine’s Day this year will travel all the way from Ecuador and Colombia. You can make sure that your long-stemmed symbols of love make a difference by looking for bouquets bearing the Fair Trade Certified and Organic Certified logo. One World Flowers and your local Whole Foods Market both have a good selection of choices.

Fair Trade Valentine's Day

Fair Trade Valentine's Day

Looking to turn up the heat a bit? Pour your sweetheart a steaming cup of Lake Champlain Spicy Aztec hot chocolate. This cocoa from Mexico is spiced with cinnamon, has a light kick of cayenne and a hint of vanilla.

Fair Trade Valentine's Day

  • Wine & Spirits: Add a little color to your dinner table with red and pink drinks. Whether your Valentine prefers wine or a cocktail, there are delicious drink options that will make you feel good about your purchase. House of Mandela Thembu Collection ensures that wine lovers around the world can enjoy a product that fosters real change, while FAIR. spirits are made from the highest quality Fair Trade quinoa.

Fair Trade Valentine's Day

For more information on Fair Trade, and for other Valentine’s Day gift ideas and recipes with Fair Trade ingredients, follow Fair Trade USA on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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  • Jean-Michel Bergeron

    I watched a report on TV about cocoa farmers in Colombia, many of them plant coca trees in addition of cocoa ones because growing only cocoa bring them barely enough money to eat… One crop of coca trees can bring as much as 90000$, and the climate is so good in Colombia that they can do as much as 4 crops a years…

  • Kathleen Cairns

    Trader Joe’s sells great organic fair trade coffee!!!

  • Cici

    I saw this post yesterday, later I went to Safeway (for celery) and found the Riot bars! I bought the quinoa crunch and it taste like a Crunch Bar only better and as we all know way healthier. Thanks so much for introducing us to new and exciting fair trade vegan products. Happy Valentines Day!