The majority of us have the perception that chocolate is a ‘naughty food’, something to be consumed only occasionally accompanied by an aftertaste of guilt.
Whether it’s the morning snack, the cheeky hot chocolate or an after dinner delight, when I’m eating chocolate I’m thinking about my thighs not the bigger picture. Do you ever stop to think about where the deliciousness comes from? How the chocolatey goodness came to be? Let’s trace it back to the original source — the cocoa bean.
Amazingly, 90 per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown in developing countries on small-scale, family farms by people who live below the poverty line. Growing cocoa is not a reliable or sustainable business for many of these farmers and younger generations are turning their backs on the industry because they don’t see a future in it for themselves. With chocolate consumption predicted to increase by a further 25 per cent in the next eight years and as the demand for cocoa continues to rise, this could lead to a chocolate shortage worldwide.
If you’re like me and have a not-so-secret chocolate addiction, hearing about the plight of these cocoa farmers is making me wonder; what can I do to help?
So, what can we do?
Start small and make the right choices when you’re craving that sweet stuff. Chocolateria San Churro have paved the way for ethical consumption of chocolate and have become the first chocolate cafe nationwide to commit to The Fairtrade Cocoa Program.
This means that their chocolate is produced in an ethical and sustainable way, not only ensuring the continued supply of chocolate (phew) but also helping cocoa farmers to break the poverty cycle and build better futures for themselves and their communities. It’s about creating fair working conditions and ensuring that farming communities have a sustainable future. When farmers sell their cocoa on Fairtrade terms they are guaranteed a stable income and receive extra money to invest in community projects of their choice like building schools, improving healthcare and purchasing farming equipment to improve crop yield.