Klerifying facts: Cocoa farmers typically earn between $1.50 and $3 per day; they only receive about 9 cents every time you buy a chocolate bar!
That’s more outrageous than realizing a 100 Grand bar isn’t actually worth $100,000…
Unwrapping Chocolate’s Un-Ethical Economics
Though your mother’s love is never in doubt, the future of farmers who grow the key ingredient in the chocolate bar she so enjoys IS in doubt! 80-90% of cocoa is grown by farmers who live in or near poverty. It’s sadly fitting that Mothers who have one of the most thankless and unpaid jobs receive chocolate grown by un-thanked and poorly paid farmers!
The farmers’ impoverished lifestyle is leading to an exodus from the industry. Farmers switch to other crops or move to the city for a better life. This is a threat to the chocolate industry, and it leaves a bittersweet taste in our mouth when we enjoy a sweet candy.
From tree to bar
Chocolate’s main ingredient is cocoa. Cocoa is grown on a tree in pods which are harvested for the beans that eventually become a chocolate candy bar. The typical split in the cost of a chocolate candy is:
This means that most of the money you pay goes to companies who sell, manufacture, and trade chocolate. They do this in a way that hides where and how your chocolate is grown. This means you can’t be sure, without some certification or a direct trade product that the bar wasn’t grown with child labor, hazardous practices, a result of deforestation, or in a way that doesn’t enable a living wage. So it’s important to buy from a brand that can sustainably trace from tree to bar. The different labels can lead to different ways to return income to farmers.
Direct Trade increases the share of money to the farmer through closer commercial relationships.
Fair Trade guarantees a premium cocoa price.
Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certifications have been shown to improve farmer efficiencies and livelihoods, as well.
Your Mom deserves chocolate as enduring as her love!
Buying sustainably certified chocolate as well as direct trade chocolate can lead to improved lives for farmers with higher incomes, reduced pesticide use, and caring for nature. So show Mom you are following the lessons she taught you to be a good person, and make an ethical choice with the chocolate you buy for this Sunday:
😃 Green Brands:
Certified : Vosges Chocolate
Endangered Species Chocolate
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Direct Trade: Good Now Farms
😐Yellow Brands: Green and Black's
😡 Red Brands: Ghiradelli, Godiva, Lindt, Russell Stover
Meet a certified cocoa farmer!
We did not make this stuff up!
First photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackton/8041853745