Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fairly traded cocoa products in New Zealand

This post contains a list of all the fairly traded cocoa products I am aware of for sale in New Zealand.  To jump straight through to the list, click here.

Some years ago Martin and I were horrified to learn that, every time we bought chocolate or other cocoa products, we were paying people to enslave children.  Children who had been trafficked to work on cocoa farms in West Africa, denied schooling, denied wages and 'encouraged' to work by being beaten with bicycle chains.  It's hard to get accurate figures of how wide-spread these practises are, but the US Department of State conservatively estimates at least 10,000 children are currently enslaved.

In addition, child labour (where children work instead of going to school) is extremely common in the cocoa industry: as of 2011, 1.8 million children were working on cocoa farms in West Africa.  Nearly half of them were engaged in hazardous work, 12-hour working days were common and the children were frequently beaten.

In 2005 many US chocolate companies signed the Harkin-Engel protocol committing to ending the worst forms of child labour.  However, this protocol is non-binding and little has changed.  As of 2015, many of the world's largest chocolate companies are currently facing lawsuits for turning a blind eye to these issues.

Who would want to support all that??!!

The good news is, you don't have to!  You can, instead, choose to only buy fairly traded cocoa, chocolate and other cocoa products.  The more consumers who make this choice, the fewer children will be enslaved and the more farmers will receive sufficient wages to be able to afford to send their kids to school.

Whenever you buy anything with cocoa in it, check the label: if it's marked UTZ, FairTrade or WFTO it's fine*.  To help you find these products, I've compiled a list of fairly traded cocoa products currently available in New Zealand.  TradeAid products (which are all WFTO-certified) are mostly sold in their own shops (including their online shop).  Many of the other products are widely available in supermarkets, although some are limited to more up-market supermarkets or health food shops.  With a a bit of looking, you should be able to find more or less everything your heart desires!

* You can read my comparison of FairTrade and UTZ certification here.  The standards certified by WFTO are very similar to those for Fair Trade InternationalTradeAid chooses to certify through WFTO as the bulk of their products are hand crafts and Fair Trade International do not currently have standards for those.

Fairly traded cocoa products available in New Zealand
last updated: June 2017

chocolate blocks

TradeAid (World Fair Trade Organisation)
  • dark chocolate
  • milk chocolate
  • fancy dark chocolate
  • dark chocolate with mint (really good!)
  • dark chocolate with almond
  • dark chocolate with 'Sri Lankan spice' (ginger, chilli and cinnamon)
  • fancy milk chocolate
  • milk chocolate with coconut
  • milk chocolate with cardamom and orange (not recommended - flavour is very mild)
  • milk chocolate with praline

  • KitKat chocolate blocks, all flavours, including:
    • milk chocolate
    • coconut whirl
    • choc mint whirl
  • Rolo block
  • Aero blocks:
    • milk chocolate
    • minty bubbles
    • caramel
  • Select Gold chocolate blocks (available from Countdown):
    • dark chocolate
    • dark chocolate with orange and almond
    • milk chocolate with pecan and caramel
Note that other Select Gold products with cocoa in them (e.g. their chocolate biscuits) don't use fairly traded cocoa: only these chocolate blocks.  Even their dark chocolate block with sea salt and caramel doesn't - check for the UTZ label.

  • Whittakers.  NB only these two flavours and only in the 250g blocks - all the rest is made of regular cocoa:
    • Ghana Dark 250g block
    • Creamy Milk 250g block
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk (but not the rest of the Cadbury range - not even the flavoured Dairy Milk chocolate bars or Milk Tray chocolates)
  • Green and Blacks:
    • milk
    • dark
    • 85% dark.   
  • Wellington Chocolate Factory, all flavours, including:
    • Peru Norandino
    • Dominican Republic
    • Bouganville
    • Samoa
    • coconut milk
    • chilli lime nuts
    • hazelnut
    • salted caramel brittle
    • craft beer
  • Pana Chocolate, all flavours, including:
    • mint
    • sour cherry and vanilla
    • coconut and goji
    • strawberry and pistachio
    • pineapple and ginger
    • fig and wild orange
    • nuts
    • cinnamon
    • orange
    • hemp and nib
    • eighty
    • rose
Note: Nestle milky bars (i.e. their white chocolate) bizarrely don't contain cocoa butter, so you can buy them without worrying about the ethics of the cocoa supply chain.  They taste fine, too :-)  As well as plain milky bars, they also do one with toasted coconut and one with cookies in it: don't buy the one with cookies - the cookies aren't made with fairly traded cocoa.

chocolate bars
  • KitKat (UTZ), all flavours, including:
    • classic (various sizes)
    • chunky gooey caramel
    • double-chocolate crisp
    • salted caramel whirl
  • Pixie caramel (UTZ) 
  • Smarties bar (UTZ) 
  • Chokito (UTZ)
  • Nestle Aero bars (UTZ) all flavours, which are:
    • milk chocolate
    • minty bubbles
    • caramel

chocolate sweets
  • cocoa-dusted chocolate almonds (TradeAid/WFTO)
  • cocoa-dusted chocolate raisins (TradeAid/WFTO)
  • Nestle milk chocolate scorched almonds (UTZ)
  • smarties (UTZ)
  • Brinkel's wedding favours.  These are hand-made chocolates, made in Wellington using Whittakers FairTrade milk and dark chocolate.  Beware, though: the white chocolate is Whittakers also, and that's not fairly traded.

chocolate icecream/frozen desserts
  • Ben and Jerry's whole range (FairTrade) including:
    • chocolate chip cookie dough
    • chocolate fudge brownie (astonishingly rich!)
    • various flavours with chocolate-coated toffee chunks
    • mint choc chip
    • coffee with choc-coated coffee beans
  • NiceBlocks chocolate iceblocks (FairTrade)
  • Little Island  "iced coconut cream dessert" (FairTrade).  Note that these doesn't have the FairTrade logo on, but the manufacturer has assured me that they use FairTrade cocoa and will be using updated packaging to reflect this from September 2016.  They have the following chocolate flavours:
    • chocolate
    • chocolate rasperry
    • mint choc chip 

chocolate sauce
  • TradeAid (WFTO)

hot chocolate
  1. milo products other than actual milo powder (e.g. their cereal and muesli bars) don't use fairly traded cocoa. 
  2. Devonport Chocolates products other that their cocoa powder and hot chocolate also don't use fairly traded cocoa.

chocolate milk
  • Little Island chocolate coconut milk (FairTrade).  Note that currently the 380mL bottle is labelled FairTrade but the 1L isn't.  The company have confirmed to me that that's just because they're still using old packaging on the 1L bottles.  From around September 2016 all bottles should have the FairTrade logo on them.  As well as chocolate, they do FairTrade banana and coffee flavoured coconut milks, too :-)

cocoa powder and baking supplies
  • TradeAid cocoa powder (WFTO)
  • TradeAid 55% chocolate drops (drops about 8-10mm across) (WFTO)
  • Devonport Chocolates cocoa powder
  • Nestle Baker's choice (UTZ):
    • cocoa
    • cooking chocolate
    • choc bits (which come in dark, milk and white)
    • melts (also in dark, milk and white)
    • chocolate chunks (dark and milk)

cocoa butter
  • TradeAid (currently only available from Piko Wholefoods in Christchurch, but they do deliver throughout the South Island). (WFTO)

No comments:

Post a Comment