Why Choose Ethical Chocolate | Ecobuy
Chocolate-Dipped Honeycomb Recipe

Who doesn’t love chocolate? As Australians we LOVE chocolate, proven in a global per person consumption statistic where we fell into ninth place beating the likes of the USA, Japan and Brazil. They may have us on the football pitch, but we’ve got ‘em here! 

This week’s topic is on the cocoa industry and whether or not it’s as happy and bubbly as it’s products make us feel. Whether it’s chocolate biscuits, chocolate blocks or hot chocolate it falls into the cocoa industry, and there seems to be some extremely huge issues within this industry that are obvious to those who are looking for them, but were not for me. It wasn’t until I started looking into these issues further that I realised I’d somehow been swept under a social media rug of horrors. 

The biggest and most prevalent problems we’re facing when it comes to the cocoa industry include – trafficking, low wage and child labour laws – and it happens alot more often than you may realise. 

The dark truth about chocolate

How is child labour involved and how are they affected?

Firstly, child labour is any kind of work that deprives a child of their childhood, potential and dignity. Consider every time you played outside just because you wanted to, or went to the toilet at school, just because you needed to, and now imagine those things are non-existent to you. It’s harmful to their physical and mental development and can usually include work that is morally dangerous and extremely harmful. Big global companies don’t seem to be concerned with this, all they’re looking for is low cost production. 

What is trafficking?

Facts from the World Vision website state that; 

‘Approximately 95% of the chocolate sold today is not certified to be free from the use of forced, child or trafficked labour.’

This is an absurd statistic. Trafficking simply put, is getting or keeping someone in an exploitative situation for profit. They are not free and they are exploited for profit over and over again. Victims of trafficking can be anyone, men, women or children. 

Low wages and why farmers continue to work in this industry 

Cocoa is the primary source of income for almost 5.5 million farmers, and it altogether provides livelihoods for between 40 and 50 million farmers around the world. Commonly, rural workers and their families in third world countries. In some countries up to 90% of the farmers rely on cocoa for their primary income and have to get by on less than $1.25 US dollars a day, which is roughly $1.71 AUD. Imagine living on $11.97 a week – and no day off. 

What to look for on packaging so we don’t contribute to this

The biggest tip I can give you – is to start to love looking at labels. Whenever I go to the shops I could spend an hour or two in there every time (obviously this is extreme and I wouldn’t expect most people to spend that long looking for a simple chocolate bar) but what is important is that you understand what you are buying and supporting when you spend your money on certain products. 

After you’ve looked once you’ll know for every time you go shopping – so make time – check the labels and when you’re next there you’ll be in and out because you already know which brands and products to get. To make things even easier, The World Fair Trade Organisation is an international logo that can also guarantee that what you’re buying is ethical. 

‘If you really want to be sure, then you should look for certification symbols on the packaging of the chocolate you purchase.’

Ethical brands we should support that are doing everything they can to counteract these issues:

 

Planet cocoahttps://www.planetcocoa.com.au/
Espresso Caramel Shortbread Bars

Espresso Caramel Shortbread Bars

Planet cocoa is an amazing company focused on producing quality chocolate treats that don’t cost the earth. They’re loud and proud about how they’re mindful and have a limited impact on waste, and hope that their efforts resonate within their consumers to spread this message of mindfulness. 

Their products use soy and water to produce ink for packaging and the labels are made from recycled paper that is also biodegradable. Their shipping partner Sendle first has 100% carbon-neutral delivery by offsetting and supporting projects that are combating climate change. 

It’s a 10/10 and double high five from me. 

Review from our beloved team member

Planet cocoa was lovely enough to have sent me 3 chocolates to try. One was with coconut, cherry and hazelnut, but my favorite one, to my own surprise, was hands down the one with caramel and coffee. I typically don’t really like caramel but somehow the combinations between the 2 ingredients were amazing. A gamer changer for me, so thank you planet cocoa!

Also, a big factor which further pushed my love for this brand, was that there was no plastic involved, which i think is amazing.

In this day and age there is SO much plastic everywhere, everything is looking for everything to be individually wrapped and handed to them – well it can be but why can’t we use more eco-friendly and sustainable options like brands such as these.

 

Living kokohttps://www.livingkoko.com/
Living koko

Living koko

Another beautifully brilliant brand doing their best to leave nothing but a positive footprint on this earth. Currently, Living Koko seeks guidance in purchasing and networkings through Women in Business in Samoa, a values-led organisation that supports the most vulnerable people in Samoa who need to develop sources of income to increase self-reliance and independence. 

They’re also taking this knowledge to Papua New Guinea which allows new challenges to be faced and overcome to make positive impacts around the world. 

They are also organic, allergy safe and of course vegan, celebrating inclusive edible creations that you can share with family and friends. You can also boast about the positive benefits you and the brand you choose to support are having not only your own health but our environment. Of course it’s not just about the ingredients but their packaging is also something they’re incredibly proud of. They’ve considered each material used to package their products and have created compostable, recycled or at least can be recycled, packaging that is looking after our planet, while also delivering you their delicious products. 

It’s a five star rating and a double thumbs up from me.

Review from our beloved team member

The Living Koko Duo Dark Chocolate was amazing, and I really liked it. It is very dark, but I loved that they added cacao nibs on top for texture and really made it feel like a luxurious chocolate experience! 

I also tried the Cacao Husk Tea, and loved the combination. It’s very subtle and delicate but you can definitely feel and taste the cacao. I’ve never tried a tea combination like this before, and must say I wasn’t disappointed.  

 

About the Author:

I'm Lauren, 24 living on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Doing whatever I can live a healthy, happy, eco-friendly and sustainable life.

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