70 per cent of the world’s cacao, the raw ingredient in chocolate, is sourced from west African countries such as Ghana and the Ivory Coast where child labour and human rights abuses are common on farms.
Certification is no guarantee these appalling conditions have been totally eradicated, but efforts are being made by farmers and suppliers seeking certification with NGOs such as Fairtrade, UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance. Organic chocolate is more often sourced from Latin America where there have been no reports of slavery or child labour.
The taste test
Eight people tasted each of the seven Fairtrade or UTZ certified chocolate Easter products purchased from retail stores in Melbourne, Australia. They were:
AR – a 4 year-old girl
JA – an 8 year-old boy
GC – a 13 year-old girl
EJ – a 15 year-old girl
LJ – a 37 year-old woman
JM – a 42 year-old woman
AS – a 43 year-old man
ND – a 44 year-old man
Seven different certified chocolate Easter products were tasted, from which one was selected as the best by each taster. They were:
|Coles Milk Chocolate Bunny||Fairtrade||100 g||$2.50||LJ|
|Belgian Chocolate Egg with eight salted caramel pralines||UTZ||230 g||$10.00||AR|
|Haigh’s Milk Chocolate Egg||UTZ||150 g||$14.95||JM|
|Oxfam Rabbit||Fairtrade||200 g||$19.95||EJ, ND|
|Divine Milk Chocolate Egg with milk chocolate caramel bar||Fairtrade||110 g||$19.95||AS|
|Lindsay & Edmunds Single Origin Organic Belgian Chocolate Egg||Fairtrade Australian Certified Organic||150 g||$19.95||JA|
|Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Egg||Fairtrade||100 g||$8.00||GC|
All seven chocolates were preferred by at least one of the tasters, which indicates they were all pretty good. A couple of people thought the Belgian Chocolate Egg, the one that came with salted caramel pralines, had a slightly bitter after taste. One person didn’t like the Lindsay and Edmunds egg and the four year-old girl thought they all tasted the same.
The chocolate that received two votes was the Oxfam Rabbit, so I’m declaring that one the winner.
In terms of value for money, the winner is the Fairtrade certified Coles milk chocolate bunny, so that gets a special mention.
Though they weren’t tasted this time, Aldi Australia’s 2015 Easter egg range; Dairy Fine, Choceur, Moser Roth and Specially Selected are all UTZ certified. They have particularly good options for hunting eggs, with 500 gram bags of solid eggs and caramel eggs available.
Want to win all of the slave-free Easter chocolate pictured?
Join The Club by subscribing your email address by 31 March to go in the draw. The prize is valued at over $100 and will be express posted on Monday 1 April. Existing Club members will also go into the draw. Open to Australian residents only.