Posted on March 22, 2024 by Victoria Tiedemann

Thank you for coming out to our latest event.  With Easter around the corner, we wanted to express the importance of supporting companies that are ethical in the chocolate industry, but also thought it would be a good idea to talk about coffee as well.

At the coffee and chocolate event, Susan gave a great presentation about Fair Trade and ethical chocolate, the problems with slavery in the chocolate industry, and how you can help as a consumer to make a difference.  Some of the points she talked about were the following (most information is from Global Slavery Index):

  • Most chocolate and coffee include slave labor
  • West African farmers earn less than $2 a day, where the majority of farmers produce cocoa. They live in extreme poverty. Farmers earn just 6 % of the retail price of a standard milk chocolate bar, while chocolate manufacturers earn 33%.
  • $2.6 Billion was spent on Easter candy in 2016.
  • Since COVID-19, there was a 21% rise in child labor on cocoa farms. This includes heavy lifting, clearing land, and using chemicals and sharp tools. They work very long hours that go into the night.
  • There has been a 62% rise in cocoa production in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire
  • Even with about 15% of Fair Trade certified farmers receiving a living income that can fully support families and give them reasonable profits, growth is needed in better wages.
  • There have been lawsuits against major chocolate companies such as Nestle, Mars, Cargill Cocoa, and Hershey including a class action suit against Nestle by breaching California’s law with deceitful sustainable labels. These lawsuits have done little to create change. Even the government of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire made a Living income Differential in 2020 to make chocolate companies pay an extra $400 per ton, which has been ignored.
  • Companies such as Tony’s Chocolonely traces their cocoa supply chain, pays the higher price required, makes cooperatives, improves their quality and productivity, and has created sustainable farming practices.

Doug spoke on behalf of Galana Coffee about his time in Honduras spent with coffee farmers.  He told us how coffee is grown, how it affects the farmers if there is a bad crop, how difficult it is for those farmers to support their families if those crops are not cultivated correctly, how the coffee industry has taken advantage of farmers, and how Galana Coffee is making a huge difference for a single community!

He used videos, photos, and examples of coffee to feel.  Many people had questions for him, which he had great knowledge in his responses for.

Georgia gave an introduction of how a coffee and chocolate tasting worked.  Different blends were offered with different types of chocolate.  There were positive responses such as, “I need to eat chocolate whenever I have coffee now! I didn’t know they went so well together.”

There was chocolate & cocoa by Lake Champlain and Pick-Me-Up sold as well as Galana Coffee.

Click here if you would like to see a large list of trusted chocolate companies.
Click here if you would like to see a large list of trusted coffee companies.




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