We sell the Van Houten Fairtrade hot chocolate here and you may wonder why we have chosen to do this and what Fairtrade is all about.
In the chocolate industry there is a lot of slavery going on and especially child slavery. This is sad, but as most chocolatiers had little to do with the actual farmers it has been hard to control it. Now chocolate companies are starting to step up and take action though. A huge trend is seen in consumer awareness and a willingness to pay more if the consumers know the goods they buy actually help, not harm the people they bought it from.
Chocolate maker Ferrero has pledged to eradicate slavery from farms where it sources its cocoa by 2020 and Nestle allowed the Fair Labor Association to go in and research their entire supply chain to try to find out where there was potential slavery involved. Many farms did violate child labor rights and the company is now working on improving their supply chain. Hershey pledged $10 million last year to try to improve working conditions in the West African chocolate production.
With all the media attention and companies busting in to try to help educate the farmers in both technique and etiquette overall working conditions are getting better, but that does not mean that child slavery has been completely abandoned. Therefore, if you want to know for sure that there is no slavery involved in the making of you chocolate it is safer to buy the Fairtrade label.
From the Fairtrade organization: There are two distinct sets of Fairtrade Standards, which acknowledge different types of disadvantaged producers. One set of standards applies to smallholders that are working together in co-operatives or other organizations with a democratic structure. The other set applies to workers, whose employers pay decent wages, guarantee the right to join trade unions, ensure health and safety standards and provide adequate housing where relevant.
Fairtrade Standards also cover terms of trade. Most products have a Fairtrade Price, which is the minimum that must be paid to the producers. In addition producers get an additional sum, the Fairtrade Premium, to invest in their communities.
So now you know why we sell the Van Houten Fairtrade hot chocolate!