Chocolate is one of the great loves of humanity, but few people know or think about the harm it can cause to farmers, communities, and consumers. Like many consumer products on this planet, when produced in bulk, low-costs become the highest value, while quality and safety fall by the wayside.
At Donor360, we want to ensure that any chocolate you buy or vend is good for people and the earth. This is why we only partner with organic and Fair Trade chocolate companies, like Alter Eco, Olive and Sinclair, and TCHO.
In order to ensure that your chocolate is safe and ethical, it’s crucial to buy and vend high-quality organic and Fair Trade chocolate. Here’s why:
1. Organically Grown Cacao is Good for the Earth
Cacao is the plant that chocolate is produced from. Like many crops, it’s susceptible to pests and diseases. In many places that produce cacao, in what’s known as the cacao belt (within 30 degrees of the equator), restrictions on pesticides and chemicals used on crops are much less regulated than in the United States. These synthetic pesticides and herbicides can have harmful effects on the environment around them because they kill species that are necessary to maintain a natural and healthy eco-system.
Organic chocolate is grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Instead, organic pest deterrents are used, along with biodynamic fertilizers. This helps the land that the cacao is grown on stay healthy and natural and preserves its eco-system.
2. Organic Chocolate is Better for You
Organically produced and made chocolate is grown without the use of dangerous herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer and contains only organic ingredients. Many big-name chocolate and candy companies use wax, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and coloring, and GMO ingredients in their products. All of these additives have been linked to health concerns.
When you buy organic chocolate, such as Alter Eco from Donor360’s marketplace, you know that your chocolate was grown without contaminants such as herbicides and pesticides. You also know they contain only organic and NON-GMO ingredients. This means you’ll be eating a much purer and healthier product.
3. Organic Chocolate is Healthier for Farmers
Not only is organic chocolate better for your health, but it’s also better for farmers and their communities. Farmers on non-organic farms have to work amongst harmful chemicals, which are linked to serious health complications. As many cacao farms are located in developing countries, they are less likely to have safety measures, such as productive gear, to ensure the health and wellness of their workers.
Farmers on organic farms work with natural products that are not harmful for their health. Buying organic chocolate helps to keep farmers and workers abroad safe.
4. Fair Trade Chocolate Means Workers Earn a Living Wage
Traditionally-grown and produced chocolate bars may be grown by child-laborers. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor, 2 million children work in the cacao sector in West Africa alone. Even if child labor is not used, many cacao farmers and laborers will not earn a fair living wage from their work. Companies that place the importance of a cheap final product over quality and integrity don’t pay cacao farmers what their product is worth.
Fair Trade chocolate companies, such as TCHO, source their cacao fairly, make sure that everyone on their supply chain is earning a fair, steady living wage and that no child or slave labor is used.
Shop Donor360’s Marketplace for Organic and Fair Trade Products
Two of Donor360’s values are environmental stewardship and fair wages and trade. This means that all of the products in Donor360’s catalog are USDA organic or Fair Trade certified. We want to make sure that the chocolates that you are buying or vending for fundraisers are good for people and good for the earth. You can feel good knowing that the chocolate that you’re vending to raise money for your kids’ school is sourced without the use of child labor!
To learn more about our chocolate partners, TCHO, Olive and Sinclair, and Alter Eco, visit our catalog. Ready to start fundraising with Donor360 and vend amazing, organic and Fair Trade chocolate? Sign up here!