Millions of people are planning on buying, giving and eating chocolate in celebration of love on Valentine’s Day. This time of year means big sales for chocolate companies. If you are interested in buying chocolate that supports fair labor standards, as well as those that do not harm the environment or your body, make sure you are well educated as to where your chocolate comes from and how it was harvested.
Of the many types and varieties of chocolate on the market, not all adhere to certifiable fair trade standards, which means there is little concern about the environment or the people who work hard to bring your sweet treat to a store near you. Those that do however will display the words Fair Trade on their labeling, making it easy for the consumer to be aware that they have kept up with the requirements necessary to be certified fair trade.
One notable chocolate manufacturing company that does not flaunt a fair trade certification, however surpassed fair trade standards and brought their harvesting and processing techniques to a remarkably high level of ideals. Kallari, the only line of world-class, certified organic dark chocolate is operated by an indigenous cooperative of organic cocoa growers who gain 100% of the profits for which they work so hard.
A self-governed coalition of Amazon artists and organic cocoa producers, the Kallari Chocolate Company, (pronounced kai-YAH-ri) employs over 850 families. It has created a sustainable income for people of Kichwa in South America without exploitation of child labor or damage of the natural resources of the area.
Based on the method of harvesting their heirloom cocoa beans, Kallari farmers received a prestigious award of recognition from Slow Food, an organization that envisions environmentally sound and sustainable agriculture. By tenderly planting cocoa trees in small garden plots among legumes, vegetables, tubers, palms and bananas, each cocoa tree has access to adequate nutrients compared with other monoculture cocoa plantations.
These special cocoa beans are never fumigated. They do not endure months of sitting in shipping crates nor are they stored for years. This speedy harvest to mouth transit time guarantees a cleaner, richer tasting chocolate with no musty aftertaste due to fungus or insect damage during transport and storage.
Rated “the best tasting organic chocolate,” Kallari’s prices are competitive with other organic lines of chocolate bars. Look for them this Valentine’s Day at Whole Foods Market and other specialty markets, and treat your loved one to something that is not only fresh and delicious, but also good for the planet and the people who made it all possible.
January 31st, 2012