Staff Guide | Updated January 2016
17 Fair Trade Chocolate Brands
Chocolate should be oh so much more than candy. It's a superfood packed with antioxidants and cardiovascular benefits. Studies show chocolate to boost energy, reduce stress, increase concentration and even increase maternal health. This playful, nutrient dense is the perfect pick-me-up and superfood recharge.
So we know chocolate is good for us. But what about the farmers who grow it? The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 250 million child slaves working to produce many of our everyday purchases such as coffee and cocoa. As you might imagine, forced laborersare exploited for their work, forced to work long hours with little or no pay and have little rights.
When we choose to buy Fair Trade products, we are casting a vote for the ethical treatments of the laborers around the world who are responsible for the food we eat. Fair Trade certification means not only that workers were paid fairly but also those farmers had safe and environmentally friendly working conditions.
These 17 Fair Trade Chocolate brands have made it an integral part of their mission to develop lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships by employing Fair Trade and Direct Trade practices with the farmers who cultivate their cocoa crops. Oh and they make delicious, good-for-you chocolate.
#1. ALTER ECO FOODS
Best For: Truffle Lovers, Eco-Friendly Practices
Fair Trade: At Alter Eco they believe the happiness and future of the families who grow our food are just as vital as our own. Their Fair Trade truffles and chocolates are crafted with pure, good-fat-rich superfood, coconut oil. And with no preservatives, no soy and no palm kernel oil. These little bundles of yummy decadent joy have everything you love with but everything that's good for you and the planet.
Mission: To nourish Foodie, Farmer and Field.
Give Back: Alter Eco is a certified B Corporation. They are certified Fair Trade, Non-GMO and Organic, Alter Eco also utilizes Compostable Packaging and offsetts carbon emissions by planting thousands of trees within their supply chains.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods, Lassens
#2. THEO CHOCOLATE
Best For: Social Impact, Variety of Flavors
Fair Trade: As the first organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in the country, Theo Chocolate’s founding principle is that the finest artisan chocolate in the world can (and should) be produced in an entirely ethical, sustainable fashion.
Mission: Theo Chocolate is dedicated to making our world a better place. And they’re finding ways to do it through their passion for bringing out the best of the cocoa bean.
Give Back: Theo Chocolate partners with organizations like Eastern Congo Initiative, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the World Bicycle Relief. These organization share their commitment and passion for social and environmental responsibility.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods, Gelsons
Best For: True Dark Chocolate Lovers (72%-100% Cocoa), Handcrafted
Fair Trade: All eatingEVOLVED chocolate is free of gluten, dairy, or soy. In fact, they use the fewest ingredients physically possible to create chocolate. No junk, no fillers, just the highest quality, Fair-Trade cacao lightly sweetened with organic maple sugar directly sourced from Maple producers in Vermont and Canada.
Mission: At eatingEVOLVED they have a guiding principle that influences every decision they make: Chocolate: It’s Food, Not Candy. When chocolate is done right, it’s a delicious, antioxidant-rich, superfood – a far cry from the commoditized, sugar-filled milk chocolate candies that line supermarket shelves. Their mission is to handcraft dark chocolate done right.
#4. SWEET RIOT
Best For: Monthly Membership Program
Fair Trade: Sweetriot is a woman-owned B Corp that supports Fair Trade and sources cocoa exclusively in Latin America, which directly supports a better life for farming families through fair prices and direct trade.
Mission: To create a more just and celebrated multicultural world for our next generation.
Give Back: Sweetriot partners with various non-profit organizations that celebrate culture, diversity and empower young people.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods, SAFEWAY, Wegmans, Bristol Farms, Lassens, Sprouts
#5. RESCUE CHOCOLATE
Best For: Animal Lovers, Vegan, Kosher, Handcrafted
Fair Trade: In addition to being Fair Trade, Rescue Chocolate is always 100% vegan and organic. The chocolate is handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY and certified Kosher Parve.
Give Back: Rescue Chocolate is “the sweetest way to save a life!” From each chocolate purchased, 100% of the net profits are donated to animal rescue organizations around the country.
#6. GET UNREAL
Best For: Gluten, Corn & Soy Free Candy
Fair Trade: Get Unreal uses sustainably sourced and fair trade ingredients. Each chocolate and candy is made with real ingredients that make every bite taste unreal.
Mission: Get Unreal is on a mission to unjunk the world by reinventing America's favorite foods. They started with M&Ms® and Reese’s®, making them without junk, with less sugar, and with better taste. Every ingredient they use is non-GMO, always real, and never artificial. No gluten, corn, or soy.
Watch The Founder’s Tedtalk
#7. BAREFOOT & CHOCOLATE
Best For: Chocolate Spread Lovers
Fair Trade: Founders, Trent & Sasha started with a premium recipe using Fair Trade and Organic cocoa, sugar, vanilla and nuts. They then ditched the GMO’s, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated and solvent extracted oils and voilà! A better a knock-your-socks off, finger-licking good, chocolate spread!
Found In Stores: The Fresh Market
#8. EQUAL EXCHANGE
Best For: Hot Cocoa Lovers
Fair Trade: Equal Exchange chocolates and cocoas are crafted using only the purest ingredients, grown with care by small farmer co-ops. They source from small farmer organizations that are the heart and soul of the Fair Trade movement.
Mission: Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers through fair trade practices.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods
#9. ENDANGERED SPECIES CHOCOLATE
Best For: Animals Lovers
Fair Trade: The milk and dark chocolate bars and bites from ENDANGERED SPECIES CHOCOLATE are made with fairly traded, shade grown cacao and natural ingredients. Choosing their chocolate is one way you can honor farmers and support sustainable farming practices.
Give Back: With each chocolate bar, Endangered Species Chocolate is protecting diversity of life on our planet and promoting true global change. Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of net profits to partner organizations that support species conservation, habitat preservation and humanitarian efforts.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods, Ralphs, Vitamin Shoppe
#10. GREEN AND BLACK’S ORGANICS
Best For: Dark Chocolate Lovers, Surprising Flavors
Fair Trade: At Green and Black’s they believe organic ingredients make the best tasting chocolate around. They search high and low for Fair Trade-certified ingredients that meet stringent standards and then experiment until they find the perfect balance. It’s not a fast process but, as you can taste, it’s a rewarding one.
Mission: Part of their mission is to be flavor-packed. Take the spiced chili bar for example, the chocolate bar has peppercorn and juniper berries to enhance the fruity notes, while the chili, ginger, cassia, star anise and cloves emphasize the warmth. All this leads up to a lively burst of heat – just enough to leave you wanting more.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods, Walgreens, Walmart, Wegmans
Best For: Chocolate Made Entirely in Africa
Mission: Africa grows 70% of the world's cocoa, yet produces less than 1% of the world’s chocolate. Similar statistics for many other African crops explain how a continent so rich in raw materials, can remain so poor. Madécasse exists to change this by making chocolate entirely in Africa.
Fair Trade: Madécasse empowers Madagascar’s cocoa farmers with skills training and higher wages. They source other ingredients locally in Madagascar, too. Then they actually make their chocolate on the island. So far, they’ve created meaningful income for over 200 people in Madagascar - from chocolate making, to packaging production, to the farming of the cocoa, spices, and fruits.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods
#.12 LOVING EARTH
Best For: Raw Chocolate Lovers
Fair Trade: Loving Earth is dedicated to sourcing and manufacturing the highest quality organic, fairly traded raw chocolate.
Mission: Its Loving Earth’s mission to create chocolate in its purest, richest, most essential form. A wickedly decadent healthy treat, this chocolate contains no cane sugar or dairy and remains uncooked and unprocessed. Because the Cacao Beans are not roasted, their natural wealth of phytonutrients remain fully intact. Loving Earth’s raw chocolate contains up to twice the amount of antioxidants of conventionally processed chocolate.
#13. SRSLY CHOCOLATE
Best For: Handcrafted Chocolate
Fair Trade: With a commitment to produce the finest chocolate in a sustainable manner, the team at SRSLY Chocolate uses organic & fair trade cacao and cane sugar to handcraft each delicious bar.
Best For: Cherries & Currant Lovers
Fair Trade: Chocolove offers three bars made with Fair Trade chocolate: Fair Trade Organic Dark Chocolate, Fair Trade Cherries in Organic Dark Chocolate, Fair Trade Currants & Almonds.
Give Back: Chocolove is a generous supporter of the International Federation of Red Cross program in West Africa, one of the most active organizations at work in West Africa in the fight against the ebola virus.
Found In Stores: Whole Foods
Best For: Nonprofit Fundraising
Mission: The name, Evolla, is based on the premise that a product should be “all good” for everyone involved. Evolla is all good for the consumer by being 100% Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Gluten Free, and Soy Lecithin Free and it’s all good for farmers by being Fair Trade USA Certified. To Evolla, all good also means responsible packaging. Evolla Chocolate is packaged in recyclable boxes that are produced utilizing wind energy credits.
Give Back: Evolla Chocolate was created for the purpose of helping nonprofit organizations raise money and awareness. Non profit organization receive 50% of profits from each bar sold.
#16. DIVINE CHOCOLATE
Best For: Milk Chocolate Lovers, Baking Bars & Powders
Fair Trade: In addition to Fair Trade practices that ensure farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and income to invest in their community, Divine Chocolate offers farmers company ownership giving them a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry.
Best For: Whole Food Bars
Fair Trade: Each Larabar is made from whole food, and each indulgent flavor contains no more than nine ingredients - minimally processed, and as close to their natural state as possible. All bars that contain chocolate are made with Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate chips.
Mission: At LÄRABAR, they believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat - and what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.
Where to Buy In Stores: Whole Foods, Target, CVS, Walmart, Sprouts, Farm Fresh Supermarket, Kroger, Hy-Vee, Publix and more.