From our hometowns to the global scale, injustice happens everywhere, every day. Sadly, this means issues get forgotten about, or overpowered by other problems. However, we rarely stop talking about them because they have been fixed. Those who have a hand in these issues know this and use it to their advantage. Companies depend on their consumers to buy their product(s), so do what it takes to bring in more buyers. Whether finding ways to lower the selling price, changing branding to fit new generations, or expanding where they sell. All of this comes at some expense, the environment, workers, and lands. Cocoa is one of these guilty products.
Over the years cocoa has been a widely recognised product that has ties with forced labor, child labor and abuse, along with other forms of modern slavery. Current statistics can be sparse as it isn’t favourable for the industry partaking in these practices to have consumers know what happens behind the curtain. But if we know there are ethical options, like certified fair-trade chocolate, why don’t we choose them?
What Influences Our Chocolate Choices?
- Price difference: Yes, typically fair-trade chocolate in any form will cost a bit more than its counterparts. However, you are paying more to support the workers making the product.
- Nostalgia: Each of us has things that remind us of good, simple, and loving times. For many, types of chocolate can be just that and we can’t imagine letting it go. However, new memories can be formed around fair-trade versions, and there are companies that make great recreations of some of the most iconic chocolates.
- So, should we boycott our favourite chocolates: This is a difficult question! It is said in numerous articles online that boycotts do not work as well as we imagine. They have little effect on large companies’ sales revenue; however, they do hurt their reputation. The trick is that people can take accountability to remind themselves and others of what a company has done.
Making ethical choices, even with your chocolate, will support companies that you align with and will remind you of the change you wish to see in the world. But what will help create change is using your voice to hold companies accountable. Let your friends and family know, use your social media, and make it known that conversations like slavery in the chocolate industry are not over.
You can also have fun by telling people about fair-trade chocolate and other brands that you enjoy. Then you are not just going to be eating chocolate, you will be having a shared experience with those you like as you try something new! Maybe bring them to the office for people to try. Bring a bar to the next bonfire for smores. Use fair trade cocoa powder for celebration cupcakes. The possibilities are endless.
Learn More about Cocoa
There is a lot of information online and it can be hard to sift through it all. Here is a little compilation of media highlighting the Cocoa industry that can be used to explain the issues to various ages:
- Brad Makes Chocolate in Ecuador: Part 1
- Brad Makes Chocolate in Ecuador: Part 2
- Chocolate Child Slaves: CNN
CHOCOLATE ON PURPOSE
The Freedom Hub has recently partnered with an Indigenous Business founded by Chocolatiers, Fiona and Jo. The business partners and close friends have developed their own unique line of chocolate; a fusion of fine Belgian chocolate and Australian native botanicals.
Developing a strong reputation in the premier gourmet food district of Wiradjuri Country, this has collected its fair share of accolades and awards. They are not only a specialty leader in the chocolate field, but they are also an ethically sourced and 100% Indigenous-owned business. All Australian native botanicals are sourced from Aboriginal Communities, and cocoa is sourced only from suppliers who are members of the ‘Cocoa Horizons Foundation’.
Fiona and Jo hope to satisfy the sweetest of teeth while doing their part to promote sustainability and local community development!
To find out more about these chocolates and purchase them online: go to our shop here.
Find Ethical Alternatives
Written by: Nicole Bettuzzi