Girl Scouts: Switch to Fair Trade Chocolate In Your Thin Mint Cookies

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Girl Scouts are doing wonderful and incredible things for girls all over the world. But in order to keep their promise to offer "every girl a chance to do something amazing," they must do one more thing. It is a way for Girl Scouts to make an even greater impact on the world, to give many more girls the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. The Girl Scouts can give hope to thousands more girls, by doing just this one thing.

The Girl Scouts must switch their chocolate to fair trade chocolate. It’s that simple! The chocolate that the Girl Scouts are currently using for their Thin Mint cookies is sourced from farms that utilize child slaves and laborers to harvest cocoa beans. Many of these slaves are young girls, ages ten to twelve.

Fair trade chocolate ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in innovative agricultural techniques, and strictly prohibits slave and child labor. While fair trade chocolate is slightly more expensive, that money is going to certified African farmers, rather than enabling child labor and slavery. Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of Girl Scouts, has said, “Here’s what I’m about: I want to get more girls, more families into the Girl Scout Movement so that we can change their lives- their destinies- forever. Let’s start now!” By making this change from traditional chocolate to fair trade chocolate, the Girl Scouts can live up to their CEO's words and can indeed change the lives and destinies of fellow girls in other parts of the world.

Girl Scouting builds a girl's courage, confidence, and character- something that is being stripped from those child laborers forced to harvest cocoa instead of go to school. By switching to fair trade chocolate, the Girl Scouts can help rebuild communities in Africa and set an example of being considerate, caring, honest, fair, and courageous.

“Truly, ours is a circle of friendships, united by our ideals,” said Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts. She believed that, together, girls can change the world. Around the world, there are 1.9 million Girl Scouts, all of whom are capable of great things. Switching their famous Thin Mint cookies to fair trade chocolate would not only change millions more lives, but it would draw more attention to this issue and perhaps bring pressure to bigger chocolate companies who are also guilty of this practice.

Fair Trade chocolate is worth the extra investment in chocolate and quality of life. By making this change, Girl Scouts would no longer be funding the promotion of child labor for cocoa beans in Africa. If the Girl Scouts Association switches their Thin Mint cookies to fair trade chocolate, then we can make the world a better place for our African sisters. By making this change, the Girl Scouts would be living up to their purpose and motto.

-Written by Samantha Perez, age 14, of Eastside High School in Lancaster, CA



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