fast approaching, it’s time to prepare for the inevitable rush of
trick-or-treaters by stocking up on chocolate, adding devilish decorations to
your home and choosing a creepy costume. But before buying any Halloween candy,
take a minute to think about where chocolate comes from, and at what cost to
the environment and farming communities across the globe.
native to South America, but is now grown predominantly in West Africa, Southeast Asia, Brazil
Like coffee, cocoa can thrive under the shade of the forest canopy, where is
supports biodiversity by providing habitat for threatened plant and animal
species, protecting natural pollinators and creating biological corridors.
Photo: Rainforest Alliance
many cocoa farmers live in poverty and clear cut the forests to grow cocoa more
intensively under the sun. While this initially increases yields, it’s far from
sustainable and has a devastating effect on the environment, resulting in loss
of wildlife habitat, soil erosion and decreased soil fertility. In addition,
sun-grown cocoa requires heavy use of agrochemicals.
Rainforest Alliance is working in the West African countries of Côte d'Ivoire
and Ghana -- the world's largest cocoa producing nations -- to transform
the way small farmers manage their land, and in turn, the kind of cocoa that
winds up in your favorite Halloween candy. The Rainforest Alliance also trains
cocoa farmers in Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil
to grow their crops in a way that maximizes yields and environmental benefits
while promoting the rights of workers and their families. This ensures that
poor farmers can earn a decent living from their land while protecting their
cocoa farms can earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal of approval by
meeting the comprehensive criteria set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network. This
seal is a guarantee that farmers are protecting the environment and the rights
and welfare of workers.
Photo: J Henry Fair
You can support farmers and farm workers worldwide who are
working to improve their livelihoods and those of their families while
protecting the planet. This
Halloween stock up on chocolate treats that feature the Rainforest Alliance’s green
frog seal. Want more tips for how you can enjoy a spooky and sustainable holiday? Check out the Rainforest Alliance’s five
tips for a green Halloween:
Rainforest Alliance Certified™ chocolate
for Halloween treats. To help support healthy farmlands, forests and wildlife
habitat -- as well as the well-being of farm workers and their communities --
look for chocolate that features the Rainforest Alliance Certified green frog
certified chocolate here.
demonic decorations from Rainforest Alliance/Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
certified paper and cardboard. FSC certified wood products come from
well-managed forests that protect wildlife habitat as well as the rights and
well-being of forest workers. You can find FSC certified products at Staples,
Depot and Home Depot. Find a full
list of FSC products here.
your kids where their favorite chocolate treats come from and how they impact
people, wildlife and the planet. Visit the Rainforest Alliance’s Kids’ Corner! Play the
online game Track
it Back to learn where the cocoa in chocolate is grown and how it is
harvested! Also visit our virtual rainforest, “Living in the Chocó
Forests of Ecuador: The Chachi Cocoa Farmers.” (Brush up on your own
knowledge about cocoa farming
your little trick-or-treaters collect candy using reusable bags. Even better, use Rainforest
Alliance reusable bags -- your
gift with a $50 donation -- and they can promote our conservation work at
every house they haunt!
5) Make terrifyingly tasty treats with
Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate, bananas and coffee. Check out our list
Halloween Recipes” and find out
where you can find ingredients from certified farms.