I know it is really hard to be a conscious consumer all of the time, but I think it’s important not to put our heads in the sand. My mother sells fair trade chocolate (and other goodies) at her store called the Global Market at the Community United Methodist Church. She sent me this link to an article that explores the unfortunate circumstances that exist with regard to the conditions people (often young children) work under in the cocoa fields. For more info, read the entire article here. http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/04/04/slavery-free-chocolate/
The take home message from me is to at least think about how the products you consume are produced and, when possible, support those that are produced locally or engage in fair trade practices. These products will not be relying on the slave labor of people around the world. Interviewed in the article Kristen Hard, the owner of Cacao Atlanta who deals directly with growers from Brazil and Venezuela, says it best. “Whatever you’re purchasing is funding something; it’s a choice that you’re making every day,” she says. “Buying fair trade can benefit the environment and the social status of the farmers. Or, you can do the opposite and promote child labor.” And, try applying this philosophy to other things that you buy as well.
With regard to chocolate, look for the label “Fair Trade” or “Rainforest Alliance.” This will guarantee you aren’t buying chocolate produced by the unfair treatment of others.
When you savor your chocolate today, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re helping to make the world a better place?