Chocolate is one of life’s little pleasures, but few of us stop to think about the way that chocolate production can affect others around the world. By purchasing fair trade chocolate whenever possible (and asking for it in places where it’s not currently available), you’re doing your part to reduce global poverty. You’re also helping to ensure that cocoa growers and producers get a fair price for their product.
Here are a few more reasons why fair trade chocolate is a wise choice:
Most cocoa farmers and other farm workers are paid so little for their crops and their efforts that they can’t even afford to feed their own families or send their children to school. In most cases, children themselves must contribute to the household income by working long hours in sweatshop conditions. If you buy fair trade chocolate, you’re assured that the producers get paid enough to live on.
Buying fair trade chocolate can also further the role of women in society. It can give them access to financial opportunities that were once closed to them, and that not only empowers them, but entire families and communities, too.
Fair trade chocolate producers belong to community organizations that strive for better housing, schools and health care, and it encourages people to work together in a grassroots effort to meet community needs. It also supports farmer efforts to care for the land in ways that are usually organic and sustainable. Most cocoa farms contain species of fruit and shade trees as well, which can provide a habitat for birds, as well as prevent erosion.
Last but not least, producers of fair trade chocolate belong to cooperatives that are run in a democratic fashion. The co-op’s day-to-day business has to be open and perfectly transparent, and that can foster a spirit of democracy in places where the concept is foreign.
Fair trade chocolate is not only tasty, it’s beneficial in so many ways. It helps buyers and producers build partnerships, and it allows producers, growers, and their families an opportunity to have a better life.