Now first we should start off by saying that in no way do we want you to feel bad about the chocolate that you buy or have bought in the past nor is this post an attempt at preaching about a very important humanitarian advocacy program we have a passion for because none of those reasons would be true. we are just as ignorant as the next consumer when it comes to fair trade products. When we first read an article about a product that is not fair trade and how they use hundreds of labourers to produce and pay them an unfair wage my initial thought is that we are such horrible people for supporting this. However, we don’t think it’s fair to be so hard on ourselves. I don’t think companies put out a stern effort to market the fact that their ingredients are not sourced through fair trade means. That is not an excuse either. We should all do our part and educate ourselves as much as possible on where our food is coming from so we can all make an informed decision when purchasing chocolate the next time around.
The purpose of this post is to just inform those, like us, who were not fully informed of the issue. We will also give a small list of chocolate producers who do participate in fair trade sourcing and will provide a recipe for chocolate Easter cream eggs where you could use some of your fair trade chocolate to give out as Easter treats should you choose to do so 🙂
What is Fair Trade Chocolate?
90% of the world’s cocoa (the main ingredient in chocolate) comes from small producers in third-world countries such as Ghana. Most farmers in Ghana live in very harsh conditions, live very close to the poverty line…and included in that group of farmers are children.
The term “fair trade” ensures that farmers in Ghana and other developing countries receive a fair wage for their work which allows them to live at a socially acceptable level. In addition to a reasonable wage, the workers involved get a social premium to invest back into their communities for much-needed social and economic programs such as education, health services and infrastructure. Co-operatives (organized groups of farmers) decide how the premiums can be best put to good use allowing them to make real changes in their communities to help improve the economy, environment and welfare of its occupants. The best part is that no forced labour of any kind, including child labour, is permitted.
For more information on Fair Trade products in Canada, visit Fairtrade.ca.
World Vision created a handy guide to purchasing ethical chocolate:
The Good Chocolate Guide
Brands of chocolate that you can find at your local grocery stores that are fair trade, include:
|Green & Blacks
Homemade Laura Secord Chocolate Cream Eggs Recipe:
1/2 Cup of very soft butter
1 teaspoon of Pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 can (2/3 cup) Eagle Condensed milk
of icing sugar
Yellow food colouring
8 ounces of Semi-sweet chocolate (for coating)
1. Mix the butter, vanilla, salt, condensed milk and icing sugar into a bowl and chill the mixture.
2. Once the mixture is chilled, separate out about 1/3 of the mixture and put it in another bowl. This will be the yellow part of the cream egg. Add a few drops of food colouring to the bowl until it forms a deep yellow colour that resembles yolk. Form small balls with the yellow mixture. Use the white mixture to form around the yellow mixture. Form into a half egg shape with a flat bottom (like the picture above).
3. Over a double-broiler, melt the chocolate. dip the egg forms into the chocolate and place on wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator to allow chocolate to harden.
4. You can present the eggs as is or you can decorate the eggs with coloured icing. This also makes for a fun activity for kids so get them to help with the decorating!
Easter is a time for getting together with family and enjoying great company, delicious food and lots of delicious chocolate! We sincerely wish all of you a wonderful Easter and a peaceful holiday with your families.