No Christmas season is complete without indulging in some chocolate treats! But did you know that the chocolate industry is vast and often unethical, with practices that contribute to deforestation, child labour, and exploitation? Sorry to bring in the darker side, but I think we all must be aware.

Because when you choose to only opt for ethically and sustainably sourced chocolate, you’re genuinely making a difference, not just for the environment but for the people responsible for growing and harvesting cocoa beans.

I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about choosing more sustainably sourced chocolate this year, including raw, fair trade, organic options that aren’t full of additives, copious amounts of sugar, and colourants.

The chocolate industry has a dark history!

For years, giant chocolate corporations like Nestle, Cadbury’s, Hershey and Mars have been linked to using child labour to harvest cocoa beans in West Africa, where most of the world’s chocolate comes from. To make matters worse, the industry is also responsible for deforestation, as cocoa farming often involves clearing out land, leaving behind a barren wasteland for farmers and animals.

Most strikingly, the investigation found that for
years the world’s major chocolate companies
have been buying cocoa grown through the
illegal deforestation of national parks and other
protected forests, in addition to driving extensive
deforestation outside of protected areas. In the
world’s two largest cocoa producing countries,
Ivory Coast and Ghana, the market created by the
chocolate industry has been the primary driver
behind the destruction of forests.
How the Cocoa Industry
Destroys National Parks – (

So, how can you choose more sustainably sourced chocolate?

Start by looking for labels that indicate fair trade, organic, or raw chocolate. Fairtrade ensures that cocoa farmers are paid fairly for their hard work and that no exploitation or child labour is used. Organic chocolate means that the cocoa beans are grown without harmful chemicals, reducing the environmental impact. Raw chocolate is minimally processed, preserving the nutrients and flavour of the cocoa beans.

Additionally, try to avoid chocolate brands known to have unethical practices. Opt for smaller, locally-brewed brands that prioritise ethical and sustainable processes. Not only will you be supporting a small business, but you’ll also be making a conscious effort to protect the planet and ensure a fair wage for cocoa farmers. Perfect!

Remember that your children only know about the chocolate you introduce them to!

Choosing more sustainable options teaches them about the importance of ethical consumption and supporting local businesses.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that avoiding additives and copious amounts of sugar in your chocolate treats isn’t just good for the environment — it’s also beneficial for your health. Many commercial chocolate brands pack their chocolate with extra sugar and other additives, which can lead to health problems in the long run.

New study published in the journal Nutrients aimed to compare the sugar (1992, 2017) and energy (2017) content of chocolate confectionery available in the UK between 1992 and 2017.

Action on Sugar – (18 August 2019)

Lastly, remember that every small action towards sustainability counts. By choosing more sustainably sourced chocolate this season, you’re creating a ripple effect that can lead to bigger changes in the industry. It may seem like an innocent chocolate bar, but someone, somewhere down the line, is paying. Make sure it’s not the planet, cocoa farmers, or animals that suffer.

Here are some of my favourite raw, organic, fairtrade favourite options…

1. M*lk Chocolate Christmas Tree – Raw | Organic | Vegan | Handmade

These M*lk Chocolate Christmas Trees are a festive delight, being creamy and indulgent.

2. Festive Flavoured Chocolate Bundle – Raw | Organic | Vegan

3. Cocoa Loco Hot Chocolate Spoon – Organic | Fairtrade

4. AlterEco Organic Orange Dark Chocolate – Fairtrade

A deep, rich, and bittersweet chocolate made with dark Peruvian chocolate and crisp candied orange peel.

5. Milk Chocolate Santa Lolly – Organic | Fairtrade

6. White Chocolate Snowman with White Chocolate Buttons | Organic

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