This Valentine's Day, Let's Love Wider
Every year the chocolate industry shakes up the season of love by filling store aisles with all sorts of chocolate treats for consumers to enjoy, whether to treat themselves or to give to others. For many, giving and receiving chocolate represents love, care, and appreciation. While we as consumers are quick to buy chocolate products, we are never as quick to understand or acknowledge who actually makes it.
The average chocolate bar may look like a simple product on a supermarket shelf, but the treat goes through a long, complex process of production from harvesting cocoa beans to manufacturing chocolate bars. What many don’t know is that the chocolate industry is worth an estimated $110 billion a year, but the most important ingredient - cocoa - is grown by some of the poorest people, in plantations and cocoa fields where slavery and child labor are alive and well.
According to CNN’s Cocoa-nomics, cocoa farmers earn just 3% of the profit on chocolate sales, while a much larger percentage is given to the marketing and retail aspects of the industry. In fact, many cocoa farmers and plantation workers never actually end up tasting or seeing the end product of the chocolate. Ultimately, the underpayment of farmers and human trafficking of children within the cocoa production industry are factors that lead to the complex issue of poverty that consumers never end up seeing.
The chocolate industry not only influences the people making it, but also influences the environment in which the ingredients of chocolate are sourced from. Growing cocoa is becoming unsustainable, as demand for the plant rapidly increases. If the conventional farming of cocoa continues, there may not even be enough cocoa supply in the long-term. When we purchase chocolate from companies that enable poverty, child labor, and unsustainable sourcing, we are supporting the existence of these injustices.
This Valentine’s Day, we at Good Journey want to challenge you to do something different as you purchase chocolate for yourself and others. Instead of purchasing chocolate that may or may not be treating their workers or environments well, make room for higher quality, fair trade chocolate that not only satisfies you and your loved ones’ stomachs, but also the ones of the people who made it. We want to challenge you to love wider - to love not only the ones around you, but those who make the products we get to enjoy.
From now until February 14th, when you buy 2 chocolate bars through Good Journey, we will collectively give 1 chocolate bar to workers of all parts of the chocolate production. This is a small yet significant gesture to not only show love, but allow workers in each step of production to flourish.
Ultimately, when you purchase Fair Trade Certified products over conventional ones, you love and empower makers, producers, and communities around the world to build thriving businesses that respect people and the environment. On top of that, our campaign will give workers the opportunity to taste what they make.
Let’s get new buying habits starting this Valentine’s Day. Let’s love wider.
Buying new habits. New buying habits.
Written by Gracie Leung