Every year we eat more than 80 million chocolate eggs over the Easter period; an annual chocolate splurge worth more than £300 billion to the industry. This year, supermarkets have been flooded with Easter eggs earlier than ever but what impact does cheap chocolate have on cocoa producers and the environment?
Cocoa production has a murky past with allegations of labour rights abuses and deforestation in third world countries, and it’s not easy to check the origins of your chocolate. However, chocolate that has been certified by the Fairtrade Foundation comes with a guarantee that farmers have been paid a decent price for their labour and aren’t toiling in appalling conditions.
Fairtrade cocoa pioneer Divine has created a large range of Fairtrade Easter Eggs this year, all of which contain cocoa sourced from the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers co-operative in Ghana where the workers receive the Fairtrade premium and a direct share of Divine’s profits. These profits are invested back into co-operative, providing health care and education for the entire community. Using only recycled cardboard, Divine are also doing their bit to lessen the environmental impact of the whopping 3,000 tonnes of Easter egg packaging produced every year. Another eco-friendly way to celebrate Easter is to swap traditional eggs for something else entirely. For £20, Tree Aid will provide an African family with enough seeds to sow around 300 mangoes or 2,000 Baobab trees. Not only do the family get a guaranteed source of income, the trees also form carbon sinks. There is some chocolate involved though: the recipient of a Tree Aid gift also gets a packet of Divine chocolate covered mangoes along with their certificate and card.
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