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22 March 2021
Use the power of your purchase to change lives and communities
Words Alexis McKeand
Easter. If you ask my children, they will tell you it is all about Jesus and chocolate. The hollow inside of the Easter egg is supposed to remind us of the empty tomb, and the signature cross of a hot cross bun alludes to the death and resurrection of the Son of God, but let’s be honest – the chocolate doesn’t always last long enough for too much contemplation.
However you celebrate the long weekend, and whether you’re a ‘chocoholic’ or not, it is hard to escape the bright shelves full of sweet delights from as early as the start of each new year. The choices are endless and every year they seem to find new flavours to draw us in. But, is your chocolate ethical? Choosing Fairtrade this Easter can not only be delicious for you and those you love, but it can help end the cycle of poverty for families all over the world!
Fairtrade is the process of buying and selling produce from developing countries. It allows and mandates that farmers earn what they deserve for their labour, under suitable working conditions. On average, cocoa farmers earn less than $2 per day. When chocolate companies pay fair prices for cacao and cocoa, workers are treated well, farmers can earn enough to support their families, and children aren’t forced to work and can go to school. Fairtrade means being just and fair to people as well as to nature, and choosing Fairtrade is a very simple way to ‘spread the love’ worldwide this Easter.
So, what should you look for? There are three symbols which indicate that the 'chocolatey' treats you are buying are making a difference:
Fairtrade is about stable prices, decent working conditions and the empowerment of farmers and workers around the world.
The UTZ logo means the company supports sustainable farming by sourcing UTZ certified coffee, cocoa, tea or hazelnuts.
The Rainforest Alliance certification on a product means the product or company has been audited to meet standards that require environmental, social and economic stability.
These symbols mean every effort has been made to make sure the producers are being supported and paid fairly.
Wondering which brands carry these symbols, where you can buy them, and how much they cost? Well, fear not dear reader, we have done the research (and selflessly – the taste testing, too) on your behalf. Below is our list of some, but by no means not all, of the supermarkets, shops and websites where you can get yourself and your loved ones all the chocolate you need this Easter – listed according to price range. There are plenty more options out there, but these are some we personally have taste tested and think are a bit of alright.
Dairy Fine and Moser Roth: Proving that Aldi isn’t just the place to go for those amazing weekly special buys, the Dairy Fine and Moser Roth Easter ranges on their shelves each year proudly exhibit their ethical status. Is the chocolate for your connoisseur family members? No. Are they great for hunts and guilty late-night snacking? Yes. Ski gear and ethical chocolate? What could be better?
Woolworths Select: Looking for a home-brand alternative to the big brands? Woolworths Select range of Easter eggs are made using Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.
Darrell Lea: Okay, so they aren’t Fairtrade certified, but Darrell Lea’s partnership with the cocoa sustain- ability program, Cocoa Horizons, has seen the iconic Aussie brand move to using 100 per cent sustainable cocoa. Rocky Road egg anyone?
Lindt: With their own sustainability program and a 100 per cent traceable supply chain, the gold bunnies glittering on the shelves of major supermarkets could never be a bad choice.
Chocolatier: With a delicious and gourmet range of truffles and eggs, Chocolatier is truly delicious and can be found at many local Foodworks and IGA supermarkets nationwide. They are also available online.
Ferrero: For Fairtrade and sustainable Ferrero treats, look no further than Ferrero eggs in both hazel- nut and cocoa, as well as the classic Ferrero Rocher golden squirrels. Ferrero are also a champion of sustainable palm oil, so our orang-utan friends will thank you for your choice.
These are available mostly online.
Hey Tiger: This Melbourne-based social enterprise uses only ethically-sourced ingredients. Partnering with The Hunger Project, their plan is to help communities in Ghana, one block of deli-ciousness at a time. You can buy their flavour combos in block or egg form and, in a truly eco move, their Easter cartons can then be reused to create something crafty!
To order, head to heytiger.com.au
Haigh’s: No celebration in my husband’s family is complete without a bit of Haigh’s chocolate (in fact, on more than one occasion, family arguments have been won, and apologised for, with these treats.). The fact that Haigh’s are UTZ certified as part of the Rainforest Alliance means that I can safely partake in family festivities without feeling guilty.
Bars, shaped chocolates, truffles and eggs (plus bilbies), can be found in their stores or bought online. With $15 shipping Australia-wide, why not give them a go? Take a look at haighschocolates.com.au
Treat Dreams: “My family are vegans and picky, what do I do?” you ask? Fear not, I’ve got you! Treat Dreams are a Sydney-based company with a serious number of awards and ‘street cred’ to back them up. They were even awarded Best Vegan Milk Chocolate 2020 for their Peanut Crunch!
Cream eggs, bunny truffles, bars and even a full range of pastries and cakes can be ordered, with their packaging even having an ethical spin. Check them out at treatdreams.com.au
Moo Free: For our vegan and gluten-free friends, the organic and non-GMO sea salt and caramel, dark chocolate, original or bunnycomb eggs of Moo Free are made using single-origin organic cocoa from plantations in the Dominican Republic. You can buy them online from David Jones and lots of indepen- dent supermarkets.
So, whether you are a chocolate partaker, a parent searching for the compulsory egg hunt items, or just a generous loved one wanting to give the perfect gift – we hope that this year, making your Easter an ethical one will be the simple choice!
Got your own suggestion of a company we have missed? Why not head to our social media pages – @salvosocialjustice on Facebook and Instagram, and tag us in a picture with the details.
Hoppy Easter every-bunny!
Captain Alexis McKeand is a Policy and Social Justice Adviser for The Salvation Army Australia, and a Chaplain in the Royal Australian Air Force. *The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Salvation Army
The Global Slavery Index of 2014 estimated that over 35 million people are enslaved around the world, including in Australia. According to the United Nations, people are trafficking by force or deception for the purpose of “sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.
People, including children, are often forced or deceived into harmful situations where they are required to farm our everyday products, such as the cocoa used to make chocolate! Forced to work in unsafe condi- tions, millions of people are living a life of imprisonment.
However, we can all take simple steps to ensure that the products we purchase do not have slavery in the supply chain. Purchasing ethically-produced goods is an easy way to guarantee the products we consume in our everyday life - tea, coffee, chocolate – are free from modern slavery and human trafficking.
When you choose to swap to Fairtrade and ethically-sourced products, you are joining a movement that is directly chang- ing the lives of more than 1.65 million farmers in more than 74 countries. Not only does buying Fairtrade ensure the local producers are paid a fair price for their crop, it also includes an additional payment to help the local community develop infrastructure such as fresh water, education and health services.
Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and other brands are taking steps to improve working condi- tions across their global supply chains.
Will choosing Fairtrade products cost you a little more? Probably. Will finding them take you a little more effort? Possibly. Will it make a difference? It already has. Join the movement.