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What?! Christmas without chocolate? Because we know that is not possible, we have curated the most delightful list of fair-trade chocolate brands from around the world. Ready to have a taste?
We all know Christmas is not Christmas without some good chocolates on the table. And because it’s a special occasion, it probably deserves a little extra budget. And knowing it’s going to make a positive impact on the communities who make these delicatessen that make the holiday season sweeter in every household, you know that money is well spent!
Why is it important to purchase fair trade chocolate?
With a value of $150 billion (USD), the global chocolate market is undeniably huge. It is estimated there are currently 50 million people worldwide who depend on the sector for their livelihoods.
However, for many cocoa farmers and their families (predominantly in West Africa), they face a lifetime of living below the poverty line. They can’t provide the basics for their family, face grueling conditions and devastatingly – there is little they can offer their children when it comes to education or opportunity. And the bigger picture is this: generational extreme poverty breeds child labour, gender inequality and deforestation as well. None of which is an attractive proposition for those who would be the next generation of cocoa farmers. If these issues continue, the future of cocoa production is under serious threat. (Source Fair Trade)
When we buy fair trade products, we are casting a vote for the ethical treatment of the laborers around the world who are responsible for the food we eat. We don’t believe in guilty chocolate.
We believe in delicious, wholesome chocolate that supports communities around the world. So here’s your one-stop to find fair-trade chocolate brands for a very sweet Christmas:
1. Five North fair-trade chocolate
Creators of the concept “snackability” meaning “The intersection of taste, convenience, and satisfaction”, this brand ticks all the boxes.
Located five degrees north of the equator, West Africa grows more than 2/3 of the world’s cacao, and this is where the brand takes the name from. Five North Chocolate is committed to fair trade, which translates to a positive impact of communities of farmers based in Côte d’Ivoire so that they can build schools and send their children to school.
Some of the flavours are sea salt pistachio, cinnamon almond, and goji berry – and everyone agrees they are beyond delicious!
2. Aloha Feels fair-trade chocolate
Aloha Feels is a boutique tree to bar chocolate brand. A bar that’s good for the soul and senses, Aloha’s chocolate is made from 100% Hawai‘i Island cacao by farmers aligned with the brands’ principles.
Hawai’i is the only state in the US that can grow cacao commercially as the plant only can grow up to 20 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. Aloha Feels is a small batch, tree to bar chocolate company which makes their chocolate freshly unique. Slave free, vegan, great for gifts each with a unique message. The brand also donates 10% of revenues to slave free chocolate.
3. Alter Eco fair-trade chocolate
Alter Eco® is a chocolate-centric, sustainability-directed food company that offers a full portfolio of enlightened indulgences, including Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters, melty chocolate bars and blissfully delicious truffles.
Alter Eco’s mission is to pioneer a full circle approach to eating, farming, and doing business – and to inspire others to do the same. That’s why every product we make is sourced from farmer-owned co ops practicing sustainable agriculture, and the brand is Fair Trade Certified since 2004.
Alter Eco’s team makes sure every aspect of our business gives more to the world than it takes. The chocolate brand is pioneering in compostable packaging, and works with their cacao partners to replant the rain forests where our beans are grown. Every time we crack open a bag or bar of Alter Eco here in the States, the brand shares a nourishing moment with Maria in Peru, Gustavo in Bolivia, Grover in Ecuador – and you.
4. Beyond Good fair-trade chocolate
Discover Heirloom Chocolate from Madagascar and Single Origin Chocolate from Uganda. It better tastes amazing – it took 6,000 years to make! Madagascar’s cocoa crop has a heavy presence of criollo cocoa, earth’s original and most flavourful variety of cocoa. This rare heirloom variety is used in less than 3% of the world’s chocolate.
The brand is working to redefine sustainability in the world of chocolate. For Beyond Good, “Fair Trade” wasn’t fair enough. So they set up to work directly with over 100 cocoa farmers in Madagascar, helping them grow premium cocoa and earn considerably more money for it (so much so that some of them now have pick-up trucks).
The typical chocolate supply chain usually has anywhere from 3-5 middlemen sitting between the cocoa farmer and the chocolate maker; Beyond Good supply chain has zero middlemen. Not just good; beyond good – it is chocolate made right!
5. Fair-trade Chocolate Tree
Beautiful award winning chocolates, the brand is created by artisan chocolatiers & craft chocolate makers. Mastering fine flavours, working directly with farmers & preserving biodiversity. Chocolate Tree runs a chocolaterie in the heart of Bruntsfield, specialising in organic chocolate bars, bean to bar chocolate and loose chocolates. Visually stunning works of edible art crafted in small batches. Made from directly sourced organic Peruvian cacao.
The cacao can be part of a regenerative forestry plan, therefore the cacao source is grown in an agro-forestry environment; that means it is grown as a companion to other plants and wildlife which will protect and encourage biodiversity. Chocolate Tree is also a member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of our annual sales to environmental nonprofits creating positive change.
6. Choquiero fair-trade chocolate
Choquiero Chocolate only uses organic, fair trade and vegan ingredients. Their cacao is imported from small farmers in Central America through direct trade. Sourced from seed-propagated trees, thriving in diverse ecosystems, fed by rain and spring water. Supporting this cacao helps preserve and protect the heirloom varieties.
As a commitment to sustainability, Choquiero Chocolate wrappers are biodegradable and compostable, and the brand displays the chocolates with reusable wood boxes instead of the typical single-use methods you see in stores.
7. Divine fair-trade chocolate
Divine Chocolate made for chocolate lovers, owned by cocoa farmers. Divine Chocolate is a global, farmer-owned chocolate company. This is the amazing story of a group of cocoa farmers in Ghana who voted to set up their own chocolate company and launched the first farmer-owned Fairtrade chocolate product. In fact, it is the only Fairtrade chocolate company co-owned by cocoa farmers.
The brand uses the amazing power of chocolate to delight and engage: bringing people together to create dignified trading relations, empowering both producers and consumers. It is Divine’s founding purpose to help farmers gain a share of the wealth they are helping to create, putting them higher up the value chain.
8. eatingEVOLVED fair-trade chocolate
eatingEVOLVED chocolate is made with the fewest and most simple ingredients available – organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, and organic cacao butter. That’s it! This is chocolate in its most simple form. It is paleo, vegan, keto, dairy free, soy free and organic. No junk, no fillers, just the highest quality, Fair-Trade cacao lightly sweetened with organic maple sugar directly sourced from Maple producers in Vermont and Canada.
eatingEVOLVED’s guiding principle is “Chocolate: It’s Food, Not Candy.” When chocolate is done right, it’s a delicious, antioxidant-rich, superfood—a far cry from the commoditized, sugar-filled milk chocolate candies that line supermarket shelves.
Oh! And the brand has an amazing section for recipes that include – your favourite: chocolate.
9. Equal Exchange fair-trade chocolate
Equal Exchange is a small farmer-grown cacao that demonstrates the power of alternative trade in an industry built on exploitation and forced labor. The brand partners with democratically organized farmer groups in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, and Togo. Every farmer is certified Fair Trade, Equal Exchange is actually the first company to import fair trade coffee in the US in 1986 before there was an organization doing it.
Organic & fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate, produced by over 130 worker-owners, each with an equal stake – and an equal vote – in the business. For that reason the brand has organized itself as a democratic worker co-operative, now one of the largest in the country.
The concepts are quite simple: the right to vote (one vote per employee, not per share); the right to serve as leader (i.e. board director); the right to information; the right to speak your mind.
10. Endangered Species fair-trade chocolate
Endangered Species Chocolate has only a handful of real, responsibly sourced ingredients with absolutely zero artificial sweeteners or additives.
By choosing this Fair Trade Certified brand, you’re helping make a true impact for wildlife and habitats around the globe—with 10% of our annual net profits donated to organizations who support the mission.
Furthermore, Endangered Species Chocolate is ethically traded, ensuring farmers humane working conditions and fair prices, sourced from small cacao co-ops that employ sustainable farming practices.
All-natural chocolate bars are certified gluten-free and kosher, and some select flavors are certified vegan, organic.
11. Grocer’s Daughter fair-trade chocolate
Grocer’s Daughter is a small, family-owned business with a big love for craft chocolate. The brand is committed to providing above-industry wages and a fun, cooperative work environment. Relationships are important to them, and each year the family travels to meet with the farmers who grow and make their chocolate.
Like any craftsperson, the family-team of Grocer’s Daughter spend inordinate amounts of time honing our skill as chocolatiers to make fabulous chocolate confections. Some of the most popular ones are hand rolled and dipped truffles & honey caramels, and chocolate bars with local fruits and nuts.
Their love for rich, dark chocolate and a passion for local foods inspires our truffle recipes and other chocolate creations. The chocolate is sourced from Ecuador, some of the tastiest chocolate on the planet. They use fruits, edible flowers and herbs from their own garden and source larger quantities of ingredients from local farms.
The packaging is also sustainable, using compostable bags and recyclable and recycled materials whenever possible.
12. Loving Earth fair-trade chocolate
Loving Earth gives a damn about you & chocolate, so they made it vegan, gluten free, fair trade, Non-GMO & Organic chocolate.
The brand uses raw cacao grown by the Ashaninka community of the Peruvian Amazon, the largest indigenous community in Peru.
Collaborating with indigenous growers is core to Loving Earth’s philosophy, as it’s vital in their quest to build a sustainable life for themselves and sustainable use of the rainforest.
The Ashaninka community, who grow the cacao at the source of the Amazon River, in the area where cacao originated. After years of violence and unrest in the area, defending against terrorists, drug traffickers, and loggers, this community has worked hard to protect their land and build up their way of life, by growing their indigenous cacao using traditional, generations-old methods.
13. Maverick fair-trade chocolate
This bean-to-bar chocolate maker is ethically traded and locally made in Cincinnati. Maverick Chocolate is a multi-award winning brand and owns their original chocolate factory.
The chocolate is handcrafted in small batches from bean to the finished bar for the adventurous palate. Maverick uses only ethically sourced cacao beans-bought directly from farmers and co-ops at sustainable prices; the beans are from Belize, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Peru. The brand only uses pure ingredients, organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and is also soy-free.
14. River-Sea fair-trade chocolate
River-Sea Chocolate is a world-class single-origin cacao paired with organic and ethically sourced ingredients, less sugar than most other bar chocolates, and no emulsifiers or flavorings. Environmentally and Socially Conscious products with options for different dietary needs like vegan, keto, and food allergies.
Their Chocolate Factory and Café makes unique chocolate bars, truffles, and gifts; and offering classes, tastings and tours. The brand is named “River-Sea” because most of the world’s cacao grows in coastal jungle areas influenced by the daily flow of the tide. Beauty and reverence for these celestial reverberations, and the dance with nature that happens as beans voyage by river or sea, inspire our products.
15. Theo fair-trade chocolate
Theo Chocolate is a multi-award winning brand that makes their own chocolate, to ensure that everyone is treated in a way that we can be proud of and that only the highest quality ingredients and processes are used. Every product has the highest organic and fair-trade standards, validated with rigorous third-party certifications.
The brand believes that organic ingredients are better for people and the planet, and that fair-trade practices are essential to ensure farmers receive a living wage for their work: from the cocoa farmer in the Congo, to the truck driver in Seattle, and the chocolate lover in Philadelphia. Theo Chocolate is proud to be the first Organic, IMO Fair Trade Fair for Life certified bean-to-bar chocolate maker in North America!
16. Tony’s Chocolonely fair-trade chocolate
Tony’s Chocolonely is crazy about chocolate & serious about people.
The brand’s mission? To make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate. Right now there is slavery on cocoa farms in West Africa, which is a result of the unequally divided cocoa chain. How is Tony’s Chocolonely going to achieve that? It starts with sourcing 100% traceable cocoa from West Africa. The brand benefits close-to 7,000 farmers working with co-operatives based in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Tony Chocolonely is not so much about selling chocolate itself but to draw attention to inequality in the cocoa supply chain. The brand is working to create awareness, lead by example and inspire change in others.
17. Truffle Pig fair-trade chocolate
Truffle Pig Chocolate sources their cacao directly from farmers with strong human values and pays them a premium above world market prices.
Their cacao is wildly grown, organic and sustainable in Central America, without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. The brand chooses not to ask their farmers to organic certify their farms due to the fact that they cannot afford it. Most of the farmers own two acre parcels of land which they grow food for their family including cacao; the cacao has been on their farm for centuries.
18. UnReal fair-trade chocolate
UnReal is the chocolate snack company founded by two teenage brothers on a mission to unjunk the world. They started with gems and peanut butter cups, making them without junk, with less sugar, and with better taste. They use ingredients that are non-GMO, always real, and never artificial. They never use corn, or soy. UNREAL uses sustainably sourced and fair trade ingredients. Each chocolate and candy is made with real ingredients that make every bite taste unreal.
UNREAL has options that are non-gmo verified, made with organic ingredients, free of artificial ingredients, certified gluten free and certified vegan. Less Sugar, REAL Ingredients, UNREAL Taste!
19. Viva Cacao fair-trade chocolate
Viva Cacao produces and celebrates delicious small-batch dairy-free chocolate using heirloom beans, healthy ingredients, superfoods, and ethically-sourced cacao. Their chocolate is accessible, alluring, handcrafted, and affordable. The brand uses healthy ingredients, conscious business practices, that is on a journey to inspire, and to provide the consumer with chocolate that will do good and feel good in their bodies.
Because Viva Cacao is a small-batch chocolate producer, each bar is activated with love, life and a sense of social justice and conscious awareness.
The brand works with cooperatives and cultivators that value human well-being, better living conditions and environmental sustainability. Their packaging is entirely plastic-free, compostable and biodegradable, made with FSC certified paper.
20. Wei of Chocolate
Chocolate that’s good for your body, mind + spirit, created for people who want to eat chocolate every day, guilt-free, and have it be a path to wellness: Wei of Chocolate is organic, vegan, fair trade & delicious!
The best 2-minute, melt-in-your-mouth meditation to bring peace to your day and elevate your chocolate experience. This meditation thing just got a whole lot easier!
21. Xocolatl fair-trade chocolate
Xocolatl is an award-winning plant-based chocolate brand. Artisanal. Craft. Bean-to-bar. So many labels, it’s easy to be confused. While the first two have broad meanings, “bean-to-bar” refers to the art of making chocolate from whole cacao beans through a long process that can include roasting, refining, molding and aging.
Rather than melting down already-made chocolate to turn into confections, bean-to-bar makers start with cacao that’s been carefully selected for flavor quality and then transform that cacao into chocolate. Some other practices include sustainable values, slave-free, minority & women owned, Georgia made, and committed to Atlanta.