10 Things to Do with Fairtrade Chocolate

It’s Chocolate Week! So what better excuse could there be to tuck into your favourite Fairtrade chocolate?

Why Fairtrade?

90% of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms by about 6 million farmers who earn their living from growing and selling cocoa beans. Prime producer regions are across Asia, Africa and Latin America and the largest country by volume is the Côte d’Ivoire who produce a staggering 40% of global supply.

Cocoa is a delicate crop, sensitive to changes in climate. The price of cocoa fluctuates worldwide and there is little long-term security in the trade. Furthermore, farmers are at risk of exploitation by the buyers of their crop who may try to underpay them for their cocoa.

Fairtrade certified cocoa ensures it has been sourced in an ethical way, paying farmers a Fairtrade Minimum Price for their crop and an additional premium to invest in community projects. In 2011-12, cocoa farmers earned more than £7.5 million in Fairtrade Premiums and a large part was invested in directly supporting farming families meet their daily needs.

Where to buy Fairtrade chocolate?

Luckily you can buy Fairtrade chocolate in every major supermarket and convenience store. Cadburys were the first to produce a mainstream Fairtrade chocolate product when they switched Dairy Milk to Fairtrade in 2009. A number of brands were set up to be Fairtrade from the outset including Divine, The Meaningful Chocolate Company and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference. In fact, The Observer just last week listed their top 10 Fairtrade chocolate bars so check that out!

And without further ado, the bit you were waiting for - 10 things to do with Fairtrade chocolate:

  1. Make a melted chocolate fondue and dip strawberries, marshmallows or mini doughnuts.
  2. Bake Jamie Oliver’s Bloomin’ Brilliant Brownies, they’re the best!
  3. Add it to your chili
  4. Drizzle melted chocolate over pancakes, or add chocolate chips to the batter.
  5. Make the dangerously chocolaty rocky road.
  6. Turn pasta into a dessert and serve chocolate filled ravioli.
  7. Swirl grated chocolate into butternut squash. You can also use these surprising two ingredients to make a cake.
  8. Make a grilled chocolate sandwich, courtesy of Martha Stewart.
  9. Pamper yourself with a mocha face mask.
  10. Have a chocolate cocktail. Amaretto and orange-based liqueurs go particularly well with cocoa.

Fairtrade chocolate is available in so many flavours and varieties these days it’s never been easier to support the producers who work hard to give us our chocolate fix. Chocolate complements many other flavours so why not get experimental in the kitchen?

Emma Waight