It’s no secret that the world of production and businesses has been less than ethical in their various ways of manufacturing their products throughout the years, especially big corporations. From the carbon emissions that come out of big factories every year to the less than humanitarian and sometimes dangerous working conditions of their employees. Big corporations have been wreaking havoc since the industrial revolution.
But lately, people are becoming more aware of these atrocities, of the danger these industries are to our planet, and the harm they cost their workers. The workers in question often being children and people in need from underdeveloped countries, constantly being taken advantage of. As such, new, more ethical alternatives, such as organic farming and fairtrade work, have started to emerge from people's willingness to make a difference. And if there is an industry that needs some reform, it’s the chocolate-making industries.
According to the US Department of Labor, in 2005, 92 percent of children aged between 5 and 15 years old are involved in heavy load carrying work in the cocoa industry. Furthermore, brands such as Hersey, Mars, and Nestle broke down their promise of abolishing child labor among their ranks. As a result of that, people are starting to seek different more ethical alternatives to satisfy their craving guilt-free.
We compiled a list of Fairtrade organic chocolate brands to help consumers do exactly that.
Alter eco is a chocolate manufacturer founded in 1998 by Tristan Lecomte in France who is known for its organic chocolate bars and truffles. As part of the fair trade movement, this company’s labor is certified and completely free of forced and child labor. They also guaranty farmers fair trade and assistance. Their cocoa is 100% certified. Furthermore, they have shown various efforts to end deforestation such as making their chocolate palm oil-free and investing in agroforestry which involves cultivating your crops between trees instead of cutting them down for your field. Additionally, a 75 g bar of chocolate from the Alter eco sit can be bought for 3.99 dollars and can be found in grocery stores all over the world such as Walmart and Carrefour. As such, it’s considered to be quite an accessible brand of organic chocolate.
Divine chocolate is a British company founded in 1998 by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers' co-operative in Ghana, Twin Trading, and The Body Shop, with support from Christian Aid and Comic Relief. Their chocolates come from fair trade certified labor free of any child or forced labor and pollution. Their cocoa is also 100% certified and extracted with the most respect of its farmers. Furthermore, 44 of the shares of the company are owned by Kuapa Kokoo, an organization of fair trade certified farmers in ghana. This makes the Divine chocolate trading system unique in the fact that the farmers own the biggest shares of the company. The company also does its best to fight deforestation through its investments in the cocoa farms of Sierra Leone which helps make the farms more climate-friendly and less hurtful fr the amazon rainforest.
Founded in 1993 in Indianapolis, Indiana this company has thrived to manufacture chocolate and make a change in the world. It is known to build on fair trade certified labor devoid of any forced or child labor and unfair treatments toward their workers with 100% of their coca being certified. Their fully traceable and donate 10% of their profit to help animals, habitats, and humanity. Furthermore, through their certification, we can see an effort to end deforestation.
Founded in 1986 in Massachusetts, United States by Jonathan Rosenthal, Equal exchange is a pro-profit worker-owned cooperative that produces organic products such as fair-trade coffee, sugar, avocado, and chocolate. Their labor is 100% in alliance with the fair trade standards as they are one of the authentic fair trade organizations created for the sole purpose of providing fair trade and organic products. Furthermore, they have established a Pre-harvest financing program and fight deforestation by matching the fair trade and organic requirements and by helping farmers build land resiliency.
Shaman Chocolate is a company founded by Brant Secunda, Shaman, Healer, and Ceremonial Leader in the Huichol tribal tradition based in Mexico whose labor is fair trade certified with 100% of their cocoa certified and as such, is free of any child or forced labor and discrimination. They are also part of the rainforest alliance which shows how ethical and eco-friendly their farming is. Furthermore, what makes this organization different than the ones previously mentioned is that 100% of their profit is donated to the Huichol tribe, a Mexican native tribe. These people have always considered chocolate to be part of their culture and religious ceremony and so this organization's profit goes solely to the benefits of this tribe. It lets them built up their community and preserve their tradition. It is also currently working to fund the education of the first Huichol in college as this young woman is seeking to protect the tribe through getting a lawyer's degree. By buying from this company, you are not only helping workers and the planet but are also helping preserve native traditions that have for too long been fought.
Theo chocolate, founded in 2006 in the united states, is the first fair trade chocolate maker in the United States. Their labor is certified by Fairtrade for life which guaranty their cocoa is harvested without forced labor and child labor. They also try to negotiate higher prices to pay farmers. Furthermore, they also contribute to reforestation initiatives.
Finally, on our list, we have Tony’s chocolonely. This Dutch company founded in 2005 by Teun van de Keuken, is one of the most popular and accessible fair trade chocolate companies. One of its mission is to stop forced labor and child labor in the chocolate-making industry by making certified fair trade chocolate and raising awareness about these issues. Their cocoa is 100% certified and traceable. Furthermore, They help farmers by paying a higher price for cocoa, providing agricultural training, and most importantly, do their best to fight child labor with the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System. Not only is their chocolate delicious and wrapped in fun packaging, but it also seeks to leave an impact on the world.
At the end of the day, the world can be a harsh and unfair place, but we can all contribute in the ways we each can. One of them is by getting their chocolate from Fairtrade organic chocolate brands.