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Satisfy that sweet tooth - and your conscience - with some ethical chocolate

 

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'If you're a chocolate purist on the hunt for single origin chocolate, then check the label.' (stock image)

'If you're a chocolate purist on the hunt for single origin chocolate, then check the label.' (stock image)

'If you're a chocolate purist on the hunt for single origin chocolate, then check the label.' (stock image)

Buying a bar of chocolate, it turns out, is a gender issue. It's also a child labour issue. You could even say it's a modern slavery issue since the average cocoa farmer lives on a wage well below the UN's poverty line of $1.90 a day. And as deforestation and soil erosion are typical problems in cocoa-growing areas, chocolate is also an environmental issue.

What on earth does that have to do with us? Well, we Irish are chocolate lovers - apparently, we each ate 7.7kg of the dark stuff in 2017, which puts us in third place in Europe. Only Austria and Switzerland enjoy a slab of chocolate more than we do, according to a new report from Fairtrade 'Craving a Change in Chocolate'.

We shell out €615m a year on chocolate, it's estimated, and the Government takes €115m of that in VAT. The small holder farmers who grow the crop, the vast bulk of which comes from Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana in West Africa, receive about 7pc of the value of chocolate, excluding VAT. Retailers pocket a whopping 44pc.


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