September's challenge -(should you choose to accept it!) is to eat only fair trade /slave free chocolate for one month. I'm joining Dixiebelle HERE and Daharja HERE , amongst others, in taking a stand on this one.
I've committed to it. And for good reason. A couple of weeks ago I read about child slave labour in the cocoa trade on Eilleen's blog. You can find out much more at her blog Consumption Rebellion She has posted an extensive list of companies who do /do not use slave labour, as well as various brands and where to buy them (so I won't bother copying it all here!)
Once I read about it, I couldn't let it go. It stuck in my mind and gave me that awful uneasy feeling that happens when you know your actions and your morals are not on the same path........
Could I really enjoy it now, knowing that young children (or anyone) has suffered so that I can have a few squares of chocolate? Could you? Somehow the sweetness turns to a bitter taste in the mouth after that.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS !!!
There is an alternative-hooray! There are many fairtrade chocolate and chocolate bars available, many of them in Coles, Woolworths and IGA supermarkets here in Australia. So no excuses about not finding any!
Just yesterday I bought these .....
Whilst having a lovely day at the Gardening Australia Expo, I stumbled across a fair trade stall. I bought 2 boxes of herbal teas (the white spicy tea is the BEST herbal tea I've ever had!) and some Cocolo chocolate, which is organic and fair trade. 1 bar of milk and 1 of dark chocolate with orange ..... yummmmmm......
They had tasters available of all chocolates- I think there were 6 types- and also the teas. The stallholders were so lovely and even gave me 2 free packets of sample teas as well!
Cocolo is available in coles (and maybe elsewhere?) and Qi tea in woolworths, IGA and foodworks.
Wondering about the cost? Well, I was quite surprised to find the Cocolo chocolate was about the same as Lindt per 100grams (who, according to Eilleens research, DEFINITELY source their cocoa from slave labour and unethical practices).
The tea is about the same price as other organic herbals, which I usually buy anyway.
I have tasted both of the ones I bought (research of course!) and they both pass the taste test. I may well have to try a few other brands throughout September (oh, the things I have to do!) so I will keep updating my efforts and trials.
And if you think such a small gesture can't make a difference, did you know that CADBURYS have finally given in to consumer pressure and will at last be producing their best-selling Dairy Milk from certified fair-trade sources by 2010? (Not all Cadburys products will be fair trade, but it is a big step in the right direction).
Check out the Fair Trade website for more details.
If anyone wants to join me on this one, leave me a comment to let me know or sign up on Dixiebelle's blog. You know that this is a challenge worth taking. And it's do-able. Even for chocoholics like me.