Cocoa is a very popular cooking ingredient, used in a wide variety of sweets and desserts. Unfortunately, it is also often sourced unethically with little regard to the well-being of farmers or workers. Because of that, you should look for certain fair trademarks when choosing your cocoa cooking products.
More specifically, you should check if they have the Fairtrade label on them – the certification that indicates the product has been ethically produced and sourced. Not all products can be made only from ingredients that are included in Fairtrade guidelines. In that case, look for is the Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient mark, which is used to indicate that at least one ingredient in the product has been ethically sourced.
There are several reasons why you should pick cocoa cooking products with Fair Trademarks. It ensures that the farmers who grew the cocoa beans were paid a fair price. It also guarantees that they followed good agricultural practices and that the workers who processed the cocoa beans were treated fairly and given good working conditions.
Read on to find out what more about Fair Trade marks you should look for when picking your favorite cacao organic chocolate chips.
What is the Fairtrade Certification Mark?
The FAIRTRADE Certification Mark is the label of Fairtrade International, a global organization that has been working on fair trade practices since the 1990s. It was founded in 1992 as a response to the appeals for fair trade practices from Mexican coffee farmers.
The aim of Fairtrade is to provide people who grow goods in developing countries with a fair price for their products. It also ensures that its products are produced sustainably without compromising the health and well-being of anyone involved.
The Fairtrade standards are high, and that means that chocolate products need to meet certain requirements to be considered fair trade. The cocoa has to be sourced from farmers and workers that have access to certain rights and benefits. If certain requirements aren’t met, the product is not considered to be fair-traded.
How To Recognize Fair Trade Cocoa Products?
You can easily recognize fair trade products because of the Fairtrade Certification Mark. This certification mark is usually shown on the packaging of cocoa baking products, along with the ingredients and nutritional information.
There are a few variants of the Fairtrade mark. The most common one is the black mark with the Fairtrade logo. It indicates that one ingredient used in the product has been certified and is physically traceable. It can be accompanied by a black arrow on the right – it means that more than one ingredient has been ethically produced and sourced.
There is also the Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient (FSI) mark – a white box with the logo and an additional ‘ingredient’ label. This one is used in the case of products in which only one ingredient has been sourced according to the Fairtrade International guidelines. It can be accompanied by the black arrow as well, and it also means that more than one ingredient has been sourced this way.
Fairtrade does not only focus on ethically sourced food ingredients. You can also find the ‘cotton’ mark on clothes that contain at least 50% Fairtrade certified cotton, the ‘gold’ mark on ethically sourced jewelry, and the Fairtrade Textile Production indicates ethical textile supply chains.
Why You Should Buy Fair Trade Cocoa Products?
There are plenty of reasons to buy fair trade cocoa products. They might be a bit more expensive than the non-fair trade versions, but they are definitely worth the extra cost. Fair-traded products are made with care, and they support the farmers who grow them. If you choose fair trade products over unsustainable ones, it makes a difference for both the people involved in their production and the environment.
This way, you can oppose the unfair trade practices that often take place in the food industry, and you can support the farmers who are treated poorly. Fairtrade standards benefit small-scale cocoa growers by giving them good prices for their goods, which as a result gives them a better chance to improve their working conditions and get access to certain rights and benefits such as healthcare.
Apart from regulating work hours, and prohibiting discrimination at the workplace and child or slave labor, fair trade goods also benefit you as the consumer. Such products are typical of higher quality ingredients that have been sustainably and ethically sourced. While this is just a small step towards conscious consumerism, it’s definitely one that makes a difference.
The fair trade cocoa industry is still new, and more products are entering the fair trade program every day. If you want to make a difference, there are plenty of options available, from baking chocolate to hot cocoa mixes. You can always look for the Fairtrade Mark on the products’ packaging. Knowing the different types will help you make conscious choices when shopping for your next cooking supplies.
Fairtrade compliant products usually cost a bit more than the non-fair trade ones, but they are definitely worth the price. They are made with care and often of higher-quality ingredients that have been ethically sourced and produced. This means such products are better for you, the environment, and the farmers and workers who are a part of the supply chain. So, the next time you need cocoa powder for baking or hot chocolate mix, make sure to check the packaging!