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Why buy fair trade chocolate?

Author: Kim | April 5, 2010 | ChocolateInformation

fair trade chocolate cote d'ivoire

Chocri customers have been Tweeting and Facebooking their favorite personalized chocolate bar creations (which is so cool and always appreciated- please keep it coming!), but chocri isn't just awesome chocolate- it's fair trade, too.

The use of fair trade chocolate is catching on. The practice increased 22% in 2008 (the last year for which statistics are available) and some mass manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon, too. Here at chocri, we've always believed that it's important to ensure our products aren't just delicious, but produced ethically and without the use of child labor- a particularly significant problem in Cote d'Ivoire, where much of the world's chocolate originates:

"With over 13 million tons of cacao beans harvested, the Ivory Coast region produces almost three times the amount of cacao as the second-highest cacao-producing country, Indonesia. Every third cacao bean comes from the Ivory Coast... Many small farms... utilize child labor. The dependence upon the price of cacao increases poverty in these nations, directly impacting the future of the country’s children, who often have no chance to receive education."

A recent article out of Rochester, MN profiles a family's decision to purchase fair trade chocolate, and the possible impact on the regions in which chocolate is produced if the trend toward fair trade chocolate continues:

"Patty and John Brown and their two daughters, ages 20 and 14, practice responsible consumption throughout the year, choosing to buy fair-trade products for which farmers are paid a fair price and are prohibited from using slave labor...

In its 2009 human rights report on Cote d'Ivoire, the U.S. Department of State cited a Tulane University survey published last year that indicated 24 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 living in cocoa-growing regions had worked on cocoa farms in the previous 12 months. Half of the children working on cocoa farms claimed they had been injured while working in agriculture. The Cote d'Ivoire government started a program last year to tackle the problem of child labor in the cocoa industry."

Chocri's commitment to fair trade extends past cocoa- the sugar and dairy components used in our products are fair trade, too.

Interested in learning more about ethically produced chocolate? You can read about chocri's efforts to improve conditions in Ivory Coast orphanages here and here. Also, a portion of the proceeds from every chocri purchase is donated to DIV Kinder, and you can learn more about their amazing efforts on our website.

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