News from the UC Sustainability Office

Fair Trade Easter

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HAPPY EASTER Chocolate eggs Easter Egg DecoratingEaster and all its sweet pleasures is just around the corner. For thousands of years eggs have been symbolic of fertility and rebirth especially during spring time, well before Christian traditions. Special dishes and traditions based on decorating and eating eggs were common across many cultures and practised for countless generations. Compared to these ancient traditions, chocolate Easter eggs are relatively recent, and appear to be primarily a commercial innovation as new technologies emerged to make eating chocolate and moulding it into egg shapes! The first chocolate Easter eggs emerged in France and Germany in the early 19th century.

Easter is now a massive profit-making opportunity for multi-national chocolate companies. The international chocolate trade has been heavily criticised over the years, with accusations of purchasing cocoa from communities which are forced to use child labour in unsafe conditions, and growers failing to receive a fair price for their crops.

Buying Fair Trade chocolate goodies this Easter will push the feel good factor of chocolate to a whole new level! When you buy Fair Trade chocolate, you know that you will be buying chocolate made from cocoa grown by communities that are assessed annually for compliance with Fair Trade Standards, and are paid a premium over and above the world price. This premium enables these communities to invest in local development projects such as schools, healthcare and drinking water.

Best of all, Trade Aid opened its own chocolate factory right here in Christchurch last year, making it the only fair trade organisation in the world to manufacture 100% fair trade organic chocolate. This gumption deserves all the support it can get!

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Author: Puck Algera - UC Sustainability Office

Puck worked at the Sustainability Office at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. As the Sustainability Projects Coordinator, she kept busy with student and staff engagement, providing strategic input and advice and organising sustainability-focused events.

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