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What is Fair Trade Chocolate?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2016
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Fair trade chocolate is a kind of chocolate that is made with ingredients that have been grown and sold in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and based on ethical and humane trading practices. Ensuring that the ingredients in the chocolate are grown and traded in such a manner often means that fair trade chocolate is more expensive than chocolate that is not certified to have been traded fairly. However, chocolate lovers who also happen to be environmentalists, humanitarians, or both often prefer to spend the extra money for fair trade chocolate in order to support the ecological and social benefits that fair trade products promise.

There have been a number of abuses surrounding the cultivation, harvesting, and sale of chocolate. Some of those abuses include the employment of child laborers and abusive labor conditions. Also, there have been reports of cocoa and chocolate companies purchasing chocolate at such a low price that the farmers are left impoverished and unable to fulfill their families' basic needs.

Fair trade ensures that the farmers are paid a price that allows them to take care of their families. It also ensures that the labor conditions the surround the farming of the chocolate are humane and do not employ the forced labor of children. Finally, fair trade chocolate also ensures that the products are grown in a manner that is sustainable for the land.

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There are a number of products that are sold as part of the fair trade movement. In addition to fair trade chocolate, there is also fair trade cotton, coffee, tea, sugar, honey, wine, cocoa, and some kinds of fruit. There are also fair trade handicrafts and knick knacks. Most fair trade products are the kinds of products that are grown in developing countries and exported to developed countries.

Fair trade chocolate can be found in many grocery stores but is most commonly found in health food stores and food co-ops. Many kinds of fair trade chocolate are packaged for retail sale and consumption. There are also kinds of fair trade chocolate that can be purchased in bulk by restaurants and bakeries for use in their products. Furthermore, there are a number of companies that sell their products on the web that include fair trade chocolate in their product line. It is common for these kinds of businesses to also sell other kinds of fair trade products such as coffee and tea.

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ysmina
Post 3

@bluedolphin-- I think the reason is because most, if not all, fair trade chocolates are also organic. Organic ingredients and foods always taste better because they are produced without chemicals and pesticides. Also, fair trade chocolate contains real sugar and fair trade cocoa butter as well.

Like the article said, the other advantage is knowing that harvesting cocoa beans this way isn't damaging the environment and the animals that live there. It's sustainable, meaning that it can be continued for many years because the soil is protected. Trees aren't cut down and soil isn't eroded. The fact that chemicals aren't used with organic cocoa beans also means no harm done to insects or pollution to groundwater.

bluedolphin
Post 2

I wasn't aware of all of the issue related to regular chocolate until I read this article. It's very informative, thank you. I've been buying fair trade chocolate just because it tastes better. I'm not sure why that would be but there is a significant difference in quality.

SarahGen
Post 1

Coffee beans and cocoa are two foods that are widely cultivated in developing countries. But the main issue with both is that the farmers who produce them only make a few pennies per pound while they are sold for at least ten times that amount in developed nations. So these people are working day and night like slaves and barely getting anything in return.

This is the major reason why I purchase fair trade chocolate and coffee. Yes, I pay more, but at least I know that the money is going to the farmers who deserve it. And they can improve their lives with it. I'd rather do that then make the manufacturers rich who act as the middle man to make all of the money.

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