Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fair Trade Chocolate

In my last post I talked about Fair Trade Month and a common theme in the comments was chocolate. This is not really a surprised but made me think a post all about Fair Trade chocolate was in order.

The annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages around 600,000 tons per year. That's a lot of chocolate. Do you know where your chocolate comes from? Well, 70% of the world’s chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast where most of the chocolate is farmed using child and forced labor. Don't worry, thanks to Fair Trade you can have your chocolate and support fair labor. Fair Trade certified products ensure that the product is made using fair wages, fair labor, and is sustainable. Here are a few of the great Fair Trade chocolate brands out there for you to try.

Other brands include Green & Black, Theo, and Sweet Earth Chocolates. Do you have other brands you like? If you haven't already tried Fair Trade chocolate are you going to now?


Green Bean said...

I have tried lots of fair trade chocolate and I have to say that I haven't yet found one that I love. :( They are all a bit too dark or rich for me. I'm a milk chocolate kind of girl. Any ideas?

Melanie, One Wellness said...

Check out reverse trick or treating at www.reversetrickortreating.org to find ways to spread awareness for fair and sustainable chocolate.

Give fair chocolate back and teach your children the value of believing in a better tomorrow.

There is a free download of a flier you can give too.

Melanie, One Wellness said...

I believe Equal Exchange makes a milk chocolate. Haven't tried it cuz I live for the dark, but they have very good chocolate.

Erica said...

Theo is (to this Seattlite) a local company with a fab in-house tour. They go from unroasted bean to finished bar in house, under one roof, and will show you the whole process. Plus you get lots of samples! If you are ever in Seattle, make a point to go. Theo rocks. And the curried milk chocolate is so good it's wrong. I think they have a plain milk chocolate bar too. Just come to take the tour - you *will* find one you love. ;)

Kate said...

I've also heard that no organic cacao is grown on the Ivory Coast, so if you buy organic (in the absence of a fair trade option) it's better since that is where the labor conditions are the worst. I don't know that with absolute certainty, and I can't remember where I heard it so I can't quote sources. Does anyone else know more about that?

Kate said...

@Green Bean-
Equal Exchange does in fact make a milk chocolate (I find it delicious!) and I think Green & Black's might too.

Julia said...

you can also look for the rainforest alliance certified seal on chocolate like newman's own, which guarantees that the farms met social AND environmental standards

Green Bean said...

Thanks for feeding my habit, everyone! :) I'll look for Equal Exchange.

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

I totally needed this post. Thank you for all the suggestions, Retro Housewife and others. Luckily, I'm partial to dark chocolate, so it seems that I will have plenty of options!

Lisa Sharp said...

Green Bean: Divine is my favorite milk chocolate bar. Green & Black is another option that is easier to find, it's good but I don't like it as much as Divine.

Melanie: LOVE Reverse Trick or Treating. I wish I had known about it as a kid, I so would have loved doing that.

And yes I think Equal Exchange also has a milk chocolate bar.

Eria: Theo is awesome. I haven't had much of it because it's hard to find around here but it is a cool brand.

Kate: I haven't heard that but sadly even if it's not from the Ivory Coast chances are high that it is still unethical.

Julia: I know less about that certification but my understanding is that it's more on the sustainable side and less on the human rights. But if that's all you can find it's far better than nothing for sure!

Betsy: Yes dark chocolate is easier to find in Fair Trade so you are in luck. I'm not a big dark chocolate fan so I'm not as much help in this area haha.

Dea-chan said...

Just keep in mind who you're buying chocolate for. My chocolate snob fiance refuses to buy anything other than Valrhona single origins (Medecasse being the best). Would rather not have chocolate than have any other. (And yes, he's tried all of the ones listed in this list :-P)

Whoa, my word verification is condo? A real word?

Lisa Sharp said...

Dea-chan: Keep trying, there are new options out there all the time. :)


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