It’s no secret that I love chocolate and probably have a sugar addiction. There’s always a bar or two stashed away somewhere cool for when the moment strikes!
In the past year or two, I have become much more aware of the inequalities in the chocolate industry, and have made a conscious effort to change my own buying habits and educate others! I’ve had lots of interesting conversations about ethical chocolate on social media, and have encouraged lots of friends to try some great brands, so I wanted to write a bit about it here.
My journey into the world of ethical chocolate started with Tony’s Chocoloney – a brand I had discovered a number of years ago in Amsterdam, and rediscovered in the UK after I had my twin babies. I do most of my shopping for baby things, clothes, and personal care items at Babipur, who stock Tony’s, so it was easy to just add a few bars to my cart with my orders.
Tony’s tell you a bit about their mission on the wrapper to get you started, but their official website is full of fantastic information that will probably change your view on the chocolate that you buy! Fairly recently they were removed from a list of ethical manufacturers – a decision that many eco worriers disagree with. The removal of the company from the list is due to their partnership with a non-ethical chocolate company. This partnership allows Tony’s to operate, and continue on their ethical mission of eliminating child slavery from the chocolate production process. Since the partnership, Tony’s have also successfully put pressure on their partner company to make positive ethical changes to their practices. Make of that what you will, and make your own decisions, but I am more than happy to continue supporting Tony’s!
Another thing I happened to pop in my Babipur basket that spurred me on in my mission to learn more about ethical chocolate, is the Ethical Consumer magazine. Ethical Consumer ranks companies on their policies and practices so you can see how ethical (or not) they are. When they created chocolate manufacturer rankings, it came as no surprise that companies like Nestlé, Cadbury, and Galaxy rated incredibly poorly with little to no regard for their environmental impact, animal welfare, and human rights.
I was surprised at the lack of company ethics for companies like Green & Black, and Hotel Chocolat, so decided to do some independent research, and sure enough, these companies are guilty of a certain amount of ‘green-washing’. They operate in ways that make the consumer feel as though they’re buying products that have been fairly sourced and produced, when in fact that’s not the case.
When it comes to companies with tasty chocolate and great ethics, Tony’s ranks well, as does Cocoa Loco which is another brand that can be easily found at Babipur. I’ve been working my way through the brands at the top of the list – finding somewhere to buy them, and seeing if I like them, and there are a few contenders, but I don’t think anything has quite beaten Tony’s when it comes to taste, value, ethics, and availability! I’ve got a few more brands to try out, and would love to hear any suggestions of ethical chocolate from anyone reading this!
If you want to learn more about the ethics of chocolate, then I would recommend the Ethical Consumer rankings as a fantastic starting point. From there you can use the sources provided to delve further in your own research to help you make informed buying decisions!