Food and Drink

   

A Guilty Pleasure

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For most people chocolate is a treat associated with holidays and good times, but chocolate has a dark side. Historically much of the cocoa used to produce chocolate has come from parts of West Africa, where it may be farmed by children and slaves.

When hunting for an ethical chocolate fair trade is a good starting point, but it’s important not to put all your eggs in the one basket. Some other factors you might consider: animal welfare, sustainable farming, whether chocolates are produced locally or imported and, more practically, how easy brands are to find, price and of course taste.

So who is the fairest of them all? We investigate some popular brands.

Cadbury
Last year Cadbury bowed to consumer pressure and switched its Dairy Milk brand to fair trade. This year they are launching their first ever Fair Trade Easter Egg.
Ownership: Cadbury are a UK based company owned by Kraft. Cadbury Australia produces chocolate in Tasmania from local and imported ingredients.
Fair Trade Certification: Yes.
Organic: No.
Vegan: No.
Palm oil: Palm oil free since 2009.
Available: Everywhere from supermarkets to service stations.
Taste: The new Cadbury is a chip off the old block, nothing fancy but to me it tastes like childhood and home.
Cost: 65g Egg – $3.95 ($6.08 per 100g) 100g block of chocolate – $3.26.

Green and Black’s
Green and Black’s are a bit tricky. They were one of the first brands to support fair trade back in 1994 but since then things have gotten a bit blurry. Their Maya Gold range is still fair trade, organic and available in the shape of an egg.
Ownership: Owned by Cadbury (see above).
Fair Trade Certification: 90%. Plan to have all products Fair Trade by end of 2011. Also have their own ethic sourcing standards.
Organic: Yes.
Vegan: Maybe.
Palm oil:.  Organic palm oil used in Butterscotch and Raisin & Hazelnut.
Available: Widely available in supermarkets.
Taste:. The dark chocolate I sampled had aspects of citrus and vanilla but was a bit chalky and bitter.
Cost: $3.99 for 100g block.

Kinnerton Luxury Dairy-Free Easter Egg
Some of Kinnerton’s chocolates use pork gelatine marshmallows but we’re focusing on their Easter Egg.
Ownership: UK company producing in Australia from local and imported ingredients.
Fair Trade Certification: No.
Organic: No.
Vegan: Yes. Also nut free and gluten free.
Palm oil:.  No.
Available: David Jones.
Taste: Delicious, easily surpassing many of its non-vegan competitors.
Cost: Despite the high cost involved with having the chocolate certified allergen-free it will only set you back – $19.90 for 210G egg ($9.48 per 100g).

Whittaker’s
Ownership: New Zealand company manufacturing in New Zealand using local and imported ingredients.
Fair Trade Certification: Yes.
Organic: No.
Vegan: Dark Chocolate. (also offer gluten free, Kosher and Halal products).
Palm oil: No.
Available: Some IGA’s, delicatessens and chocolate shops.
Taste: OK, but Kiwi’s love it.
Cost: $4.35 for 250g block ($1.74 per 100g).

Chocolatier
Ownership: Australian company producing right here in Melbourne from local and imported ingredients.
Fair Trade Certification: Selected products.
Organic: No.
Vegan: Vegan options include Dark Chocolate Thins.
Palm oil: Not known.
Available: Widely available in department stores and supermarkets.
Taste: Like free hotel chocolates.
Cost: 100g egg costs $8.95

Lindsay and Edmund’s *WINNER*
Linsday and Edmund’s are easily our winner. They aren’t cheap or widely available but they tick all the right boxes and taste amazing.
Ownership: Australian company. Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients.
Fair Trade Certification: Yes.
Organic: Yes.
Vegan: Vegan options
Palm oil: No
Available: Available online and at The Trading Circle and Agora Organic Market.
Taste: Amazing. Their Caramelised Chilli and Macadamia Slab won the Gold Medal at the 2010 Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Cost: $17.50 buys you a 175g slab ($10.00 for 100g).

Other brands worth a look: Bonvita, Booja Booja, Aldi’s Just Organic Fairtrade Chocolate, ALTER ECO, and Oxfam.
Chocolate boutiques worth visiting include Shocolate and Monsieur Truffle.

Click here for more information about fair-trade chocolate.


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