Chocolate is one of the most delicious foods in the world – but am sure you will feel bad knowing that your favorite Chocolate Bar has cost another man his future or life. So, insisting on getting Fair Trade Chocolate is where the real deal lies.
The hard truth is that a bar of chocolate from a certified ethical supply chain tastes just as good as it does from a supply chain filled with slave labour and destructive practices.
And unfortunately, there is a good chance some of your favorite chocolate companies are engaging in these unethical practices.
So, we know that chocolate is good for us. But what about the farmers who grow it? The International Labor Organization estimates that 250 million child slaves work to produce many of our daily purchases such as coffee and cocoa.
As you can imagine, slave laborers are exploited for their jobs, have to work long hours with little or no wages, and have few rights.
In this piece, we will exhaustively discuss all you need about fair trade chocolate and the top companies the produce them.
What is Fair Trade Chocolate?
Fair Trade chocolate is chocolate made from cocoa beans that have either been promised by the manufacturer or, better yet, a third-party certification group, within the framework of ethical and fair guidelines.
Chocolate should be so much more than candy. It’s a superfood full of antioxidants and cardiovascular benefits. Studies show that chocolate boosts energy, reduces stress, increases focus, and even improves maternal health.
Why are Fair Trade products important?
There are currently millions of hardworking farmers in developing countries who produce food that ends up in our shopping baskets and who are not paid enough to support their families.
When we buy fair trade products, we vote for the ethical treatment of workers around the world who are responsible for the food we eat.
Fair trade certification means not only that workers are paid fairly, but also that farmers have safe and environmentally friendly working conditions.
These fair-trade chocolate brands have made it an integral part of their mission to forge lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships by using fair trade and direct trade practices with the farmers who grow their cocoa crops.
When we buy food without thinking about where it came from or who made it, we become part of the problem by feeding the exploitation.
By choosing Fair Trade products, however, farmers get a better supply and a more stable income so that they can feed, raise and care for their children.
When farmers sell their crops through Fair Trade cooperatives and plantations, they get more money to reinvest in better farming methods, clean water and improving the health of their communities.
What does the Fair-Trade Mark mean?
Fair Trade International is the world’s most recognized ethical label. The Mark means that the ingredients in the product have been manufactured by smallholder organizations that meet the social, economic and environmental standards of Fair Trade.
These standards include the protection of the environment, workers’ rights and the payment of the Fair-Trade minimum price and an additional Fair-Trade premium for investments in business or community projects.
Fair Trade facts and figures
- There are 1.65 million farmers and workers in Fair Trade certified producer organizations.
- There are a total of 1,226 Fair Trade producer organizations in 74 countries.
- A quarter of all Fair-Trade workers are women.
- Farmers and workers’ organizations own 50% of the global Fair-Trade system.
- On plantations, 26% of workers spent their Fair-Trade premiums on education.
- The largest quantities of Fair Trade foods sold worldwide are bananas, coffee beans, sugar, and cocoa beans.
- However, other Fair Trade products include wine, tea, cotton, flowers, rice, orange juice, and gold.
Top Fair Trade Chocolate Companies
Here is the list of the Fair-Trade Chocolate Companies you can go for and be sure of getting quality Fair Trade Chocolates.
- Alter Eco Foods
- Theo Chocolate
- Equal Exchange
- Endangered Species Chocolate
- Beyond Good
- Loving Earth
- Divine Chocolate
#1. Alter Eco Foods
Best For | Truffle lovers, eco-friendly practices
Price Per Bar | $7–$9
Alter Eco is a certified Corporation. They are fair trade, GMO-free and organic certified, use compostable packaging, and offset carbon emissions by planting thousands of trees in their supply chains.
At Alter Eco, they believe that the happiness and future of the families who grow our food are as important as our own. Their Fair Trade truffles and chocolates are made from pure, high-fat superfood coconut oil.
And without preservatives, without soy, and without palm kernel oil. These little bundles of yummy decadent glee have everything you love – and are good for you and the planet too.
#2. Theo Chocolate
Best For | Social impact, variety of flavors
Price Per Bar | $3–$10
Theo Chocolate is committed to making our world a better place and they are finding ways to achieve this through their passion for getting the most out of the cocoa bean.
Her commitment and passion for social and environmental responsibility have led her to work with organizations such as the Eastern Congo Initiative, the Jane Goodall Institute and the World Bicycle Relief.
Theo Chocolate is the country’s first organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory. The rationale behind Theo Chocolate is that the best artisanal chocolate in the world can (and should) be made in a completely ethical and sustainable way.
Best For | True Dark Chocolate lovers (72%-100% Cocoa), handcrafted
Price Per Bar | $5
All eatingEVOLVED chocolate is free of gluten, dairy, or soy. In fact, they use the fewest physically possible ingredients to make chocolate.
No trash, no fillers, just Fair Trade cocoa of the highest quality, lightly sweetened with organic maple sugar sourced directly from maple producers in Vermont and Canada. The guiding principle of eatEVOLVED is: “Chocolate: It’s food, not sweets.”
When done right, chocolate is a delicious, antioxidant-rich superfood – a far cry from the off-the-shelf, sugar-filled milk chocolate candies on supermarket shelves.
Best For | Monthly membership program
Price Per Bar | $4
Sweetriot’s mission is to create a more equitable and celebrated multicultural world for the next generation. They are a women-owned B Corp that supports fair trade and sources cocoa exclusively in Latin America, which directly supports a better life for farming families through fair prices and direct trade.
Sweetriot also works with various non-profit organizations that celebrate culture, diversity and empower young people.
Best For | Gluten-, corn- & soy-free candy
Price Per Bag | $5–$10
UnReal is committed to untangling the world by reinventing America’s favorite foods. They started with M & Ms® and Reese’s® and made them with no trash, less sugar and better flavor. Every ingredient they use is GMO-free, always real and never artificial.
No gluten, corn or soy. UnReal uses sustainably produced and fairly traded ingredients. Every chocolate and candy are made from real ingredients that make every bite taste unreal.
#6. Equal Exchange
Best For | Hot cocoa lovers
Price Per Bar | $3–$9
Equal Exchange’s mission is to build long-term trading partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound to promote mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers through fair trading practices.
Their pralines and cocoa are made from only the purest ingredients that are grown with care by smallholder cooperatives. They come from smallholder organizations that are the heart and soul of the Fair Trade movement.
#7. Endangered Species Chocolate
Best For | Nature & animal lovers
Price Per Bar | $2.50–$7
With every bar of chocolate, Endangered Species Chocolate protects the diversity of life on our planet and promotes real global change.
Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of the net profit to partner organizations that support species protection, habitat conservation and humanitarian efforts.
Their milk and dark chocolate bars and bites are made from fair-trade, shadow-grown cocoa and natural ingredients. Choosing their chocolate is a way to honor farmers and support sustainable farming practices.
#8. Beyond Good
Best For | Chocolate made entirely in Africa
Price Per Bar | $5–$9
Africa grows 70% of the world’s cocoa, but produces less than 1% of the world’s chocolate. Beyond Good is there to change that by making chocolate entirely in Africa. Beyond Good empowers Madagascar’s cocoa farmers with qualifications and higher wages.
They also source other ingredients locally in Madagascar and then actually make their chocolate on the island. So far, they have created a significant income for over 200 people in Madagascar – from chocolate production to packaging production to the cultivation of cocoa, spices, and fruits.
#9. Loving Earth
Best For | Raw chocolate lovers
Price Per Bar | $5–$8
Loving Earth is dedicated to sourcing and manufacturing the highest quality organic raw chocolate. Their mission is to make chocolate in its purest, richest, and most essential form.
This chocolate is a wickedly decadent, healthy indulgence. It contains neither cane sugar nor dairy products and remains uncooked and unprocessed.
Since the cocoa beans are not roasted, their natural richness in phytonutrients is fully preserved. Loving Earth raw chocolate contains up to twice as many antioxidants as conventionally processed chocolate.
#10. Divine Chocolate
Best For | Milk chocolate lovers, baking bars & powders
Price Per Bar | $4
Divine Chocolate is “cocoa farmer-owned and made for chocolate lovers” – they are the only 100% fair trade chocolate company jointly owned by cocoa farmers, which allows them to share in the profits and have a bigger voice in the cocoa industry.
Divine has been making Fairtrade chocolate for over 20 years and they were selected as one of the “Best for the World” B-Corps in 2017. We love them for their wide range, availability and uncomplicated pricing.
Why you should patronize and eat Fair Trade Chocolate
No child Labor
Cocoa used in Fairtrade chocolate is not harvested by children. This is as important as most mainstream chocolates, even after 20 years of legislative pressure.
Often times, these children have to work in harsh conditions, some have to work and very few can go to school. It’s a pretty detailed report that will hopefully lead to an end to child labor on cocoa farms.
Big chocolate brands like Cadbury, Nestle, and Hershey are all committed to improving the cocoa communities in West Africa and reducing child labor, but it’s a long process.
Chocolate has long been touted as a healthy dessert option, but it’s only recently that we know why. An article from a study shows that when we eat chocolate, there are microbes in our gastrointestinal tract that ferment them.
These microbes, or bacteria, are the good types that you want to grow in your gut. They help us absorb anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.
These good microbes are called prebiotics and they help us weed out the bad bacteria in our digestive system and encourage the good kind to grow.
Higher amount of cocoa
The next time you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, examine this bar of chocolate carefully. If it’s a Hershey bar, you’ll have a hard time finding a cocoa percentage that is printed anywhere on the package.
This is because it most likely contains very little cocoa, mostly sugar. Find a Fair Trade candy bar now and it will take you no more than a few seconds to figure out the cocoa percentage. It is usually printed directly on the front in a large font.
For some pallets, the intense dark chocolate with more than 90% cocoa is a bit much, it definitely takes time to develop a taste for it, but the 70% dark chocolate bars are very nice and have a flavor ranging from fruity to coffee. and from sweet to slightly bitter.
The higher the cocoa percentage, the better. So always check your chocolate bar for its cocoa percentage.
Fairtrade chocolate is not only good for people, but also good for the planet. For example, Equal Exchange works with farmers on small cocoa farms to develop sustainable crops that preserve local habitats and increase biodiversity.
All chocolate is organic and made with the farmer, the country, and your taste buds in mind! Most Fairtrade chocolate is also grown in the shade, which means the farm includes other plants such as fruit trees that grow tall and provide a canopy that the cocoa tree prefers.
This contributes to higher cocoa yields and reduces the need for harsh chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
Tastes good and makes you happy
This reason doesn’t need much explanation. Fairtrade chocolate is delicious and releases the handy endorphins that make you happy.
Eating Fair trade chocolate is a win for your taste buds, a win for your brain, a win for your gut, a win for farmers and a win for the planet – a win-win situation! There isn’t much better – all you have to do is decide which Fair Trade chocolate bar to try.
Having discussed extensively on Fair trade chocolate, it is very important that you insist on Fair trade chocolate. Nobody is telling you to stop eating chocolate; In fact, it is good for you.
Fortunately, there are many other chocolate companies out there that are consciously taking steps to ensure that cocoa and chocolate are ethical, fair trade, and sustainable. So, go ahead and patronize them and enjoy your chocolate bar without guilt.
- www.fairtradecertified.org › shopping-guides
- www.thegoodtrade.com › features › fair-trade-chocolate
- www.greenmatters.com › Food