When we buy socially responsible labeled chocolate like direct-trade or fair-trade certified we grow well-being for people and the planet in the following three important ways:
1. Provides financial stability for the cacao farmer.
Cacao is a traded commodity, like oil, so in these direct trade relationships the cacao farmer can have certainty of price not available to them in a volatile stock market. This is because the farmer can skip the commodity stock market all together and instead negotiate a fair price directly with the customer.
2. Small farmers can move away from chemicals.
When cacao farmers or cooperatives, often small farmers can negotiate a price directly they can plan ahead because they know the price they will receive for the next crop. This makes it possible for cacao farmers to make the investments needed to move away from chemicals. These investments include purchasing shade trees and paying the higher cost of hand weeding and tree trimming.
3. Prohibit child labor and require fair wages
The socially responsible trade programs also ensure that there are no labor abuses. Unfortunately, cacao has a long history of child labor abuses including the human trafficking of children to work on the farms. These trade programs, prohibit child labor and require fair wages.
Be the change
The simple action step of reaching for the chocolate with these certifications makes a ripple of positive change for people. As Alex Whitmore, the co-founder of TAZA chocolate featured in my book, EAT LESS WATER shared.
"The communities where we purchase our cacao use their river for everything, to swim, bathe, and drink. When companies like TAZA chocolate buy direct- traded cacao and pay a premium for organic cacao farmers don't need to make a difficult decision between polluting their rivers and making a living."
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