Fairly traded Easter eggs
Below are some ways you can get your Easter treats whilst helping your neighbours to flourish, instead of supporting those who enslave them!
- FairTrade certified
- Other fair trade certifications
- Ones to watch out for
- Make your own!
Countdown is stocking two FairTrade-certified eggs this Easter, both of which are also sugar-free. They're going for $12.49 each:
|I expect this one's also vegan - the same egg was last year, anyway!|
Wellington chocolate factory has a (vegan) egg going for around $10 that you can buy these from a number of places around Wellington as well as online from The Chocolate Bar.
For $10.98 from The Cruelty Free Shop (online and in Grey Lynn) there's a vegan 'milk' chocolate egg made with rice milk:
We also spotted a variety of Riegelein chicks and bunnies at our local superette. If you see them, check for the fair trade logo (on the back) before you buy. Not all elements of their range are fair trade, but the following ones were in our local shop:
UTZ is a response to some of the limitations of FairTrade: it brings in large plantations whilst still guaranteeing good labour conditions including a living wage. Read more about it here.
Hamlet Easter figurines are UTZ-certified:
|- not all the ones we saw had it, but the following did|
|We saw these at Countdown - they come in four different shapes and cost $4.49 each.|
Do check for the UTZ mark or Nestle's 'cocoa plan' mark (which encompasses UTZ) - not all of Nestle's factories have yet transitioned to UTZ and a number of the 'Smarties' products are still made with regular cocoa.
There are a range of UTZ-certified 'filled' eggs going for around $5.50 each:
Smarties mini-eggs ($3 from The Warehouse) are also UTZ-certified:
La Petite Chocolat in Hawke's Bay has an impressive range of Easter treats - solid chocolate eggs in real egg shells, Mama and baby hen and chick sets, hot cross bun-flavoured chocolate and more. Their range is made from chocolate certified by 'Ecocert' in France. I'm not familiar with this certification and have no idea how trustworthy it is: if you'd like to look into it, their standards documentation is here.
Also, not an Easter 'egg', but TradeAid this year has released limited-edition chocolate-drizzled popcorn this Easter :-) Their chocolate is certified by WFTO - along with FairTrade, one of the two most widely respected fair trade suppliers.
For your local stockist, check here.
|Egg-shaped lemon-flavoured shortbread biscuits - available from Countdown for $4.49. According to the BBC (!) "Walkers mini lemon shortbread eggs are as short, sweet, and satisfying as a bright spring day."|
|Unlike Cadbury and Whittaker's, Nestle white 'chocolate' is cocoa-free(!)|
And various marshmallow treats (these are all from the Countdown website - you'll likely find others elsewhere, too):
Ones to watch out forIt can be easy to assume that Whittakers Kiwis are FairTrade: after all, their Dark Ghana and Creamy Milk 250g blocks are! Sadly, they're not. Those 250g blocks are the only items in the Whittakers range that are FairTrade: everything else - including Dark Ghana and Creamy Milk in other shapes and sizes - is made from regular cocoa.
Swiss Bliss from Waitoki, whose products are on sale in a number of organic stores, claim to be fair trade. They provide no statement on their website as to what that means to them, and haven't responded to my enquiries. I'd stay away from them if you're concerned about labour rights!
Some of the Nestle 'Smarties' range isn't yet UTZ-certified: avoid the smarties egg hunt pack, the smarties funny egg, the mini smarties egg and the smarties Easter bunny.
Countdown is selling Hamlet hazelnut filled eggs. Although Hamlet's Easter figurines are UTZ-certified, these eggs are not and are to be avoided. And, if you have the energy, please complain to Countdown about that: the manufacturer clearly makes both UTZ and regular versions of these, but Countdown has chosen to buy the regular version.
However, there's still no options for chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs or hard-shelled eggs with fillings - if you want those, you need to make your own using fairly traded chocolate.
To make marshmallow eggs (recipe), you need a strong electric beater and some gelatine - a cooking thermometer also helps. You likely have all the other supplies in your house already. They take a while as the marshmallow has be left to set for around four hours, but they're pretty straight-forward and would be easy to do with children.
Hard-shelled eggs with fillings ideally require moulds: you can buy a range here. I use their small cracked egg mould, which makes eggs a bit smaller than commercial creme eggs.
I use these to make creme eggs (recipe - includes both classic vanilla and vegan peppermint) and hazelnut eggs (recipe). The hazelnut ones are dead easy (you just need to source some hazelnut butter - try your local health food store). Creme eggs are more tricky (especially the classic white and yellow vanilla ones) and require a strong beater and a cooking thermometer. You'll also need to source some invertase (likely from a place that sells supplies for specialty cakes) and glucose (try home-brew stores) to make them.
If you don't have moulds to hand and have run out of time to buy them, you can make hard-shelled 'eggs' on sticks instead (instructions towards the end of my creme egg recipe), but they will come out quite munted-looking!
This year my friend Anna and I will be making marshmallow eggs, hazelnut eggs and vegan peppermint creme eggs. We make lots so there's plenty to share with friends and relations :-)
I made the soft fillings earlier this week:
One day next week I'll do the marshmallow centres and finish off the peppermint creme egg filling; on Saturday week we'll assemble them together. Yum!