Put your sweet tooth to good use and show your love to fair-trade companies
As much as we enjoy indulging in chocolate and candy bars, it's important to note that the way in which many of these products are created is not so sweet. There are serious issues that have come to light in recent years about the cocoa industry, such as slave and child labour, the deforestation of land owned by small farmers, and the inclusion of other ingredients (like refined sugar and palm oil) to cheapen production.
But when we purchase ethical chocolate, it means we are supporting companies who treat cocoa growers and farmers fairly—by giving them proper wages, providing them with safe working conditions, and keeping the environment top of mind. Not to mention, these conscious brands don’t add any preservatives, use eco-friendly packaging to help cut down on plastic waste—and their products taste delicious!
Browse through our top fair-trade chocolate brands to indulge in guilt-free...
1. Zimt Chocolates
This vegan company sources ethically grown and harvested cacao, and makes its chocolate products from cocoa nibs, coconut sugar and cocoa butter at its Vancouver, B.C. factory. And it's not just what's inside that counts—since Zimt was established in 2011, all of its packaging has been compostable. From chocolate bars to zero-waste candy bars and baking chocolate, there are plenty of guilt-free goodies you’ll love.
2. Raw Halo
Facebook/Raw HaloWhat started as small-batch production from a home kitchen has now grown into one of the most popular organic and sustainable chocolate brands known today. Raw Halo sources its plant-based ingredients from small organic farms, and also plants a tree with every 50 bars sold thanks to a partnership with One Tree Planted. Not to mention, all of the packaging is 100 percent plastic-free, and recyclable.
3. Mink Chocolate
This Canadian brand makes decadent, world-class chocolates that are both sustainable and traceable. All of the products are created in small batches, which means the ingredients are fresh and high quality. Plus, the company helps support charitable organizations and community initiatives through its Mink Cares program, focusing on the environment, education, arts and culture, youth and more.
4. Divine Chocolate
From empowering cocoa farmers in Ghana to advocating for a fair-trade chocolate market around the world and committing to helping women thrive in business, Divine Chocolates holds strong values in doing good for both the planet and people. Also, it doesn’t hurt that its chocolate tastes divine, just like the name suggests. Choose from 100 percent organic vegan bars, high-quality baking and drinking ingredients, chocolate bars, snack bars and so much more.
5. Beta 5
Vancouver, B.C.’s award-winning chocolate shop focuses on contemporary, innovative and sustainable products with high-quality and fresh ingredients. Beta 5 takes inspiration from both nature and industrial landscapes, and carries a huge variety of artisan treats including gluten-free and vegan options.
6. Lily’s Sweets
Facebook/Lily's SweetsLooking for no-sugar-added chocolate that tastes amazing? Lily’s Sweets is your winner. Founder Cynthia Tice launched her company in 2010 with the aim of giving people the option of wholesome, non-GMO, gluten-free ingredients sourced through fair-trade practices. Every chocolate product is botanically sweetened which means there is no refined or processed sugars involved. The brand also supports a variety of non-profit organizations that focus on fighting childhood cancer and other diseases.
7. Endangered Species Chocolate
Facebook/Endangered Species ChocolateEndangered Species Chocolate was founded in 1993 in Indianapolis, Indiana with the mission of creating authentic premium chocolate and supporting wildlife and environmental conservation. It focuses on using responsibly sourced ingredients—like coconut, fair-trade coffee beans, American-grown berries and more—through ethical and sustainable practices. The company has donated more than $2.6 million to its giveback partners (The National Forest Foundation and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund) since 2016. It’s real chocolate with a true impact.
8. Theo Chocolate
This Seattle, Washington-based company thrives on empowering and inspiring people to make the right choices and to be compassionate about protecting the planet. Theo works directly with farmers in Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo, offering them a stable price, versus being part of the global commodity cocoa market. This ensures they are being paid fair wages and are able to plan their future with confidence, thus improving the quality of their cocoa. The brand also uses high-quality, minimal ingredients that are organic, kosher-certified and 100 percent soy-free. From bestselling bars to unexpected flavours, caramels and more, there’s something for every chocolate lover to adore.