Three of Our Favorite Fair Trade Chocolate Companies

It is no secret to anyone that knows me. I have an insatiable appetite for chocolate. To me, chocolate is essential. It’s the utmost pleasurable gastronomic experience, and I feel it should be indulged in daily in some form, even if only a teensy bit.  

The choices for purchasing chocolate are vast, as far as companies go. But the big name candy companies lack not only in flavor and high-quality ingredients, but also in ethics. Child labor is a serious issue on cocoa farms, as well as farmers being underpaid by companies for their goods.

I see chocolate as a blessing and a luxury. There’s no reason why something that tastes so good should harm anyone.

Buying fair trade helps to make cocoa farming more sustainable in places like the Ivory Coast, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Fairtrade standards ban child labor and forced labor and ensure farmers are paid a fair price, allowing them to run their farms in ways that benefit their community, according to Fairtrade America.  

Here are three of my favorite fair trade chocolate companies that work closely with their farmers to make sure everyone wins. Not only do their products taste amazing, but they use quality ingredients and have many delicious plant-based options. To top it off, these companies work to help both people and the environment.

1. Endangered Species Chocolate

Their chocolate bar wrappers feature beautiful artwork, each representing an animal. And the flavor pairings are delectable. The Tamarin mingles cinnamon and cayenne with cherries. The Rhino mixes in hazelnuts and toffee with 72% dark chocolate. In addition to being fair trade, Endangered Species gives 10% of net profits to various partner organizations working in wildlife conservation.

2. Theo

This is my local favorite because Theo crafts all their chocolate in their factory in Seattle’s Fremont area. Theo’s website has tons of info about how they source their chocolate. You can read stories about their farmers from Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their bars are organic, and a couple of my favorites are the black rice quinoa crunch and the ginger 70% dark chocolate bar. They also make delicious confections, like dark chocolate salted almond butter cups and ghost chili caramels.

3. Equal Exchange

The mission of this co-op centers around creating fair trade long-term partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships between consumers and farmers. Equal Exchange is a democratic worker cooperative that structures itself to prioritize worker rights and responsibilities over maximizing profits. Their organic chocolate bars and hot cocoa are seriously a treasure. You can also get yourself set for baking with their organic cocoa powder and chocolate chips, both semi-sweet and bittersweet. The organization does more than just chocolate. They also sell coffee, tea, bananas, avocados, and other foods.

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