Chocolate Benefitting You, the Environment and Society
This entry was posted on April 17, 2014.
Eco friendly chocolate has added a new depth to guilt-free snacking. Whilst it might not mean you can bank the veggies and live off the loved treat, it does mean you will pledge your support to the environment and farming communities.
We take a look at some of your best options available locally:
This small artisanal chocolate company, based on our doorstep in Cape Town, are firm believers in taking care of the environment as well as your chocolate appetite.
Honest Chocolate only make use of organically produced ingredients, avoid the use of preservatives, additives, emulsifiers, dairy or processed sugar, and all their cacao is ethically sourced from Ecuador. They further pledge their support to nature by packaging their products in eco friendly paper. You can package your own delicious home made goodies using eco packaging from Sustainable.co.za.
Range: Bon bons, slabs and chocolate spread
Available: At selected Pick n Pays, Wellness Warehouses and many other outlets and cafe’s.
See more: http://www.honestchocolate.co.za/
Madécasse (pronounced mah - DAY – cas) chocolate is produced from organic cacao grown in Madagascar’s forests.
The company, based in Madagascar, are firm believers of producing chocolate in the area that the beans are harvested – Madagscar. This ensures the ingredients are kept fresher and locals benefit substantially as they work directly with cocoa farmers to assist them in getting the most value from their crops. According to the The New York Times, Madecasse chocolate is ‘. A refreshing anomaly. Fairly traded and environmentally friendly…The chocolate tastes so good’. Need any more motivation to indulge?
Range: Various slabs, including coconut, sea salt, winter spice and espresso flavours
Available: Wellness Warehouse and Faithful to Nature Online Shop
See more: http://www.madecasse.com/
Fairtrade’s Chocolate Range
Fairtrade, a global movement encouraging equality, development and sustainability in the trading and farming sector, have recognised the cocoa industry as a key focus. According to their website, over 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown and harvested on small family farms, yet many of these farmers lack the resources and knowledge to farm in more lucrative, green and ethical ways.
Fairtrade address the environmental issues by promoting agricultural practices which minimise the use of agrochemicals, promote effective and sustainable waste and water management, focus on soil fertility and avoid the use of genetically modified organisms.
Socially, Fairtrade make a difference by offering small scale farmers organisations a consistent Minimum Price - ensuring production and future planning costs are covered, and providing credit access. A Fairtrade Premium is also added to the retail price which is used to contribute towards social, economic and environmental investments.
Furthermore, the Fairtrade Certification Mark on a chocolate product implies that the cocoa producer complies with Fairtrade’s strict labour standards prohibiting child and forced labour. In South Africa, the following chocolate brand is Fairtrade approved:
Green & Blacks
Range: Organic milk, white and dark chocolate
Available: Wellness Warehouse, selected Spar stores
See more: http://us.greenandblacks.com/
When shopping for Easter chocolates be aware of the use of palm oil in the chocolates you buy. The Guardian recently published an article revealing that many loved chocolate brands including Ferrero Rocher and Cadburys use unsustainable palm oil in the production of their chocolates. See the report by the Rain Forest Foundation. The use of unsustainable palm oil is posing a major threat to the world's rainforests, their indigenous wildlife, and the people whose livelihoods depend on the forests. Having destroyed vast areas of forest in countries such as Indonesia, palm oil companies are now planning to expand in the rainforests of the Congo Basin in Africa.
The team at Sustainble.co.za have recently changed over to using Fairtrade coffee at work – read more here about how you can make this switch too. Don’t feel limited to coffee and chocolate, however, as wine, tea and certain foods with the Fairtrade label are all on the menu.
If anyone has ever needed further reason to indulge in the splendor of chocolate – here you have it. Look after the environment, care for social needs and satisfy your treat craving... pass the chocolate our way!