I thought that with Easter coming up we should probably have a quick chat about chocolate and the difference between what is and isn’t eco!
Have a watch of my chat here, or read a rough transcript below. If you want to shop for ethical chocolate I have a great range available on the website now.
I know Easter isn’t all about Chocolate and I am very keen for my girls to know why we celebrate Easter, but there is no denying that we all love a bit of chocolate as well, so we should try to make that as eco as possible.
What is Eco chocolate I hear you ask!?
Well, it is chocolate products that are made ethically, sustainably, without exploiting farmers, without using palm oil and that isn’t wrapped in plastic.
It sounds pretty straightforward when laid out like that, but fair trade chocolate companies go to a lot of effort to make sure that every ingredient they use is sourced correctly.
When researching for my chocolate stock I learnt a lot about the chocolate making process.
Typically (with the big chocolate corporations), it involves farmers not earning very much money (78 cents per day sometimes), and therefore being forced to live in poverty and sometimes use child slave labour as a way to cut costs. There is also a lot of evidence that thousands of people, adults and children, are being forced into modern slave labour, growing cocoa, and not being paid a penny for it.
The smaller, more conscious companies (who I work with), make sure that the cocoa they use comes from sustainable farms, where the farmers and employees are paid a fair wage.
They do not use palm oil in their recipes so that they are not contributing to the deforestation of rainforests in order for palm oil trees to be planted.
The smaller companies also make sure that they use plastic free, fully recyclable or compostable packaging, lessening the environmental impact even further.
And honestly – this chocolate is actually better for you too. It doesn’t contain anywhere near as many processed sugars, additives and other ‘bits’. A lot of the chocolate is also ‘free from’ which means that those with dairy, gluten or other intolerances can enjoy it too.
Buying fair trade chocolate can seem like small fry with all of the huge global problems going on at the moment. And I totally can see why it might seem like it’s not worth the worry.
But put yourself in the position of the cocoa farmer or the orang-utan who are being forced out of their homes or living in the most dire conditions.
I sometimes get asked why the chocolate I sell costs a lot more than say, a bar of Cadburys or a bag of Nestle chocolates. There are two very simple answers. Firstly, it is so much tastier so it deserves to be more expensive. And secondly, you are helping to pay farmers in West Africa and decent wage to live off.
I’m hoping that this doesn’t sound too preachy, it really isn’t supposed to at all. You can head to any of my suppliers websites and read more in-depth on what they are trying to do change this inequality and you can support them in that mission by buying their chocolate this Easter instead of something from the usual suspects.
If you want to buy ethical chocolate right now, or for a gift for future, you can follow the link above. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!