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Buying Chocolate? Please choose Fair!

Updated on March 13, 2013
Milk Chocolate
Milk Chocolate | Source
A selection.
A selection. | Source
A wise cooking choice
A wise cooking choice | Source
Varieties
Varieties | Source
The good stuff!
The good stuff! | Source

Give it some thought

Chocolate lovers listen up.

If you are about to buy and consume delicious chocolate, please stop and give some thought before you do and consider where your chocolate comes from and how it's produced.

A supporter of Oxfam International and Fair Trade practices can I encourage you to think outside the consummeristic (not sure if that is an actual word) push for excess and buy with consideration and thought when indulging in your next purchase for chocolate.

Believe me it matters. Before you make your next purchase

Consider these chocolate stats;

  • On average in the week before Easter approximately 500 million dollars is spent on confectionery globally. 70% of that is spent on chocolate.
  • Some reports indicate that the global chocolate market which in 2010 was estimated to be around $83.2 billion dollars will continue to increase exponentially to a staggering $93.3 billion by 2016.
  • 40 - 50 million people in the chocolate industry depend on the production of the cacao bean for their livelihood.
  • Approximately 200,000 children are reported to work in slave labor conditions in the fields of the cacao industry on the Ivory coast. One of the world's largest producers of chocolate.

These figures indicate that even if global consumers of chocolate bought even 10% of the Fair Trade global consumption it would make an unbelievable difference to the lives of many people and families living in abject poverty working for weekly wages that are less than or equivalent to the amount we in the western world would spend on our weekly caffeine fix.


Not only is fair trade chocolate some of the best chocolate that money can buy, but it is also;

  • Made from the very finest quality organic cocoa.
  • is free from harmful pesticides and chemicals
  • There are no additional additives included
  • Has only organic, unrefined cane juice used to sweeten the quality chocolate - this of course is better for your health and teeth and cane juice also contains the nutrients that would be extracted in refined sugar.

Consider the chocolate process

  • Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, a small tropical tree native to Central and South America. However 70% of the worlds cacao is now produced in Africa.
  • Harvest takes place in two seasons each year around May - October/ November
  • One tree produces approximately two thousand pods per year.
  • The seeds are encased in the hard pod shell
  • The pod's flesh is a sweet white pulp which is the catalyst used in the essential flavor change.
  • Workers use machetes to harvest the pods.
  • The pods are opened by hand so as not to damage the seeds.
  • The seeds are bitter and need to go through the process of fermentation.
  • Fermentation is the process of changing the bitter flavor of the cacao bean by placing the seeds and the pulp under banana leaves. The sugars in the pulp of the seed cause fermentation to take place. With temperatures of up to 50c the beans are left for between 2-6 days. At the end of the process the asidic taste is removed and the process changes the bean into the chocolate taste that we are familiar with.
  • Drying The seeds are left in the sun to dry for about a week or so.
  • Roasting The beans are then roasted for 15-20minutes at 130c so that the husk is easier to remove.
  • Cracking once the husk is cracked open the beans are removed
  • Cocoa powder The beans are then shipped to a factory where they are ground into cocoa powder.

Consider Making a Fair purchase

A quick Google search will bring up where to source fair trade products. And organizations such as Oxfam, World Vision and any good health food store sell chocolate in store and online. So too do some supermarket chains.

Chocolate is a delectable commodity. One that we so often take for granted. Once we understand the necessary painstaking laborious process that is required to ensure that we as consumers are able to purchase this delicious and rather addictive global favorite commodity.
Isn't it a fair thing to make sure we buy a quality product for a fair price.




Look for authentic labelling
Look for authentic labelling | Source

Have you already purchased Fair Trade Chocolate?

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Comments

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    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks so much for your kind comments Brenda..it's good to know others are aware of the social implications involved & are doing their bit to ease child slave labor.. Every bit helps.. Cheers

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Yes it sure is truthfornow.. Thanks for your input & concern.. Yep a little more expensive but so worth it.. Cheers

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks so much W1totalk for your comment - cheers

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks rajan - really appreciate you sharing this - raising awareness is terribly important when children are being abused.. Cheers

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 

      4 years ago

      Chocolate love. Great article.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 

      4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I agree. Even though it might be a bit more expensive, it is worth it to know that your chocolate is not made my slaves, child labor or maybe even caused someone's death. Great job!

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 

      4 years ago from Utah

      I love fair trade chocolate! I agree that it tastes better and knowing it source improves the eating experience that much more! Great information!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very useful and informative hub. Sharing so that more can benefit by knowing these facts. Also voted up as such.

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks for reading this Peg.. You no it really upset me when I first realised some years ago how many kids were used & abused so I could enjoy chocolate & I really try now whenever I can, thanks again for dropping by.. much appreciate it..cheers

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Important information to know. I'd never given a thought to where my chocolate or cocoa came from before reading this article. This was a valuable learning experience. Thanks so much.

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh wow thanks so much macteacher for your comments..that's for sure no one should suffer so that others can indulge, especially not children!! that in my mind is so unfair!! we can choose fair..cheers

    • macteacher profile image

      Wendy Golden 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you for reminding all of us that there is a human story behind the products we purchase and take for granted. No one should suffer through forced labor just to supply people in other countries with a treat. Thank you for a timely reminder that the well informed consumer always has choices about what they purchase. :-)

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks for dropping by Nell. It's hard to see unfair practices of this degree going on! I hate to see kid's exploited or abused at any time and try to do my bit..even a little helps...cheers

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Hi carter, I think thats the trouble, we go out and buy what we like and never give a thought to the children working behind the scenes, even the adults work in terrible conditions, this definitely made me think, thank you, nell

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks so much for dropping by Emma - & good on you for giving FT a go.. it really makes a difference if a lot of us do our bit.. Cheers

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks Sam.. I think so too.. really glad you found my hub! Cheers

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 

      5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Thanks for sharing this. I am aware of fair trade but often overlook it when buying coffee and chocolate. I will be more aware of what I am buying in future - thanks.

    • profile image

      Sam L 

      5 years ago

      This is so important and so timely for Easter.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I've never heard of Fair chocolate or coffee. I would give the goods a try now that I am aware of it's history. Now I need a piece of chocolate :)

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks viewfinder you are welcome - Fair Trade is an important issue for me, good you find it interesting too..cheers

    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 

      5 years ago from India

      This is very informative and thanks for sharing with all of us.

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh you are so welcome Mhatter99..I am obviously talking to the converted here..thank you your comments and for doing your bit to support FT..cheers

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. My favorite is World's Finest. The one sold for charity.

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      love Chocolate!

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Hi Billy, thanks for your much appreciated comment..you are one of the good ones Billy in more ways than one!! have a great day writing my friend..cheers

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Hi Mar, thanks so much for giving me some of your time..so glad you buy FT, it is so worthwhile and if some of us buy the products it can make a lot of difference to so many..nice to see you..cheers

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi Mary,

      I have been buying fair trade chocolate and coffee for a few years now and can thoroughly attest to the quality that you write about. The added factor of helping third world countries make this an even more appealing practice.

      Thank you for sharing such valuable and seasonal information. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A great message, Carter, one we are already aware of and we are doing our part as per your instructions. Hopefully many more will read this and do accordingly.

    • carter06 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks for that xstatic..I'm not really political but nothing makes my blood boil like using children as slave labor and I have to do my bit and encourage others to do the same..and you are right coffee is just as important..thanks for dropping by..cheers

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This is important information that needs to be read by all the chocolate lovers out there. Coffee is another important item.

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