If, like me, you love eating and gifting chocolate at Easter time, then it might come as a surprise to you to learn just how unethical the big brands are.
I’ve known for a long time that Nestlé are a brand to be avoided for ethical reasons, but in the past year I’ve learned that many other popular companies operate with atrocious ethics. There is a fantastic feature on chocolate and the ethics of the production process in the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of the Ethical Consumer magazine if you’d like to see a breakdown of company ethics.
There can be lots of problems in the chocolate production process, most worryingly the issue of child slavery.
It transpires that few chocolate manufacturers go out of their way to ensure their chocolate is produced in a fair and ethical way, but they do exist. Ethical chocolate tends to have a higher price tag, but that is quite literally the price you pay for knowing your chocolate has been produced ethically – it’s certainly a price I’m willing to pay, even if it means I’m eating less chocolate generally!
Tony’s is a Dutch chocolate company with brilliant ethics. They have been recently removed from the official ethical list, but it’s a decision that’s been hotly contested by Tony’s fans the world over, and worth looking into if you’re interested. As a company, Tony’s are working hard to remove child slavery from the chocolate production process, and raise awareness of the issue. The chocolate bars themselves are devised into uneven pieces to represent the inequality in the chocolate industry.
Tony’s have previously come under fire for some questionable staff policies, which were subsequently changed – proving that they listen and respond appropriately to public feedback.
Tony’s chocolate comes in a range of flavours, and I can confirm that they’re all delicious. My personal favourites are the milk caramel sea salt, and the white chocolate raspberry with popping candy bars! Perfect for a little Easter treat!
Another great option for ethical chocolate is Cocoa Loco – a British company sourcing their beans from the Dominican Republic. They have scored very highly on ethical production surveys and they are rated highly by Ethical Consumer!
Cocoa Loco produce a wide range of chocolate products – my personal favourite being their hot chocolate spoons. There are many vegan options to choose from, and some specific Easter chocolate if you’re after something themed. Another really lovely looking product available from Cocoa Loco at the moment is their hot cross bun truffles. I’ve got some in my cupboard but I’m trying to give up chocolate for Lent, so can’t attest to how they taste, but others have said they’re wonderful!
There are other ethical chocolate companies out there, and hopefully there will be more in years to come. I would really love to hear about any ethical chocolate you’ve found so please do leave a comment!