2013: Valentine's Day Gift Ideas: Skip Chocolate
PolicyMic's own Sylvia Camaj has uncovered the dark side of chocolate. According to her report, during the week of Valentine's Day, consumers will buy more than $58 million pounds of chocolate candy, "racking in $345 million in sales and accounting for 5.1% of total annual sales." But there is a problem.
According to the International Labor Rights Forum, 40% of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa's Ivory Coast. The Department of State estimates that 109,000 children work "under the worst forms of child labor" there, suffering abuse that ranges from beatings to working long hours, utilizing dangerous work tools and being exposed to pesticides and brutal weather conditions for cocoa production.
So, as you consider giving your significant other chocolate this Valentine's Day, consider being a little bit more creative this year with this alternate idea.