Chances are you’ve probably seen the Fairtrade logo on different products in your supermarket, including chocolate. But what does Fairtrade really mean when it comes to chocolate? In this article we answer all questions from what it is and the benefits of Fairtrade chocolate.
What is Fairtrade chocolate?
Fairtrade chocolate is made from cocoa beans that have been grown and harvested in a way that meets certain environmental and economic standards set by the Fairtrade Foundation. These standards include ensuring that farmers are paid a fair price for their cocoa, providing good working conditions, and protecting the environment.
What’s the history of fairtrade chocolate?
The history of Fairtrade chocolate began in the early 1990s, when a group of European NGOs started to campaign for better prices and working conditions for cocoa farmers. In 1994, the first Fairtrade Certified chocolate bar was launched – Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate.
Today, there are over 1,000 certified Fairtrade chocolate products on the market, including chocolate from major brands such as Cadbury, Ben & Jerry’s, and Mars. The Fairtrade system has been credited with helping to improve the lives of small-scale farmers and workers various parts of the world. It has also raised awareness about the challenges faced by cocoa farmers.
What are the benefits of buying Fairtrade chocolate?
- Fairtrade ensures farmers are paid a minimum price for their cocoa. That means even when market prices go down, farmers are still paid a premium. This ensures stability and financial planning are possible.
- Fairtrade co-operatives control it 100%. Co-operatives are paid an additional premium onto of the fair-trade minimum price. It’s up to the co-operative to invest this premium as they wish. In the past these investments have included improved farming equipment, building wells, building public toilets and investing into a mobile clinic for member’s villages.
- Fairtrade supports female farmers. Fairtrade Standards ensures that there’s equal treatment for women and men. The organisation opened a school in Ivory Coast called the The Fairtrade Women’s School of Leadership where women learn everything from the science of farming to running the finances of a cocoa farm.
Where does Fairtrade chocolate come from?
Fairtrade cocoa beans originate from all over the world, but the majority of Fairtrade cocoa beans come from Africa. Some of the countries that produce the most Fairtrade cocoa include Ghana, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast. In fact, in 2020 over 80% of the world’s Fairtrade cocoa beans originated from Ivory Coast.