While I have restricted myself from indulging in chocolate in more recent times, my partner arrived home the other night from the Fairtrade Fiesta (as part of Fairtrade Fortnight 08) with a gift of 3 blocks of fairtrade, organic chocolate. One was from Cocolo – the Dark Mint Crisp flavour – and the other 2 were from Scarborough Fair — the Dark Orange Chocolate and Fruit and Nut Milk Chocolate flavours.
I was interested to find out more about these companies. Cocolo is a premium Swiss chocolate. The Cocoa and Evaporated Cane Juice are sourced from Fairtrade Co-operatives. The cocoa is produced by El Ceibo in Bolivia and Conocado in the Dominican Republic and the unrefined evaporated cane juice comes from AlterTrade in the Philipines. These communities are able to reinvest in their farms, their schools and their communities by selling the best beans through the Fairtrade market. Cocolo chocolate is also certified by www.bio.inspecta.ch, the leading organic certifier in Switzerland, and is GMO free.
Cocolo has 8 flavours. In addition to Dark Mint Crisp, they offer Dark Almond Chocolate, Dark Bitter Sweet, Dark Orange, Chocolate Milk Hazelnut Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark 70% and White with Almond Crunch. To find out about stockists in your area, please contact one of our local distributors — which in NSW is Organic Trader Pty Limited – or ask your favourite store to carry it.
Scarborough Fair was created from a commitment to bring quality Fairtrade certified products to the mainstream market at mainstream prices. They import the fairtrade ingredients and then use local manufacturers to blend the chocolate to support both third world producers and local manufacturers. In addition to their chocolate, which is also also Australian Certified Organic, their product range includes tea and coffee.
Scarborough Fair offers 4 flavours — Dark Orange, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Fruit and Nut Milk Chocolate. They are available through selected Coles in NSW.
On the same night I received these fairtrade, organic chocolates, I had also attended a function where I received a goody bag complete with Lindt chocolates. After indulging in both and reflecting on this, I enjoyed the Cocolo and Scarborough Fair chocolates more. Maybe it was because I found them not only delicious but I felt good knowing that I was supporting a better quality of life for the communities where the products are sourced as well as a lower impact on the environment than other alternatives. So overall a more rewarding experience!
Chocolate: the non-Fair Trade option
Since consuming the chocolate, I have read some of the frightening and appalling statistics compiled by the Edmund Rice Centre about chocolate production:
- 12,000 children have been trafficked into cocoa farms in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa – nearly 1/2 of the world’s chocolate is made from cocoa grown there
- While the minimal age for working on farms is 12, most children are 9 to 16 years of age and have been tricked into travelling with traders and then sold to plantation workers
- Most of these slaves are not allowed to use the toilet during work hours, are only free for a couple of hours a day and are fed burnt bananas and corn paste
- Farms barely receive 5% of the profit from chocolate, whereas trading organisations and the chocolate industry receive about 70%
- The Fairtrade Certifies production criteria guarantee a minimum price, ensure that no child or forced labour is used, farmers’ organisations are democratic and plantation workers can participate in trade unions
One thing is for certain, I will not be buying or consuming non-Fairtrade chocolate again!