It's inevitable that we all eat more than our fair share of chocolate at this time of year. But, for a guilt-free reason to nibble on your favourite treats make sure to support Fairtrade.
The belief is in putting the people behind these delicious sweets first, so while the cocoa farmers share the profits, you can share the pleasure. By being conscious about how cocoa is sourced, you can feel good in the knowledge that the goodness goes on even after the wrapper is empty.
Photos of cocoa farmers belonging to Kuapa Kokoo, the co-operative which owns Divine Chocolate Ltd
For every bar you buy, an active step will be taken to improve the standard of labour in countries where the ingredients for chocolate are sourced. Divine is the only Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45 per cent owned by the farmers themselves, ensuring they receive a better deal for their cocoa and additional income to invest in their community.
Dedicated to making every chocolate occasion a moment to cherish, they use the best cocoa from Ghana, and aim to create an ever-growing variety of flavours, treats, gifts, and seasonal specialities – which currently involve a staggering 1.6 million people locally.
Typically organic, Fairtrade chocolate is surprisingly good for you in terms of health as well as ethics. Chocolate rich in cocoa and low in milk is known to be far better for the body, and the the UK’s only 100 per cent ethically accredited chocolate company Organic Seed & Bean has a wide range of extra dark chocolates infused with a combination of innovative ingredients suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
Through using local and small scale suppliers wherever possible, care is bestowed on home soil as well as to the farmers in Africa, and this is reflected in the unique taste of their bars.
Handmade in Northampton, they source the finest cocoa from around the world to create the most exciting and unique flavoured chocolate bars with flavours including Chilli & Lime and Lemon & Cardomom, as well as their exquisite Cornish Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate.
The cocoa content in these tempting treats is above 70 per cent so you can actually afford to indulge – bearing in mind the health benefits that dark chocolate provides. As well as putting a smile on our faces, chocolate is known for its high antioxidant content, blood thinning powers and anti-inflammatory qualities.
And if the taste of this still isn't pure enough then you'll find nothing more natural than Original Beans bars, where all the cocoa they source can only be harvested by boats. This is possibly as close to original wild cacao as many are likely to taste with subtle notes of tropical fruits, hints of jasmine tea and a distinctive, long, fine finish.
Original Beans goes even further, paying beyond fairtrade prices to its farmers. The award-winning, premium chocolate and conservation company which sources its Cru Virunga chocolate from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has recently announced a new project to work with women's cooperatives and provide them with sustainable livelihoods.
The good news is for both the giver and receiver of Original Beans chocolate. For every bar of their pure chocolate that is eaten, one tree will be planted for ethical conservation.
Whether you choose to go Fairtrade for a gift, a celebration, or simply for five delicious minutes to yourself, these mouthwatering chocolates will taste all the better whilst doing more good than you might think.