Whether on a bag of coffee beans, chocolates, or other foods, you’ve likely seen one of the many Fair Trade symbols on a product label before — but what does “Fair Trade” really mean?
The major international Fair Trade networks define the movement as a commitment to “equity in international trade” by supporting marginalized producers and workers (1).
The aim of Fair Trade certifications is to identify brands that comply with reasonable trade agreements that display a commitment to fair wages and prices, transparency, sustainable practices, ethical working conditions, and no child or forced labor (2). There are a multitude of Fair Trade certifications out there, all with different requirements to determine whether a product meets Fair Trade standards.
Along with coffee, bananas, and cotton, choosing Fair Trade chocolate is highly important. In particular, child labor is a major issue in the production of cocoa (3). According to a report from the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, there are 1.56 million children involved in hazardous work on cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which produce nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa each year (4).
Child labor shouldn’t be something you’re worried about when shopping for a decadent chocolate to snack on after dinner or dip your strawberries in. We’ve put together a list of Fair Trade Certified chocolate you can trust to align with your values and your diet.
Here are tips for selecting a Fair Trade chocolate, ingredients to be mindful of, and 12 of the top-rated Fair Trade chocolate brands.
Here are the labels to look for when choosing an ethically-sourced chocolate, plus some ingredients to be mindful:
Like almost all candy and other sweet indulgences, our top-rated fair trade chocolates contain some added sugar to deliver the decadent flavor we want and love in any chocolate. However, they are all free of artificial colors and flavors.
What’s more, they bare a Fair Trade seal to provide you with the transparency and accountability you’re looking for in any internationally sourced product.
Simple Truth Organic Sea Salt Dark Chocolate is Fair Trade Certified.
Theo Organic Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar is Fair For Life certified.
Alter Eco Organic Sea Salt Deep Dark Chocolate is Fair Trade Certified.
Tcho Organic Hazelnut Chunk Chocolate Bar is Fair Trade Certified.
Lily’s Crispy Rice Dark Chocolate Bar is certified Fair Trade by Fairtrade America.
Green & Black’s Organic Almond Milk Chocolate Bar is certified Fair Trade by Fairtrade America.
Prana Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bark is certified Fair Trade by Fairtrade America.
Unreal Candy Crispy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups is Fair Trade Certified.
Simple Truth Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans are Fair Trade Certified.
Whole Foods Market Madagascar Milk Chocolate is certified Fair Trade by Fairtrade America.
Wild Ophelia Sea Salt & Caramel Latte Cold Brew Coffee Bites are Fair Trade Certified.
Vosges Black Salt Coconut Nib Caramel Marshmallows are Fair Trade Certified.
When faced with dozens of chocolate products to choose from at the grocery store, we want you to know exactly what to look for. To find a Fair Trade chocolate you can trust, look for labels that require third-party certification, such as Fair Trade Certified, Fair for Life, The Fairtrade System, Naturland Fair, and Small Producers’ Symbol. Another common ingredient to be mindful of is palm oil, which also poses human rights and environmental concerns.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about the presence of artificial flavors commonly found in chocolate products, GreenChoice is an easy way to find products without these ingredients. If you’re looking for a product that’s lower in added sugar, opt for a dark chocolate variety over milk chocolate, white chocolate, and those with fillings.
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iO or Android!