October 2016 - Fairtrade Cocoa – The Ethical Treat

Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. Whether you’re shopping for ethical treats to hand out on Halloween, or an occasional indulgence for yourself, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark on your chocolate and other cocoa products this October. Buying Fairtrade makes a significant difference in the lives of cocoa farmers and their families around the world.

From local specialty chocolatiers to international brands, there are countless options for delicious Fairtrade chocolate in stores across the country. As the fall brings cooler weather you might be tempted by a mug of tasty hot chocolate. Fairtrade certified cocoa powder is widely available and great for all your baking needs. 

About Fairtrade Cocoa

Fairtrade certified cocoa is produced by almost 180,000 cocoa farmers in 20 countries. The vast majority of these farmers are located in Western Africa in countries such as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. As with some other Fairtrade product categories, there is still a large opportunity for sales to increase, because only 33% of certified cocoa is sold on Fairtrade terms.

Although world-wide demand for cocoa has increased steadily in recent years, many smallholder farmers struggle to sell enough to earn a sustainable income. Cocoa processing is in the hands of just a few corporate players and consolidation continues in the industry. Thus, producers face increased price pressure at the beginning of the supply chain.

The Fairtrade Minimum Price covers the cost of sustainable production and protects farmers from price volatility. In addition, producers receive a Fairtrade Premium which goes into a shared fund to invest in their farms and communities. In 2014, Fairtrade cocoa farmers received an estimated $15.6 million in Premiums, more than a third of which was invested in improving productivity and quality.

In addition to financial benefits, the Fairtrade Standards prohibit the use of child labour which is a major concern in the international cocoa industry.

To learn more about how Fairtrade helps cocoa farmers, watch Divine Inspiration, a film from Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana.