5 April 2011
Make this Easter a Fairtrade One
By: Laura Trotta
I must admit it; Easter is one of my favourite times of the year. Nice weather, public holidays and an excuse to eat one of life's greatest pleasures - chocolate.
Those of you close to me would know that chocolate is definitely my weakness. And it would appear that I am not alone. Australians lead the world in Easter Egg consumption per capita, with the average Aussie consuming 20 eggs each year.1
The shiny Easter Eggs in the shops are a striking contrast to chocolate in its natural state. Chocolate is a product of the cacao bean (also known as a cocoa bean) which grows in pod-like fruits on tropical cacao trees. Most of the chocolate we eat has its origins in the developing world, with about 70% of the world’s cacao beans grown in Africa.2
Like several crops grown in the developing world, cacao has had its fair share of corruption scandals in recent times. To ensure the chocolate you eat is grown under ethical and eco-friendly conditions, check that it is both certified organic and Fairtrade. Organic Times and Green & Black's are two of my personal favourites.
Fair trade chocolate is chocolate with a conscience, meaning we can enjoy the luxury of chocolate whilst making a difference to the life of producers in the developing world.
Fair Trade is unique in offering the following important benefits to producers:
- Stable prices even when world markets fall.
- A Fairtrade premium on top of the agreed Fairtrade price to help producers improve the quality of their lives.
- Involvement in Fairtrade International (FLO), a non-profit multi-stakeholder body responsible for the strategic direction of Fairtrade.
- Empowerment of farmers and workers through democratic structures and transparent administration (a requirement of certification).
So, if like me, you will find it hard to kick your chocolate habit this Easter, look for the following logo to ensure you are at least making a difference to the lives of cacoa growers in the developing world.