Chocolate appeals to almost everyone, why not support the ones that make that bar taste so good. Pasadena, USA. 17/03/2011.
Many people love chocolate but know so little of the ways it is made, which is not practiced justly.
Recently, people have been turning into organic diets due to health reasons of course, but how about organic and Fair Trade foods like chocolate?
For Ten Thousand Villages in Pasadena, a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe, chocolate is their “most popular food item.”
Since chocolate appeals to lots of people in the United States where 46 percent of Americans say they cannot live without chocolate (SERRV) try to make a difference with a taste of Fair Trade chocolate.
“Chocolate does better than coffee,” said Sam Bills, store manager. “Four to five percent of all
sales are from chocolate,” which is actually “good” for Ten Thousand Villages.
Getting to know the difference between conventional and Fair Trade chocolate is essential.
Having Fair Trade chocolate from some of the top cooperatives in Equal Exchange, Divine Chocolate and Theo Chocolate plus the customer service from its volunteer working personnel puts Ten Thousand Villages at top in retail stores where these chocolates can be found.
A Snickers bar for example, costs about $1.59 compared to a Divine Chocolate bar that could cost up to $3.95.
As there is a big difference in price, there also is a big difference in the way it tastes to the way it is made to the way it impacts producers, the most important people in this cycle.
First, the way it tastes is different. For example, it is a good source of chocolate for vegetarians because it is free from artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives.
Second, its ingredients are Fair Trade as well: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, peppermint crisp, and vanilla, to name a few.
For Bills, there is a connection between the customers with the chocolate producers, which makes that a reason why he decides to carry those chocolate cooperatives.
“Chocolates from Equal Exchange for example is one of the best ways to work with them because they work with small farmers knowing they get paid better working in better conditions,” Bills said. “We are more flexible with the customers where if someone wants any particular chocolate bars, we’ll order them,” Bills said. “We are personal, catering and focusing at an individual level like wrapping the bars for gifts, etc.”
For Emily Fernandez, head committee of Fair Trade Town in Pasadena, "today we are faced with the shocking reality that 40% of our chocolate that we consume comes from child slavery."
"More importantly we have the system in place to protest and change it: Fair Trade," says Fernandez. "My goal it to help stir the unbridled compassion and fiery conviction in all those who care to listen."
Enjoying a taste of a dark chocolate with almonds Equal Exchange bar usually is seen from a socially aware and sometimes engaged customer.
A typical Ten Thousand Villages shopper is a 25 to 55-year-old female with a sustainable income, Bills said.
Aside from the regular customer, Ten Thousand Villages host’s chocolate tasting events in the store at least once a month, so others can get to know the chocolates and the story behind them, Bills said.
Like last October during Choctober Fest, many people got to enjoy those Fair Trade chocolates, a chocolate fountain and even brownies from Equal Exchange’s baking cocoa.
If you are ever in Pasadena, have some time to spare or simply want to see what Ten Thousand Villages is all about, check them out, and the chocolates of course.
Those chocolates can make a difference.
Just ask Fernandez.
"I will do so until this type of slavery ends. Whose side are you on?"