Sustainable Easter – The dark side of chocolate.

Easter is synonymous with chocolate and Hot Cross Buns. You know what I will say about the Hot Cross Buns – hit up your local bakery and support local production and jobs. If your local bakery also uses locally sourced products, well, all the better!

This post is focused on chocolate, delicious chocolate. All chocolate lovers are aware that not all chocolate is created equal when it comes to taste, but are you aware of the negative impact that chocolate can also have on our environments and cocoa growing communities. How do the following facts sit with you?

  • Boys as young as 10 are sold (or trafficked) into child slavery in West Africa to work on cocoa farms.
  • Children on these farms are subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
  • Many cocoa farmers live below the poverty line – equivalent to less than US$2 a day. (http://stopthetraffik.com.au/chocolate/)

Now you have some insight to the enormity of the problem, I have some sustainable and ethically produced options for you and your family this Easter.

  • Nearly everybody’s favourite chocolate brand, Cadbury, is taking the problem posed by cocoa production seriously. They have pledged to have all chocolate be produced using 100% ethically sourced cocoa by 2018 across their core range. As it stands, only the original dairy milk chocolate is Fairtrade certified, and unfortunately, this may not include their Easter egg range this year.
  • Alter Eco are doing more than their fair share to ensure cocoa farmers are better supported and all their cocoa comes ethically sourced. Although you may not be able to find Easter eggs in their range, an ethically sourced chocolate would taste and feel much better than chocolate shaped to look like a bunny rabbit. Unfortunately Alter Eco is made overseas.
  • Haigh’s entire chocolate range is UTZ certified.
  • Loving Earth has taken a holistic, sustainable approach to food production and is made in Australia from Australian and ethically sourced ingredients.
  • Finally, I found a chocolate brand produced in Margaret River for all you other Perthlings out there – Bahen&Co. Beans are ‘honourably sourced’ and the chocolate is produced in small batches. It is also wonderfully delicious.

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