Today we’re going to talk about chocolate. Because chocolate.
Chocolate is our friend, right? We love it when we’re happy. We need it when we’re sad. And if we’re feeling particularly frisky, we might cover ourselves with it and dance around the lounge with the curtains slightly open when you know your shift-working neighbour with the muscly arms is home.
Yeah, probably just eat it.
I hate to break it to you, but there is a problem with a lot of the chocolate we’re consuming here in Australia. Not the problem where it goes straight to your hips. Who cares about that – we’ve got our kids to blame for that now.
I’m talking about thinking about where your chocolate comes from. Sometimes, it ain’t so ethical. Look, if you’re anything like me, you know that there are some pretty hideous things going on in the world, but if we just stick our fingers in our ears and say ‘lalalalalalalalalalala’ very loudly, it will all be okay, right?
I’ve been talking to World Vision, who reliably inform me that there are ways you can happily eating chocolate AND feeling good about yourself. It’s super easy and you get to eat chocolate.
You with me?
The problem with a lot of the chocolate in Australia is that it comes from East Africa, where child labour is a huge problem. We’re talking kids as young as six working in cocoa fields in East Africa to bring you that chocolate fix. They use machetes (I’m still cautious about letting my 9 year old use a sharp knife!); they inhale dangerous pesticides (that lead to breathing troubles, and sometimes cancer); they work all day, carrying heavy loads. Poverty is a huge problem over there, so kids are going out to work to support their families. Some children are even trafficked and forced to harvest cocoa. And some of these kids are working 80-100 hours a week doing this backbreaking work. You can read a whole lot more about that here if you like.
All so we can walk into a shop and buy a block of chocolate for a couple of bucks.
Okay, that’s the sucky bit.
Here’s the good bit. There is chocolate widely available that you can munch away on all you like, and feel good that you are supporting responsible industry practices. Because kids. Because chocolate. Because eating the right chocolate can seriously help vulnerable kids.
What you want to see is a label with one of these certifications:
- Fair Trade Certified
- UTZ Certified
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
But some of the highlights are:
- Aldi – dark organic and milk organic
- Mars Bar
- Cadbury Dairy Milk (plain only)
- Green & Black’s Maya Gold Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
- Heritage dark and milk chocolate
- Nestle – all chocolate bars, but not hot chocolates or spreads
- Oxfam – all chocolate is fair trade and ethically certified.
Or you can check out how your favourite chocolate in the World Vision chocolate score card here.
And in the interests of research – because I care for your happiness – I’m going to follow this post up with a review of ethical chocolate products. You’re welcome.
Does your favourite chocolate brand appear on that list? Will this make a difference to the chocolate you buy?