Cacao comes from the cacao tree also known as cocoa tree, with its scientific name being Theobroma cacao.
The Maya celebrated an annual festival in April to honor Ek Chuah, their cacao god. Theobroma means “food of the gods”.
Cacao is naturally bitter and can leave an even bitter taste in your mouth if it comes from unsustainable plantations with underpaid producers in Africa and South America, child labour and deforestation.
We have found effortless ways to support ethical and sustainable chocolate production. Here is what to keep in mind:
Only get what you need:
Going overboard in your chocolate egg supply or Halloween treats not only enlarges your waistline, but also the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions and extra material resources used in the producing, processing, packaging and transport of your treats.
All organically certified cocoa is produced without pesticides and other chemical treatments. Organic cocoa is also grown under the shade and protection of larger trees, rather than in large monoculture plantations of cleared land. These better natural growing conditions help to maintain biodiversity and remove the unnecessary need for agrochemicals.
In selecting chocolate that have the Fairtrade or similar certified label, you are supporting cocoa farmers, their families and communities. Fairtrade aims for a fair price for the cocoa beans with a guaranteed minimum price plus a Fairtrade premium payment.
The Fairtrade premium is used for social, environmental and economic investments chosen by the local communities themselves. Fairtrade-certified community cooperatives are encouraged to use organic farming methods? ideally, you want to look for chocolate that are certified for both.