A Change of Chocolate

cacao beans and pods

I’ve got a confession to make: Chocolate is an area where I sometimes let my standards slip a little in order to get a fix.

Despite having spent nearly a year researching the terrible standards in cacao production, I have been known to nibble a bit of low grade chocolate.

I’ve been aware for years that Green and Blacks are owned by Kraft, but have deliberately kept my blinkers on, as they are the ‘least-worst’ option at our local late-night convenience store. Pukka Herbs’ sale to Unilever has made me reconsider whether a company can remain ethical whilst being owned by a super-huge multinational corporation. When I saw the news that Green and Blacks were launching a new range of non-organic products, and dropping Fairtrade certification on many of their products, I realised it was time to turn my chocolatey attentions elsewhere.

It’s been a terrible burden, but I’ve had to try out several alternatives in the name of research. They’ve got to be organic and Fairtrade (or small batch/single origin cacao). Here are a few recommendations:

  • When I needed a dark chocolate hit to keep me awake to watch a late night showing of Bladerunner 2049 I tried out The Chicken Shed‘s dark and fudgey orange bar, sweetened with tropical honey, which I picked up at the Organic Deli in Oxford.
  • Seed and Bean do a wide range of interesting flavours. They tend toward super-dark, but there are a few milky options too. Their tangerine milk chocolate is the closest thing to a full bar of orange-smartie inners that I’ve ever tasted.
  • Ombar’s Coco Mylk buttons are a tasty little treat that’s free from dairy and refined sugar. They are working towards Fairtrade certification.
  • Traidcraft and Equal Exchange are both good, solid alternatives for a big bar to share… My local health food shop has been offering tasters this week: Yum!
  • For a deluxe vegan treat, it’s hard to beat Booja Booja.

So, time to raise the bar (yes, pun intended) and put my chocolate money where my mouth is.

Happy Chocolate Week everyone!

 

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