I discovered on Twitter last night that it’s possible to buy Fair Trade chocolate Easter eggs online from Amazon.com. I did a search: first checking the Canadian site, Amazon.ca, but I found nothing. I moved on to Amazon.com, where fair trade certified Easter chocolate is indeed for sale. Not impressed with the shipping cost, and preferring to buy locally, I continued my search.
I googled “Fair Trade Kingston” to find specialty stores in my neighbourhood. Although it’s easy to buy fair trade chocolate bars in major grocery stores and at some specialty shops, it’s been difficult to find fair trade chocolate Easter eggs.
To make a long story short, my search was successful. When I walked into Ten Thousand Villages, 235 Princess Street, right in front of me was a display of golden wrapped fair trade chocolate Easter eggs, made by Divine Chocolate Ltd. of the UK. As well, at the back of the store I found a wide assortment of Divine and Ten Thousand Villages fair trade chocolate bars.
Another local shop that sells Divine Chocolate and other fair trade items is Mola Mola, located at 163 ½ Alfred St. Tara Natural Foods, at 81 Princess St., also sells fair trade chocolate bars. There may be other small shops selling fair trade chocolate in Kingston—perhaps add a comment if you know of one.
Cocoa for Divine Chocolate Easter Eggs is from Ghana
Divine Chocolate is made from cocoa farmed in Ghana by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa growers’ cooperative. This cooperative represents 45,000 small farmers and is a co-owner of the Divine Chocolate company. Kuapa Kokoo farmers earn fair trade prices and premiums for their crops; they also participate in the profits from Divine product sales, through shareholder dividends.
Why the interest in Fair Trade Easter Eggs?
Cocoa is not grown in Canada—so it makes sense to buy cocoa harvested by small farmers who are receiving a fair price for their produce through the fair trade certification system. International fair trade standards have expectations for all participants—from growers to sellers of finished products. Growers join fair trade cooperatives that are paid the global market price or a minimum price, if higher. Crops are grown according to standards that include sustainable practices and pesticide limitations. There are also standards for worker safety and fairness.
Fair trade chocolate bears a certification mark on the packaging and the fine print tells you which ingredients are certified. More than 50% by dry weight must come from fair trade certified producers. There are a few certification marks that may be seen on fair trade chocolate products in Canada—the most current symbol, indicating certification by Fairtrade Canada or Fairtrade International, is shown on the left.
More Fair Trade Shopping
Supporting local shops is ideal. My internet search turned up the following fair trade specialists in Kingston, ON. There may be more of course, but this list is at least a start:
CoffeeCo—An organic, fair trade coffee roaster, wholesaler, retailer, and espresso bar provider, an offshoot of Multatuli Coffee merchants. This summer they are opening a new cafe that will serve organic and fair trade coffees and teas near Gardiner Rd. and Taylor Kidd (675 Arlington Place).
Earth to Spirit—Fair Trade Arts and Crafts Gallery, 340 King St. East.
Mola Mola—sells fair trade gift baskets at 163 ½ Alfred St.
Ten Thousand Villages—sells a wide range of items, such as household decorations, toys, clothing, coffee and chocolate. Ten Thousand Villages is a Fair Trade Organization with 29 stores across Canada. The Kingston location is 235 Princess Street.
When specialty shops are not located conveniently nearby, internet shopping for fair trade is another option. Worldofgood.com is an eBay marketplace specializing in fair trade and other positive products that are people, animal, and eco-friendly. I searched for fair trade chocolate Easter eggs on this website and discovered that they sell Divine fair trade Easter eggs.