Be a Good Egg this Easter - What Makes For Good Chocolate
Posted on 15 March 2018
Easter is so much about chocolate, in fact, Easter chocolate purchasing now rivals Christmas sales. A large chunk of this is due to the growing popularity of Easter Eggs.
If you’re striving for an ethical Easter this year then here are a few things to consider when hunting for the perfect egg:
- Some chocolates may look scrummy & taste pretty good but always check the ingredients label. Chocolate shouldn’t have a long list of ingredients, the simple recipes win every time - & you know you’re getting only the good stuff.
- If you’re unsure of an ingredient, then best avoid it. That goes for stabilisers, emulsifiers, flavours & other chemicals.
- These days there are a plethora of brands to choose from & it can be overwhelming. If supporting local business & the economy is important to you then where possible, choose an independently-owned business who produces locally.
- Behind the colourful Easter packaging & foil wrapping there’s a dark side. Much of the world’s cocoa is harvested in West Africa, using some of the worst forms of child labour. In fact, around 95% of the chocolate sold today isn't certified to be free from the use of forced, child or trafficked labour. It's estimated that more than two million children & young people under the age of 18 work as labourers in cocoa harvesting. Often families live in poverty & children must work to support their family. Typically adult farmers are paid poorly for the cocoa they harvest.
Children as young as six work on cocoa farms under extremely hazardous conditions: carrying heavy loads, using machetes to clear land, & inhaling harmful pesticides. In some cases, children are trafficked & forced to harvest cocoa.
Buying organic means there aren’t any extra surprises in your chocolate, such as chemicals used to grow cocoa beans & sugar cane. Palm oil free & cruelty free chocolate are also a great option if you’re into supporting animals. Look for companies that are helping to care for & look after the planet & its inhabitants all along the supply chain.
Ethical certification is the most credible assurance against unsustainable, exploitative practices & forced labour. Look for accredited logos on packaging such as Rainforest Alliance, Soil Association, UTZ Certified, & Fair Trade.
- Even if you don’t have a food allergy, selecting chocolate that is free from dairy, gluten &/or soya can help balance your intake of these foods & allow you to share your chocolate with friends & family with varying diets. Most dark chocolate is vegan, so you’re often safe with that.
- Less is more. Avoid the adage ‘bigger is better’ & opt for an artisan chocolate which may be smaller but the quality will be far superior & you’ll enjoy it much more.
- Avoid eggsessive packaging! This Easter you could by-pass the traditional Easter Egg & buy a bar of Fairtrade chocolate or a Booja Booja chocolate truffle egg. That way you’re getting more chocolate for your money with a whole lot less packaging – & chances are the packaging is recyclable, or in Booja Booja’s case, you can up-cycle it!
In fact, you could choose to avoid the whole chocolate thing all together for the little ones, instead spend time decorating eggs, making Easter masks or giving an ethically made bunny soft toy instead of chocolate - good luck!
But if you do decide to go the way of chocolate then here are some practical ways you can help:
- Buy chocolate that has ethical certification
- Ask chocolate companies to commit to 100% ethically sourced cocoa by 2020 – the date set by Stop the Traffik & other NGOs in their push to improve conditions in cocoa production.
- Shift consumer demand by asking retailers to stock more certified products.
Companies & business listen to their customers, so speak up, vote with your dollar, & consider joining the Stop the Traffik campaign.
We’ve curated a range of great ethical chocolate & Easter gifts for you to choose from.
By Kylie Banks
Boogie Booja, Choice, World Vision, & Ethical Consumer
Booja Booja, Jasper + Myrtle, Bennetto Natural Foods Co, Christian Super, Petit & Small, Uno De Dos, Pexels, & Exempel the Bunny