Here’s a run down of some delicious ethical chocolate options!
If you’re hunting for human rights activists within the chocolate industry, them look no further. Founded in Amsterdam, Tony’s Chocolonely has a vision of 100% slave-free chocolate. And guess what? The company has proved how easy it is, having created a bean-to-bar chocolate bar it has confidently secured the trace-ability of the entire process. Souring cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, it is committed to ensuring good wages and nurturing a sustainable farming ethos, and has announced a zero tolerance approach towards child workers! Tony’s Chocolonely has secured these labour standards through face-to-face interactions and friendly relationships with local farmers.
If it couldn’t get any better, the business donates one percent of net revenues into it’s self-established ‘Chocolonely Foundation’ – a programmed dedicated to creating projects committed to abolishing slavery throughout the cocoa chain. That’s right, its committed to producing 100% slave-free chocolate not only for itself but for all other producers. A team dedicated to 100% slave-free chocolate industry? We salute you!
Divine chocolate is revolutionising the industry as we know it. As the only fair trade chocolate company that is 44% owned by cocoa farmers. it is sharing a huge slice of its success with its workers. The farmers who work within the brand’s supply chain not only achieve a better standard of living, but they are also able to invest the profits back into their farms. This means that, farmers now have a voice over systems and managements, and also benefit from up-to-date knowledge of the cocoa industry and the global chocolate market – information that rural farmers within Africa are too often cut out from.
Divine also pumps money into its cocoa farmer Producer Support and Development programmes (PS&D). Within this, Divine has created ‘Impact Ghana’ – a programme that strives to ensure the development of flourishing smallholder communities, addressing a range of subjects form democratic relations, gender equality and women’s literacy programmes. The company is now eager to identify new sources of cocoa elsewhere, looking at hoe it can globally replicate the same joy, love. and agricultural sustainability. How divine!
Alter Eco is fair trade through and through, with its products recognised by a number of certifiers. Not only does the company have contract prices with its farmers that are 10% – 30% higher than the local market price, it also sources 100% of its products from small-scale, family-owned cooperatives. It’s clear that Alter Eco is committed to ensuring that its farmers are earning a decent price for their crop, which in turn secures a better quality of life for themselves and boosts the sustainability of their community.
Thanks to the direct relationships with their farmers. Alter Eco is able to better understand the needs of their communities. With this knowledge, the company has built a mutually beneficial development programme to provide targeted assistance and help where it is most needed. Initiatives range form a laptop donation programme to help producers in Bolivia better record and manage their crops, to female empowerment programmes in Peru. Alter Eco’s chocolate tastes that little sweeter , knowing that the health and happiness of its producers is at the heart of each bar!
If this brand wasn’t already unique enough, it has gone and created its own bespoke sustainable supply chain management system; a business philosophy its named ‘engaged ethics’. When the chocolatiers sent a team of people to St Lucia in 2006 to understand the countries deteriorating agricultural industry, they discovered that middlemen were utterly exploiting local farmers in the process. Not only were the farmers receiving insultingly bad payment for their crop but it would sometimes take as long as six months for the farmers to see any income!
Completely outraged, Hotel Chocolat set out to create something new. For farmers who signed down their engaged ethics scheme, they would promise to buy the farmer’s entire crop, a contract that would increase farmers’ confidence and encourage greater investments in the land. Furthermore, Hotel Chocolat promised to pay a fixed price for the cocoa direct to the farmers, cutting out those nasty middlemen. Previously poverty stricken, ST Lucian farmers now benefit from a bespoke scheme that pays them more than the world price of cocoa and that puts the money in their hand within 7 days of purchase. Wowza!