Slave Free Chocolate, says that 2.3 million children are working in the cocoa production fields of West Africa.
We are big fans of chocolate here at The Optimist Daily and have written extensively in the past about its many health benefits, from keeping you mentally sharp to lowering your risk of heart failure.
But if we are going to indulge in this delicious treat, it’s important to be aware of how it’s grown and produced. Slave Free Chocolate, a leading grassroots organization that aims to eradicate child slavery in the cocoa industry, says that 2.3 million children are working in the cocoa production fields of West Africa. A large percentage of these children are vulnerable to being sold into slavery, trafficked, or kidnapped. On top of these human rights issues, the cocoa industry also contributes to deforestation and soil erosion.
So, how can we ensure that we satiate our chocolate cravings guilt-free? Here are five ethical chocolate companies that are striving for an equitable and sustainable future in chocolate production.
Taza Chocolate – Taza chocolate is a Mexican-inspired, stone-ground organic chocolate company that only partners with cacao producers who respect their workers and the environment. They maintain direct relationships with the farmers they work with and pay a premium above the fair trade price for their cacao.
Theo Chocolate – Theo Chocolate is the first fair trade and organic certified cocoa enterprise in the US and is dedicated to making the world a better place by holding themselves accountable socially and environmentally. Their mission statement is “to create a more beautiful, compassionate, and enduring world by responsibly making delicious and inspiring products for everyone.”
Chocolate Cartel – This New Mexican chocolate brand is committed to producing the best-tasting chocolate using the best cacao on Earth. They keep it home-style, proclaiming that their products are “made by people and not machines, and made in a kitchen, not a factory.” Chocolate Cartel also runs various programs that support and give back to their community.
Alter Eco – Alter Eco boasts several certifications, including Non-GMO, organic, Fair Trade, and B-Corp. Their mission is to drive ecological activism through their chocolate production.
Divine Chocolate – This brand’s motto is “owned by cocoa farmers and made for chocolate lovers.” They are committed to ensuring that the farmers who cultivate their cocoa gain a fair share of the wealth they have produced. Divine Chocolate also promotes gender equality by supporting and empowering female farmers.