What Are Fair Trade Chocolates?
Many of the products we use and consume everyday are made from ingredients and materials sourced from different parts of the world. Let’s take chocolates as an example.
Cocoa beans are the primary ingredients of chocolates. Most, if not all, cocoa beans are sourced from some of the poorest regions of the world. Most of these places have lax labour laws which means farmers and workers from these places are often taken advantage of.
Fortunately, many international organisations are making many people aware of the poor living and working conditions of the farmers who work in the fields to grow and harvest ingredients of our favourite treat.
One of the initiatives that is gaining support from the international community is fair trade. And fair trade chocolates are becoming popular each year.
What is fair trade?
Fair trade is a movement that puts people and the planet before profits. It’s a way for consumers to make a conscious decision to make our world a better place by supporting small scale farmers, workers and producers in developing countries who are often marginalized. These products like fair trade chocolates are produced by workers who have fair wages and living conditions, safe working environment, and the right to organize free of fear of retaliation.
Fair Trade has a mission to improve the quality of life for farmers and workers across the globe. When you buy fair trade chocolate, you are buying into a cause. Fair trade is about making sure the people who provide your chocolate are paid fairly in terms of both their quality and quantity of work.
What are fair trade chocolates?
Fair Trade Certified chocolate is different from other chocolate which is produced by an unfair system that focuses on the cocoa farmer’s end of the business. Fair trade chocolates are certified to meet global labor standards and ensure that farmers are paid decent salaries and receive bonuses depending on their performance.
Many producers of fair trade goods often support initiatives to improve the living and working conditions of the farmers and workers producing their products. Initiatives such as cooperatives, clean water source, building schools, clinics and health centers are pretty common.
Why is buying fair trade chocolates important?
Buying fair trade chocolates is your own simple way of supporting fair trade practices. Sure, there's still a lot to do and we’re still a long way from a world where all farmers and workers enjoy a living wage. But with every fair trade chocolate bar you buy, it brings us closer to realising fair trade’s mission.
Cacao trees are among the most sprayed crops in the world. It takes hard labour and often includes extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers. These farming practices are harmful to the environment which affect biodiversity and pollute the soil.
Not only will buying fair trade help improve the lives of the farmers and workers, it also helps improve their farming practices. Since they’re paid with fair living wages, these workers can afford safety equipment for their work. They’d also move towards sustainable farming to have less impact on the environment.
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