February 8th, 2019
Just in case you’ve been locked away in a cave since Christmas and don’t know that every shelf in every shop in the land is now packed full of deliciously plump and round chocolate eggs temptingly encased in sparkles and shiny paper with sickly-sweet promises of a fun-filled Sunday morning tumbling out of each one; we are rushing ever closer to the chocolate fest that is Easter weekend, not to mention Valentine’s Day in the middle!
These days, Easter eggs aren’t just for children – there are all sorts of Easter eggs for all sorts of tastes. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, giant ones, mini ones, filled ones, truffle ones…. you name it!
One trend not to miss out on this year is the Fairtrade frenzy. Once only the realm of stripy jumpers and open toe sandals, Fairtrade products have recently catapulted themselves into the shopping baskets of every-day shoppers. Since Cadbury’s announced a few years ago that it was making every single one of its flagship Dairy Milk bars under the Fairtrade banner, the cause has been flung into the arms of a mass audience.
So, what’s the deal with Fairtrade? Is it better, and how does it work? Well, any product that carries the Fairtrade logo has been traded using a set of standards that have been internationally agreed. These commercial transactions occur between buyers in the western world and producers in the developing world.
It is fairer than the usual way of doing business because fair-trade buyers pay their suppliers a fair and honest price for their goods. This price covers sustainable production and the cost of living. Fair-traders also pay suppliers a premium, so that this can then be re-invested in projects to develop farms and businesses and that benefit the whole community. These premiums are looked after by co-operatives in each community who ensure that the funding is used properly.
Buyers also sign solid contracts, which means the producer can plan ahead and invest securely for the future. The buyer does expect some things in return however; the produce supplied must be of a really high quality, and the producer must agree to care for the land and the surrounding environment.
The cocoa that Cadbury uses for the Dairy Milk bar now comes from Ghana, which is reputedly the best in the world. Over 300 million bars of Dairy Milk are sold in the UK and Ireland, which is a lot of cocoa beans!
Cocoa is Ghana’s second largest export and it is estimated that roughly 20% of the 22 million population source their livelihood from cocoa. Cadbury’s involvement means that fair-trade exports from Ghana will triple, to 15,000 tonnes a year, and Cadbury’s plans to invest £45 million over the next ten years in Ghana’s sustainable cocoa supply which in turn will be passed on to about 100 communities. They will benefit from transport networks, improved education, more employment opportunities and security.
So, indulge your sweet tooth and polish your halo at the same time. Get cracking, and find yourself a fairly-traded egg-tastic chocolate treat this Easter.