When it comes to desserts and specialty cakes, the quality and source of ingredients are of utmost importance. On top of quality and taste, you might also consider ethical sourcing. Chocolate is one of the world’s favourite sweet treats, and it is commonly found in many desserts and recipes. But growing cocoa – the plant behind chocolate – is an arduous task. So if you ever wondered how to make chocolates, these cocoa facts are for you:
- According to Fairtrade Canada, most of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms, of which around 70% are in West African countries like Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
- Most cocoa farmers have never tasted chocolate.
- Cocoa is a sensitive plant that requires high rainfall and temperatures to grow. They flourish in a narrow geographic area between 20 degrees north and south of the equator.
- Farmers must protect trees from wind and sun, fertilize the soil, and watch for signs of disease or distress,
- Cocoa farmers use long-handled steel tools to reach the pods and cut them without wounding the soft bark of the tree. Farmers collect the pods in baskets.
- Post-harvest processing has the most significant impact on cocoa quality and, consequently, on cocoa taste.
About Fairtrade Chocolates
Fairtrade chocolates are certified to ensure ethical standards and pricing that gives farmers and labourers a living and sustainable wage. Fairtrade certification also ensures that chocolate is grown without child or forced labour.
Choosing socially responsible chocolates supports producers directly, which adds extra sweetness to your desserts and specialty cakes. Fairtrade advocates for farmers and producers to have more control over their futures, and your everyday buying choices can improve working and living conditions in farming communities. Fairtrade products make a difference by:
- Ensuring the Fairtrade Minimum Price is paid to farmers,
- Fairtrade Premium is paid to farmer organizations to invest in the products of their choice,
- Pushing the envelope to establish living incomes for small-scale farmers,
- Supporting smallholder farmers to organize themselves into small producer organizations.
Many Canadian chocolates are Fairtrade certified. Some of them include Divine, Alter Eco, Cadbury, Camino, Cavalier, Earth’s Choice, and many others. You can see a list of the 24 top Fairtrade brands in this Global Citizen article. In addition, you can recognize Fairtrade certified brands by looking for the Fairtrade badges below:
Fairtrade Cocoa can be used in lots of different recipes and make the best chocolate desserts. This chocolate brownie recipe from BBC good food, for example, is perfect for a dinner party, birthday or corporate event.
And if you are looking for amazing desserts to impress your guests, check out Passion Bake for our selection of high-quality, mouth-watering desserts, specialty cakes or continental catering.