A superfood filled with antioxidants and heralded as the food of Aztec Gods, Chocolate has been an important part of many cultures for centuries.
However, the modern-day production of chocolate - as with many other industries - has a reputation for unethical practices. Millions of child labourers across countries including Ghana and the Ivory Coast work to produce cocoa and coffee. Even the most famous brands are guilty of exploitation - with one of Nutella’s staple ingredients, hazelnuts, being linked to child labour in Turkey.
Consumer culture holds the power; in buying fairtrade and sustainably sourced chocolate, consumers are able to support the fair treatment of labourers responsible for the food we eat.
Here, we take a look at the brands supporting the rights of cocoa farmers and producing great chocolate made ethically and organically.
With its colourful packaging and hardline ethical stance, Tony’s Chocolonely has taken the chocolate world by storm. Combining tasty chocolate with a commitment to raising awareness of child labour, exploitation and modern-day slavery in the cocoa industry, Tony’s is a staple of the ethical chocolate market.
Kenyan-based and farmer-owned Divine is perfect for vegan chocolate lovers. Sourcing their cocoa beans from São Tomé in West Africa, commonly referred to as ‘Chocolate Island’, Divine is focused on empowering farmers and local communities.
Proudly promoting their fairtrade status, Cocoa Loco relies on a close-knit, small-scale community of farmers from the Dominican Republic. The team produces tempting sweet treats, with a range of buttons, bars and truffles all available.
Seed & Bean
The adventurous chocolate brand Seed and Bean loves to push boundaries with its flavours and chocolate making techniques. However, nothing gets in the way of their commitment to fairtrade and ethical production, with all products being ethically sourced and handmade in England. They are also the UK’s first chocolate brand to have fully compostable packaging.
Sprung from the mind of James Cadbury, a distant relative of the original man behind the much loved Cadbury’s chocolate, Love Cocoa is committed to sustainability in everything it does. To combat deforestation which is a direct result of cocoa farming, one tree is planted for every Love Cocoa product sold.
Eat your hat
As the name suggests, Eat your hat is a quirky, entertaining brand unlike anything else on the market. With ingredients from across the world sourced from smallholder farmers in São Tomé, Peru, Dominican Republic and Bolivia, Eat your hat provides a diverse array of chocolate from across the globe, all sourced ethically.
Chocolate and Love
Chocolate and Love is perfect for dark chocolate fans looking for an eco-conscious brand. With a low sugar content and a high proportion of cocoa, their creamy dark bar is made with 25 per cent more cocoa than the average dark chocolate bar. On top of that, each bar is made using fully traceable cocoa, and its packaging is biodegradable and compostable, too.
Renowned for its excellence in all things sweet, Booja Booja uses sustainable farming methods and practices, prioritising responsible resources and supporting natural ecosystems. It’s also a living wage employer, making a commitment to pay all workers based on the current cost of living.