Want to buy union-made Halloween candy this year? Stick to products made by Ghirardelli, Tootsie Roll Industries, Jelly Belly, and NECCO. Those are the only reliably union-made national brand Halloween candies, made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union. Ghirardelli is known for its namesake chocolates. Tootsie makes the iconic Tootsie Roll chewy candy and Tootsie Roll Pops, as well as Junior Mints, Andes mints, and Dubble Bubble bubble gum. Jelly Belly makes jelly beans and Halloween candy corn. And NECCO is a family of brands, the best known of which are Clark bars and Mary Jane chews.
The Bakers Union also represents workers at plants making Hershey and Nestlé brand candies, but those companies make the same candies at non-union locations, so it can be hard to know where a purchase originated — except when candy is imported.
Bakers Union spokesperson Corrina Christensen said big brands like Hershey are also making candy in low-wage foreign countries for sale in the U.S. market, including candy made in Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Jamaica. Imported candy, like other food, is required to have a country-of-origin label. If it is labeled as such, Christensen suggests, don’t buy it.
Finally, to make buy-union dollars go even further, purchase Halloween candy at QFC, Safeway, Albertsons or Fred Meyer, where workers are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers.
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