Buying hand-made craft chocolate bars from small independent chocolate makers means you're also supporting the lives of cocoa farmers in countries like Nicaragua, Belize, Bolivia, Columbia, Haiti, Peru, Grenada, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Ecuador. To name but a few since there are plenty more.
But how can you tell how ethical your chocolate bar is when there is a label overload?
There's certified Organic, Fairtrade, the Rainforest Alliance plus plenty more to think about. And then there's the carbon footprint and packaging.
So How Do You Get Ethical Chocolate?
Take the Fairtrade Foundation for example. Just because a product says 'fairtrade' and has a logo doesn't mean that all cocoa farmers get paid a proper living wage.
In fact, did you know that Fairtrade Standards don't regulate the wages of small independent cocoa farmers?
This, however, doesn't mean it's exploitation either.
When shopping for ethical chocolate, you have to read beyond any certified logos. By this I mean....read the packaging or look up a chocolate maker's website.
Are they transparent with the information they share about where they get their cocoa beans from?
Have they travelled to these farms or other cocoa growing countries? If so, do they have pictures or videos of their experience?
All of the chocolate makers we deal with have this information present on their packaging and on their websites and are more than willing to have a chat on social media about it.
So the next time you go looking for ethical chocolate, ask yourself this....what's their story? Why did they start making chocolate in the first place? What prompted them to contact small cocoa farms in the far flung reaches of the world to buy direct?
Look beyond the 'certified' logos and trademarks. You'll be glad you did.
Until the next time.