We know the FairTrade concept like the back of our hands and why it’s so important. The public have grown accustomed to seeking the FairTrade label when deciding on produce and find it a source of reliability when it’s advertised. It’s synonymous with the image of better working conditions and fairer pay for the farmers and individuals involved with harvesting said produce. But how ethical is FairTrade and how fair is it truly when the economic impact of the Fair Trade scheme on farmers and growers comes to less than $0.04 per person?*
We’re here to settle the playing field in this discussion and also to provide you with more knowledge so you can choose your ethical chocolate wisely. Whilst we’re bombarded with Fair Trade’s seemingly great practices, there is competing research out there proving it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. If you are driven to make ethical shopping habits then you really ought to look for products that are RaiseTrade certified. Here’s a brief explanation of what RaiseTrade means and how this translates in the chocolate industry:
- RaiseTrade is an organisation that raises the standards of cacao, endorsing producers who use sustainable growing, harvesting, fermenting and drying techniques
- These producers go on to roast, winnow, conch and mix their own chocolate couvertures in the country of origin. Making the couverture in origin benefits the economy
- When the cocoa beans are made into couverture there is a clear provenance and integrity to the chocolate and the final product retains the single origin unique flavour notes
- RaiseTrade obviously means that the value add stays in origin e.g. in Madagascar 35% of the value of the couverture that Aurosó pays stays in Madagascar
- By the value add staying in origin, this directly supports 500 Madagascan families
- The Chocolate unit at Chocolat Madagascar only employs Malagasy employees, with most of those employees being women: the roles are varied e.g. Quality Manager 30-50% Women work on the farms, 20% in the Warehouse. The Quality Manager is a woman in Antananarivo. The factory workforce is made up of 60% women at Antananarivo.
- Madagascar is one of the poorest African countries but with the help of Chocolat Madagascar, the country is retaining the value add of the commodity that otherwise would have been added elsewhere
- The Profits of Chocolat Madagasar were reinvested into 4 new Estate Farms 5 years ago, so Chocolat Madagascar can continue to make the freshest and most ethical couverture at a larger scale
There is so much to praise about the RaiseTrade scheme and it really deserves the spotlight. The main focus is helping Madagascar create a bigger share of the money in their country. A higher price for cacao means a higher income for the farmers. The terroir and climate plays a big part in the quality and taste of the chocolate produced. Chocolat Madagascar grows and harvests the crop on organic and protected plantation farms which yields the freshest tasting cacao in the world which locks flavonoids in and is not alkalised, lending it the naturally sweet, fruity flavour. Unsurprisingly, Chocolat Madagascar has won numerous awards for their fresh, naturally sweet couverture and chocolate, so the chocolate really does speak for itself. Multi International Award winning Finest Origin Chocolate that is freshly produced in Madagascar from the finest Cocoa’s in Madagascar and World winners of the prestigious Golden Bean Award in 2017 & 2020 and Shining Bright Award 2020. Frequent AOC Gold winners and International Chocolate Awards European Gold winners making Chocolat Madagascar one the top chocolate producers in the world.
All of Chocolat Madagascar’s Chocolate is produced in origin creating more value for Madagascar. The chocolate is packaged and shipped in origin, making it 500% more valuable than Fairtrade. It is very important to increase the overall Gross Domestic Product per person in Madagascar, so that the government has more resources for Health, Education, Police and Security etc. When we compare the benefits of RaiseTrade with FairTrade there is no comparison. If you want to live and eat more sustainably you simply must know where your food and produce comes from. It is important for the consumer to research and look into what they are consuming.
So, there are two competing schemes out there. FairTrade and RaiseTrade. We hope this article has made you think twice about reaching for that Fair Trade product and instead made you aware of RaiseTrade’s many benefits to you, as the consumer, and how it benefits all of those talented individuals involved in the production process. RaiseTrade chocolate benefits consumers’ health, has a wonderful fresh taste, heals and reduces poverty in the least developed countries and helps the environment. RaiseTrade is not exporting waste. Chocolat Madagascar helps re-wild the earth, with the rainforest providing shade for cacao, and helps protect the habitat of endangered species on the planet.SHOP NOW
If you are interested in these topics there are a number of resources out there to learn from to further inform your consumer decisions:
*Fairtrade and most certifications are not fair – Huffington Post, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/reflections-on-national-c_b_12247982
Written by Naomi Beider