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Healthy Happenings February 2010

Fair-Trade Chocolate Makes Valentine’s Sweeter for Everyone

fair trade chocolateThe average American eats 10-12 pounds of chocolate per year. Valentine’s Day is one of the most chocolate oriented holidays of the year! You probably know that high quality dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and other beneficial flavonoids. Do you know where the chocolate you are consuming comes from or how it was produced?

40% of the world’s chocolate comes from West Africa, the Ivory Coast where thousands of children are forced to labor in production of this cocoa. The US Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor,” and that some 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement.
Many of the world’s major cocoa companies have made voluntary commitments to certify their cocoa “child-labor free”, but to date most of their profits still come from child-labor cocoa. It is possible to purchase chocolate products from companies who are paying cocoa producers a fair price. It is even possible to purchase chocolate products owned by the cocoa farmers themselves! This requires a bit of research and label reading or shopping at Moonflower Market where we have done the reseach for you.

Buying ‘Fair-Trade Certified’ chocolate insures that farmers were paid a fair minimum price and that no forced or child labor were used. Also called ethical cocoa sourcing, this practice means that these companies are transparent in their cocoa sourcing and can even direct you to the actual farms where their cocoa was produced. A few companies are owned or partially owned by cocoa farmers. In some situations cocoa processing occurs at the same site where the cocoa was grown.

At Moonflower Market, we endeavor to sell chocolate products from companies that guarantee ethical cocoa sourcing. This Valentine’s Day, we encourage you to buy some sweets for your sweetheart that support a fair living wage for the individuals who had a share in bringing you the chocolate! And most companies who are concerned about the quality of life of their workers are also concerned about the quality of their chocolate! Moonflower carries some of the highest-quality, fair-trade chocolate available and we will be placing many of our chocolate products on sale the month of February!

One show-cased chocolate producer at Moonflower is Divine Chocolates. Divine Chocolate is 45% farmer owned by a cooperative farm in Ghana. Divine’s slogan ‘heavenly chocolate with a heart’ truly categorizes the delicious chocolate that fairly supports all producers from the sales person to the farmer. For more information on Divine Chocolates go to Divine as well as other fair trade chocolates including Alter Eco, Fearless, and Vivani are all on sale the entire month of February at Moonflower Market.

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