How difficult is it to buy Fairtrade easter eggs that can also be vegan?
First of all....let's get a better understanding on what Fairtrade is supposed to mean?
Wikipedia says that Fair trade is an arrangement designed to help producers in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. The fair trade movement combines the payment of higher prices to exporters with improved social and environmental standards. The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products that are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, but is also used in domestic markets (e.g., Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Bangladesh), most notably for handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, wine, sugar, fruit, flowers, and gold.
The fairtrade movement has been going now for 28 years and has become an everyday symbol that people look for on products in supermarkets. We find it on everything from Bananas, chocolate, biscuits, wine, clothes even ice cream...but how easy is it to find a an easter egg that it truly fairtrade?
We've probably all seen the recent Dispatches on Channel 4 about our favourite chocolate manufacturers non-ethical practices. Cadbury have been caught using cacao producers who are employing child labour to harvest their plantations, because the farmers are not being paid a fair wage by Mondelez International for the cacao they produce, and cannot employ adult workers.
When approached by a Channel 4 investigator, Mondelez could not comment on the videos shown to them on the episode, but it shows that, since Cadbury have been taken over by these MASSIVE corporations, they are embroiled in this mess that would never have happened had they stayed true to their roots of being a family business.
If we don't buy Cadburys £1 easter eggs....what else should we be buying???
Just because chocolate is cheap, doesn't necessarily mean it's good!! As a kid I LOVED a Wispa, or a FUSE...or even a Spira and now as an adult I love Whole Nut, but I can guarantee that I will NOT be buying Cadbury chocolate again.
So, what can we buy instead and why is fairtrade chocolate a premium price?
As previously mentioned, fairtrade means that producers get a fair wage for what they produce. They provide manufacturers with tonnes of cacao beans to cope with the increased demand for chocolate, especially during easter....but, from watching the Dispatches documentary, the below image shows how little the cacao farmer gets paid from the average 100g bar of chocolate....
Unfortunately these figures are from 2015 and are even less today!!! The average wage a cacao farmer gets from 1 bar of chocolate in 2022 is as little as 12p.
Cadbury may be the go-to for kids easter eggs, but maybe we should be looking elsewhere and thinking about companies that really do believe in fairtrade ethical practices, or even those that have their own Cacao Plantations such as Hotel Chocolat which means that everyone who works on these plantations gets paid exactly what they should be...a fair wage!!
Here are 9 fast facts about Fairtrade Chocolate that we need to know!!
Green & Black's Chocolate Bar was the FIRST Fairtrade chocolate of its kind in the UK. Unfortunately it is now owned by Mondelez International (the company who now owns Cadbury).
MOST Cacao farmers have NEVER tasted a bar of chocolate!! BUT, farmers from a Fairtrade-certified co-operative in Ghana own 44% of the 'Divine' chocolate company. Launched in 1998, it went down in history as the first farmer-owned confectionery brand in the UK.
Cacao can only grow well in very specific conditions. The ideal climate for growing cocoa is hot, rainy, and tropical, with lush vegetation to provide shade for the cocoa trees. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are the top selling countries, with Côte d’Ivoire supplying 40% of the global trade.
It takes around 5 years for cacao trees to grow pods. With proper care, cocoa trees begin to yield pods at peak production levels by the 5th year and they can continue at this level for 10 years. But for all this hard work, cocoa farmers gain very little from a very profitable global cocoa trade.
Most cacao farmers earn less than $1 a day (about 75p). But don't be fooled...this is for the 'premium' chocolate.
The average age of a cacao farmer is over 50....and the youngest labourers are aged 11-13 (usually the farmer's children).
There are 100s of fairtrade chocolate products in the UK
Fairtrade chocolate makes up 12% of ALL chocolate sales in the UK
A quarter of fairtrade cacao farmers are actually WOMEN
Lastly, here are a few of the choices of Fair Trade and vegan easter eggs for 2022
Divine Luxury 70% Dark Chocolate Easter Egg with Dark Mini Easter Eggs - 260g
Hotel Chocolat 70% Dark Chocolate Easter Egg 150g
Aldi's Mosher Roth FREE FROM Salted Caramel Egg with hidden Truffles
Co-Op Irresistible Fairtrade Hand Finished Raspberry Ruby Egg 295g
All that remains to be said is....think about your easter egg choices before you go and buy the £1 ones in bulk....and HAPPY EASTER!!!