A four-day weekend and an excuse to eat chocolate? Yes please!
We’re definitely chocolate consumers here at Oxfam, but we believe in eating the right chocolate. The fairly traded chocolate.
Here’s four reasons why we think buying Fairtrade is best:
1) The farmers who grow the cocoa beans – the foundation for chocolate itself – can support themselves and their families.
With a lot of the chocolate we buy from the supermarket, only a tiny percentage of what we pay actually gets back to the farmers who grow the cocoa beans. The big companies capture the lion’s share of profits from trade of these products and use their power to pay the growers as little as possible leaving them struggling to feed their families, send their children to school, and sometimes even cover their production costs. Most of their villages lack basic services such as clean water and toilets.
Buying Fairtrade means that these farmers get a fair amount of money in exchange for their product – cocoa beans – and the work they put into producing it. Being paid a fair amount means farmers can cover production costs and have enough left over to live. They can feed their families, drink safe water, access healthcare, send their children to school, and obtain the basic things they need.
Maria Daniel, a female cocoa farmer, dries cocoa beans on the ground outside her house in the village of Oke Agbede Isale in Western Nigeria. Many women farmers in southwest Nigeria cultivate cocoa beans used by major global companies. Photo: George Osodi/Panos for Oxfam America.
2) The chocolate you’re eating involved no child labour at any stage in its manufacturing.
In some cases, low incomes mean the children of farmers need to work in order to help the family make ends meet. As well as being deprived of an education, children are often engaged in dangerous work, such as using machetes and applying toxic pesticides.
Fairtrade standards prohibit the use of forced labour and children are not allowed to work if it jeopardises their education or health.
3) Fairly paid farmers can invest in local development projects to help their community.
Fairtrade guarantees a premium for farmers over and above the world price, enabling them to invest in local development projects like schools, healthcare and drinking water for their communities.Conscious chocolate choices can help a whole village.
4) Buying Fairtrade is a simple way to play a part in fighting global extreme poverty.
Over 10 million people in West Africa alone are dependent on cocoa farming for their income. But the low prices of commodities like cocoa mean that poverty is widespread amongst the cocoa farming communities.
Being paid fairly means that these farmers can earn a steady, decent income, and therefore have the means to work themselves out of poverty and thrive. Buying Fairtrade can be your way of giving a hand-up to a family in need.
(Surprise reason number 5) It’s delicious! Find it here:
Trade Aid has stores all over the country, and stocks a wide range of Fairtrade chocolate in many different flavours.
Whittaker’s Dark Ghana and Creamy Milk chocolate are both Kiwi favourites – and they’re Fairtrade! Available at supermarkets all across the country.
Wellington Chocolate Factory sells pretty much every flavour of chocolate you can think of – from salted brittle caramel to their craft beer bar – and it’s all ethically traded. They have stockists across the country.