Tag Archives: #ruby chocolate

International Chocolate Day…Child Labour and Fairtrade Chocolate…

 

I don’t think anyone needs a special day to eat a square or two of chocolate…but maybe it’s an excuse to indulge in another square or two…BUT before you do… let’s take a minute to think about where your chocolate comes from and at what human cost…

FIRSTLY… there is Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate…it also appears there is a new kid on the block called Ruby Chocolate…but is it or is it just clever marketing to make us think it is a bar of new exciting chocolate from a rare variety of the cocoa Bean?

Apparently, it is not from a rare cocoa bean...the company that produces this are remaining very tight-lipped about their chocolate…they may be laughing all the way to the bank especially on Valentine’s day…however there is no rare cocoa bean in sight…

Instead, ruby chocolate is actually just regular cocoa beans that have a “particular mix of compounds,” which likely refers to high levels of pigmented polyphenols referred to in the chocolate’s 2009 patent. Additionally, the patent notes the unique processing technique also lends to the pink colour.

The patent describes a way to make a “cocoa-derived material red or purple” by minimizing fermentation (3 days or less), treating the product with an acid, and using petroleum ether to remove fatty acids to preserve the colour…Ewwww..after reading that I’ll stick to my dark chocolate methinks…

Plus …this makes me smile…technically it is not defined as true chocolate by the FDA…The FDA has guidelines and amounts of what can and can’t be in a product…maximum and minimum amounts of certain products…thus while Ruby chocolate has all the ingredients of regular chocolate it doesn’t meet the correct percentages…

Chocolate and Child Labour…

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the chocolate industry’s promise to end child labour in the cocoa sector of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, a commitment they made under the 2001 Harkin-Engel Protocol and renewed again with the 2010 Framework of Action. Furthermore, it is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

This year should have been a landmark in the fight against child labour in cocoa. Instead, the cocoa sector as a whole has been conspicuously quiet on this topic.

Child labour is still a reality on West African cocoa farms, and there is strong evidence that forced labour continues in the sector as well. Recent reports – such as Ghana’s GLSS 7 survey and the study of the University of Chicago commissioned by the United States government – show that close to 1.5 million children are engaged in hazardous or age-inappropriate work on cocoa farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The vast majority of these child labourers are exposed to the worst forms of child labour, such as carrying heavy loads, working with dangerous tools, and increasing exposure to harmful agrochemicals.

All of this made me look for chocolate that has Fair Trade certification…

Fairtrade cocoa is an agricultural product harvested from a cocoa tree using a certified process that is followed by cocoa farmers, buyers, and chocolate manufacturers, and is designed to create sustainable incomes for farmers and their families.

But is it fair…

Chocolate can sometimes be labelled as fair trade because some of the ingredients being used are fair trade, but the cocoa being used may not be. … Some chocolate bars may be certified fair trade as a result of certain ingredients – but that doesn’t always mean that the cocoa that they use is fair trade certified…

Fairtrade chocolate makes up 12% of chocolate sales in the UK. Yes, that figure is not so high when you look at the amount of chocolate purchased overall…Fairtrade chocolate accounts for 12% of total sales in the UK – although the trend for Fairtrade-certified cocoa treats is growing (see the Global Cocoa Market 2016-2020)…I think it is not growing fast enough we should be more diligent when we are buying chocolate spare a thought when you save a dime or three on a chocolate bar how much is that child earning…then enjoy your chocolate.

Why is it that everything has get-out clauses? Everything I buy I have to double-check as I cannot rely on a manufacturer being 100% honest and reliable with the fact and figures they put on their labels to me there are far too many variables..too many loopholes…all this means is we cannot trust what we are told and most of all …I am almost certain that child labour and fairtrade will be exactly the same in 10 years time…That makes me angry and sad…

How much money does the chocolate industry make per year?

According to a chocolate industry analysis from Grand View Research, an industry study group global chocolate sales were valued at $130.56 billion in 2019 and are expected to grow at a rate of about 4.6 per cent a year for the next few years…Projected global sales by 2027 are expected to be about $187 billion.

It may be International Chocolate Day...but the industry needs to be far more transparent
and do what it says on the tin or sadly I won’t be buying any more chocolate…unless I can
categorically tell myself it is what it is…Frankly though with the huge sales per year which runs
into billions, they could clean the industry up very quickly and properly and dispense with child
labour plus pay a living wage… it is pure unadulterated greed and profiteering.

 

See you tomorrow where it’s my plastic update…Have a lovely evening x