How to find your chocolate choice
Your best chocolate choice is chocolate made through Direct Trade.
What is Direct Trade? As the name suggests, the people who want to make chocolate work directly and exclusively with the people who grow the key ingredient in chocolate, cacao beans.
Direct Trade allows the buyer to ensure that organic or sustainable growing and harvesting methods are always used, that adults are the only ones doing the work, and, most important, that children are not involved: there is no slavery or forced labour, child or adult.
Direct Trade also means that there isn’t anybody in the middle between the grower and the buyer allowing the buyer to pay the grower more than the “market” would, which means the grower earns a reasonable living to afford schooling for their children and health care, too. There is no need for child slavery or forced child labour.
I will profile companies making chocolate doing Direct Trade to obtain its cacao beans.
The first company is a Canadian company trading under Truffle Pig Chocolate. The owner is Shelley Wallace who makes it clear on her website why she chooses Direct Trade and guarantees that there is no child or adult slavery or forced labour involved in her chocolate. The chocolate is delicious, so, you will enjoy this chocolate choice for all the best reasons.
Fairtrade has been trying to make trade fair for all workers and trying to ensure “that the products you are buying have been produced in accordance with our strict Standards which…prohibit child labour…”. Unfortunately, this has not applied 100% of the time when certifying cacao beans, the most important ingredient in chocolate.
Fairtrade Canada representatives told me, “This is very complicated. Certification and leasing the Fairtrade logo to companies isn’t always a guarantee that forced child labour and child slavery haven’t been part of the supply chain for chocolate manufacture.”
My questions to Fairtrade are, “Why are you certifying these companies if there is any child slavery or forced labour involved? Why not follow your “strict Standards” and just tell those companies that unless they can guarantee that they are always compliant with the Fairtrade Standards, they will not be allowed to use the Fairtrade logo and will not be certified to do so?” This would not be complicated.
Finding your chocolate choice will take a little more looking but will give you a lot more satisfaction.