One Small Step for a Better World: Buy Fair Trade Chocolate

Image courtesy of Shelly Ann Little via Creative Commons.
Halloween isn't the biggest chocolate-consuming holiday of the year (that's Valentine's Day), but it certainly takes a prominent place in the candy bags of trick-or-treating children. When we hand out chocolate goodies to costumed kids or savor some ourselves, we don't realize that we're quite possibly supporting child slave labor. Many of the cacao beans for our chocolate come from West African countries like Ghana and the Ivory Coast, which often use forced and child labor. Fortunately we can turn to a variety of fair trade sources to get our chocolate fix, and more of these companies are now offering bite-sized tidbits perfect for trick-or-treaters.

Our friends at the Food Empowerment Project have done extensive research to produce a list of companies they feel comfortable recommending.

One note: Child slavery has been discovered at a few fair trade plantations, so FEP emphasizes that even fair trade isn't guaranteed 100% slave-free.  At this time it's best to buy from companies who source their chocolate from countries other than in Africa. FEP's list currently only includes companies that do not source from Ghana or the Ivory Coast.

Find out more about the connection between slavery and chocolate.

Green America has additional information about fair trade chocolate, and if you want to engage your kids (or even your adult friends) in getting out the word, you can participate in Reverse-Trick-or-Treating.

~ Marsha

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