How we select our chocolate
All of the chocolate sold on this site is recommended by Food Empowerment Project. Food Empowerment Project "seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognising the power of one’s food choices." F.E.P have produced a list of companies that they do and do not recommend. Companies are not recommended if they produce chocolate in areas of West Africa where child slavery is still pervasive. We encourage you to take a look at F.E.P's chocolate list and see where your favourite brands stand.
Why this is important
Slavery, child labour, use of dangerous pesticides and fertilisers and small holders forced into debt are all common practise in the £100bn chocolate industry.
In the 1970's, 50% of the price of chocolate was for the cocoa. This has been squeezed and squeezed to just 12% by 2012. Côte d'Ivoire grows 43% of the world's cocoa crop. According to its prime minister, multinational chocolate manufactures have been encouraging developing nations to grow more cocoa, all whilst forcing down prices. This has driven cocoa farmers to increasingly desperate measures, just to save the land that they own. He has told chocolate manufactures that they would have to pay around 10x as much for cocoa as they currently do if they want to end the use of forced labour.
Chocolate makers have begun to admit that there is a huge problem in their supply chain, unfortunately, they are not being forced to act. By dragging their feet and lobbying against legislation that would enact change, the business of exploitation continues as usual.
What can be done?
Firstly, thank you for reading this far, acknowledging the bitter truth of all the sweet treats you once enjoyed can be difficult. The first thing to do is to head on over to Food Empowerment Projects website and look over their comprehensive list of chocolate companies. If your favourite brand is not recommended or not featured on the list, we encourage you to be in touch and to ask why.
When choosing a chocolate bar, remember that chocolate is a luxury and should be treated as such. Stop and think, if a bar costs £1 in a supermarket, what abrasive business practises have been used to get the price that low? Short, transparent supply chains are the key. Any company that will not tell your where there chocolate is sourced from should be avoided. "Bean to Bar" and "Direct Trade" chocolate makers are providing an excellent alternative. By purchasing cacao directly from the farmers and cutting out the middleman, more money is able to reach the farmers. Gourmet chocolate companies that seek the highest quality beans are a great choice. Farmers that produce truly excellent organic cacao will know the quality of their product and will be able to set their price accordingly.