By: Sam Silber
Problem: Hershey and Mars, the most popular candy brands in the United States, do not use fair trade certified chocolate. This isn’t a question of quality. Fair trade certified chocolate ensures that farmers and workers receive fair wages and treatment. Hershey and Mars, on the other hand, use chocolate suppliers in places like West Africa where cocoa bean farming is reliant on child labor. These children are forced to live in ill conditions, face brutal abuse, and have no means of escape.
Problem: 2020 is still four years away and, in the meantime, not eating chocolate for four years sounds really, really hard.
Solution: Fair trade chocolate. An abundant array of fair trade chocolate can be found at local grocery stores like Kroger and Walmart, or in health food stores like MOON Co-op. Typically only a dollar or two more than a typical chocolate bar, fair trade brands typically use organic, non-GMO ingredients and have an even greater variety of flavors than popular brands.
Here are 10 easy fair trade certified or focused swaps:
- Swap a classic Hershey’s bar with any fair trade brand: fair trade chocolates come in
both milk and dark chocolate with a varying amounts of cocoa according to your taste.
- Swap Hershey’s Special Dark with any fair trade brand, for example Lily’s organic, gluten-free, non-GMO Dark Chocolate or Chocolove’s Strong Dark Chocolate.
- Trade Reese’s Cups with Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups (milk, dark, white chocolate and almond and hazelnut butters) or dairy-free, vegan Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
- Swap Hershey’s with Almonds for Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate (bitter, sweet, salty). Like dark and milk chocolate, most fair trade brands offer chocolate with almonds.
- Swap Hershey’s Bliss or Doves for the decadently rich Heavenly Organics with 100% dark chocolate and organic white honey and a personal favorite.
- Switch York Peppermint Patties with Heavenly Organics Chocolate Mint Honey Patties or Theo Mint or Peppermint bars.
- Trade Hershey Kisses for bite size Equal Exchange Chocolate Minis which come in milk and dark. (They also come in full size bars with flavors like milk, dark, orange, peppermint, caramel, lemon ginger, and almond).
- Swap Skor and Heath Bars for Theo Salted Toffee 55% Organic Dark Chocolate.
- Swap Mounds with Endangered Species Coconut Crème Filled Dark Chocolate. Sales from this brand which sells a wide variety of wild flavors benefit the Rainforest Trust and Wildlife Conservation Network.
- Swap Milky Way for Equal Exchange Organic Milk Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt (41% Cacao).
Or try a flavor you’ve never eaten before:
- Endangered Species Pumpkin Spice & Almonds
- Blackberry Sage
- Sea Salt and Lime Crème
- Lemon Poppy Seed
- Cinnamon, Cayenne, and Cherry
- Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Mango and Coconut
- Chocolove Raspberry
- Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate with Orange
These make up just a few of the many fair trade chocolate brands that can be found in the Oxford area at Kroger, MOON Co-op, or Walmart. Most of the brands listed above offer a broad assortment of flavors aside from those mentioned. In-store prices were generally between $1.50 and $3.50.
Other popular fair trade conscious brands include:
Clif Bar, Cloud Nine, Dagoba Organic Chocolate, Denman Island Chocolate, Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Gardners Candies, Green and Black’s, John & Kira’s, Kailua Candy Company, Koppers Chocolate, L.A. Burdick Chocolates, Montezuma’s Chocolates, NewLeaf Chocolates, Newman’s Own Organics, Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, Rapunzel Pure Organics, Shaman Chocolates, Sweet Earth Chocolates, Taza Chocolate.