Thursday 9 June 2016

Fairly traded cocoa products in New Zealand

This post has been moved to the Just Kai website.  Further updates will be posted there.

This post contains a list of all the fairly traded cocoa products I am aware of for sale in New Zealand.  To jump straight through to the list, click here.

Some years ago Martin and I were horrified to learn that, every time we bought chocolate or other cocoa products, we were paying people to enslave children.  Children who had been trafficked to work on cocoa farms in West Africa, denied schooling, denied wages and 'encouraged' to work by being beaten with bicycle chains.  In addition, low cocoa prices seem to drive many families to send their kids out to work, meaning those kids never get an education.  Instead, they commonly work 12 hour days and are frequently beaten.  It's hard to get accurate figures of how wide-spread these practises are, but the 2018 Global Slavery Index estimates:
  • around 29,700 people (16,000 of them children) are enslaved on on cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast - working without pay and unable to leave;
  • 1.6 million children also work on these cocoa famrs (out of a total workforce of 5 million);
  • 1.4 million of these children are doing work hazardous to their physical health.
Given that 60% of all cocoa in the world is grown in Ghana and the Ivory coast and 1/3 of the workforce there are children, 1/5th of all cocoa is grown by children.  Out of every 10 squares of chocolate you eat, 2 are the product of child labour.

In 2005 many US chocolate companies signed the Harkin-Engel protocol committing to ending the worst forms of child labour.  However, this protocol is non-binding and little has changed.  As of 2015, many of the world's largest chocolate companies are currently facing lawsuits for turning a blind eye to these issues.

Who would want to support all that??!!

The good news is, you don't have to!  You can, instead, choose to only buy fairly traded cocoa, chocolate and other cocoa products.  The more consumers who make this choice, the fewer children will be enslaved and the more farmers will receive sufficient wages to be able to afford to send their kids to school.

Whenever you buy anything with cocoa in it, check the label: if it's marked UTZ, Fairtrade or WFTO it's fine*.   Cocoa grown in Samoa is also fine: perhaps uniquely amongst cocoa growing countries, child labour, forced labour and the unsafe use of agrochemicals do not appear to occur in the cocoa industry there.

To help you find such products, I've compiled a list of fairly traded cocoa products currently available in New Zealand.  Trade Aid products (which are all WFTO-certified) are mostly sold in their own shops (including their online shop).  Many of the other products are widely available in supermarkets, although some are limited to more up-market supermarkets or health food shops.  With a a bit of looking, you should be able to find more or less everything your heart desires!

* You can read my comparison of Fairtrade and UTZ certification here.  The standards certified by WFTO are very similar to those for Fairtrade International, although the organisational structure required is very different.  Trade Aid chooses to certify through WFTO in part as the bulk of their products are hand crafts and Fairtrade International do not currently have standards for those.

Fairly traded cocoa products available in New Zealand
last updated: May 2019

Download as a pdf or jump to:

chocolate blocks

Trade Aid (World Fair Trade Organisation)
  • dark chocolate
  • milk chocolate
  • fancy dark chocolate
  • dark chocolate with mint (really good!)
  • dark chocolate with almond
  • dark chocolate with 'Sri Lankan spice' (ginger, chilli and cinnamon)
  • fancy milk chocolate
  • milk chocolate with coconut
  • milk chocolate with cardamom and orange (not recommended - flavour is very mild)
  • milk chocolate with praline

  • KitKat chocolate blocks, all flavours, including:
    • milk chocolate
    • coconut whirl
    • choc mint whirl
  • Rolo block
  • Aero blocks:
    • milk chocolate
    • minty bubbles
    • caramel
  • Plamil (available from some health food and vegan stores)
    • dairy free 'milk' chocolate
    • no sugar added 'milk' chocolate
Note that only the 'milk' chocolate of the Plamil range appears to be UTZ-certified, although this year (2018) one of their Easter eggs is Fairtrade certified.

  • Whittakers.  NB only these two flavours and only in the 250g blocks - all the rest is made of regular cocoa:
    • Ghana Dark 250g block
    • Creamy Milk 250g block
  • Green and Blacks:
    • milk
    • dark
    • 85% dark.   
  • Wellington Chocolate Factory, all flavours, including:
    • Peru Norandino
    • Dominican Republic
    • Bouganville
    • Samoa
    • coconut milk
    • chilli lime nuts
    • hazelnut
    • salted caramel brittle
    • craft beer
  • Alter Eco (available in Huckleberry and Naturally Organic shops), all flavours, including:
    • 90% dark
    • 85% dark
    • dark sea salt
    • dark salted almonds
    • dark salt and malt
    • dark salted brown butter
    • dark salted burnt caramel
    • dark quinoa crunch
    • dark crisp mint
    • dark salted coconut toffee
  • Bennetto Chocolate, all flavours (which are also all vegan):
    • intense dark 75%
    • orange with chilli
    • mint and cacao nibs
    • toasted hazelnut
  • Pana Chocolate, all flavours, including:
    • mint
    • sour cherry and vanilla
    • coconut and goji
    • strawberry and pistachio
    • pineapple and ginger
    • fig and wild orange
    • nuts
    • cinnamon
    • orange
    • hemp and nib
    • eighty
    • rose
Note: Nestle milky bars (i.e. their white chocolate) bizarrely don't contain cocoa butter, so you can buy them without worrying about the ethics of the cocoa supply chain.  They taste fine, too :-)  As well as plain milky bars, they also do one with toasted coconut and one with cookies in it: don't buy the one with cookies - the cookies aren't made with fairly traded cocoa.

Can have either Fairtrade or UTZ certification
  • SoFree chocolate blocks sometimes have UTZ certification, sometimes Fairtrade and sometimes nothing - check the packaging!  They do a range of vegan and/or sugar-free chocolate blocks including vegan ‘milk’ chocolate; purchase from vegan and health food stores.

  • Whittakers single origin Samoan cocoa extra dark chocolate
  • Devonport Chocolates Samoan bean to bar range:
    • Samoan coconut milk chocolate
    • Samoan dark chocolate with Fijian ginger
    • Samoan dark chocolate

chocolate bars
  • KitKat (UTZ), all flavours, including:
    • classic (various sizes)
    • chunky gooey caramel
    • double-chocolate crisp
    • salted caramel whirl
  • Pixie caramel (UTZ) 
  • Smarties bar (UTZ) 
  • Chokito (UTZ)
  • Nestle Aero bars (UTZ) all flavours, which are:
    • milk chocolate
    • minty bubbles
    • caramel 
  • Vego (Fairtrade) vegan hazelnut chocolate bar

chocolate sweets
  • cocoa-dusted chocolate almonds (Trade Aid/WFTO)
  • cocoa-dusted chocolate cashews (Trade Aid/WFTO)
  • Nestle milk chocolate scorched almonds (UTZ)
  • smarties (UTZ)
  • Alter Eco (Fairtrade, available in organics shops such as Naturally Organic):
    • dark chocolate truffles
    • mint chocolate truffles
    • salted caramel truffles
    • sea salt truffles
    • silk velvet truffles
    • classic coconut dark chocolate clusters
    • cherry and almond butter coconut dark chocolate clusters
    • seeds and salt coconut dark chocolate clusters
  • Countdown milk chocolate almonds, sultanas, peanuts and licorice bullets (UTZ)
  • Vego (Fairtrade) vegan hazelnut pralines
  • Serious Popcorn dark chocolate drizzled popcorn  (Fairtrade)

chocolate ice cream/frozen desserts
  • Ben and Jerry's whole range (Fairtrade) including:
    • chocolate chip cookie dough
    • chocolate fudge brownie (astonishingly rich!)
    • various flavours with chocolate-coated toffee chunks
    • mint choc chip
    • coffee with choc-coated coffee beans 
    • vegan peanut butter and cookies (and three other vegan flavours)
  • NiceBlocks chocolate iceblocks (Fairtrade) - they do a bunch of other cool fair trade flavours as well :-)
Note that Little Island ice creams no longer use fair trade cocoa :-(

chocolate sauce and spread
  • Trade Aid chocolate sauce (WFTO)
  • Vego chocolate hazelnut spread (Fairtrade) 
  • Countdown Essentials choc hazelnut spread (UTZ)

hot chocolate
  • Milo (UTZ)
  • Countdown home brand (UTZ) 
    • hot chocolate
    • instant drinking chocolate (can mix with cold milk)
    • mocha
    • cappucino
  • Trade Aid hot chocolate (Trade Aid/WFTO)
  • Kokako (Fairtrade)
  • Bennetto (Fairtrade) 
    • drinking chocolate bar
    • dark cocoa hot chocolate powder
    • superfoods hot chocolate powder
  • Devonport Chocolates (Fairtrade) - comes in dark, classic and spicy variants. 
  • Wellington Chocolate Factory (Fairtrade) - three flavours including salted caramel
  • Coffee Lala (WFTO)
  • Prima Roastery (Fairtrade)
  • Scarborough Fair (Fairtrade)
  • West Coast Cocoa (UTZ)
    • deluxe
    • dark deluxe
    • peppermint
    • caramel
    • mayan chilli
  • Douwe Egberts cacoa fantasy powder (UTZ) - available from office supply stores
  1. milo products other than actual milo powder (e.g. their cereal and muesli bars) don't use fairly traded cocoa. 
  2. Devonport Chocolates products other that their cocoa powder and hot chocolate also don't use fairly traded cocoa.

chocolate milk
  • Little Island chocolate coconut milk (Fairtrade). 
  • make your own from Countdown home brand instant drinking chocolate (mixes with cold milk) or milo (both UTZ)

cacao nibs and beans
  • Pams Superfoods raw cacao nibs (Fairtrade - NB certification mark not displayed)
  • Devonport Chocolate Samoan Cocoa nibs (Samoan)

cocoa powder and baking supplies
  • Trade Aid cocoa powder (WFTO)
  • Trade Aid 55% chocolate drops (drops about 8-10mm across) (WFTO)
  • Pams Superfoods raw cacao powder (Fairtrade - NB certification mark not displayed)
  • Nestle Baker's choice (UTZ):
    • cocoa
    • cooking chocolate
    • choc bits (which come in dark, milk and white)
    • mini smarties
    • melts (also in dark, milk and white)
    • chocolate chunks (dark and milk)
  • Devonport Chocolates cocoa powder (Fairtrade)
  • West Coast Cocoa baking cocoa (UTZ)
  • Countdown and Countdown Essentials (UTZ)
    • milk and dark cooking chocolate
    • cocoa powder
    • milk choc melts
    • dark choc chips

cocoa butter
  • Trade Aid (currently only available from Piko Wholefoods in Christchurch, but they do deliver throughout the South Island). (WFTO)
  • Pams Superfoods raw cacao butter (Fairtrade - NB certification mark not displayed)

toiletries and cosmetics
  • LUSH - WHERE MARKED (Fairtrade).  LUSH sell a range of bath, body, face and hair products, many of which contain cocoa butter.  Always check the ingredients list: if the cocoa is fair trade it will say so after the ingredient name, if it doesn't it isn't.  Most of their cocoa butter is fair trade but the cocoa butter in 2-3 products isn't; none of the other cocoa products they use (e.g. cocoa powder) are currently fair trade.  The cocoa butter in three products comes from the incredible Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó: check them out - I was humbled to read of their commitment to peace-making in very difficult circumstances and would love to support them.  Search for your nearest LUSH store here.

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