|Name||Bark THINSDark Chocolate and Almonds||VosgesTurmeric Ginger Bar||Green & Blacks Almond Milk Chocolate Bar||Alter EcoDark Velvet Bar||Trader Joe's Fair Trade, 72% Bar||Brooklyn Cookie Company||Raaka Virgin Chocolate||Rescue Chocolate|
|Price||$5.69 per bag||$8 per bar||$5 per bar||$3.99 per bar||$1.99 per bar||$7.99 (1.25oz)||$7.95 (1.8oz)||$6 (2oz)|
|Price per unit||$1.22/oz||$2.67/oz||$1.42/oz||1.41/oz||.57/oz||6.39||4.417||3|
|ENV Raw Mats||Some Non-GMO||Some GMO Free||Some Organic||100% Organic ingredients||Sourced from Non-GMO ingredients||Organic, Kosher certified||Organic. Cooperative Oko Caribe (Dominican Republic); Maya Mountain Cacao (Belize); Zorzal Cacao (Dominican Republic); Alto Beni Cacao Cooperative (Bolivia); ESCO Kivu (Eastern Congo, D.R.C)||Organic, Kosher certified|
|ENV Certifications||Non-GMO Project Standard||LEED Certified ManufacturingGMO Free||USDA Organic||USDA Organic||USDA Organic|
|ENV Disposal & Waste||Unknown||100% Post-Consumer Recycled Packaging||Unknown||Naturflex film, renewable compostable||Unknown||unknown||Use agroforestry farming technique||unknown|
|LABOR Who?||Unknown||Unknown||Cocoa Life farmers from likely from the Dominican Republic and Belize||Cacao grown in Alto HuayabambaPeruDairy, grass-fed||Chocolate co-manufactured in Belgium||Made in Brooklyn, NY||Made: Red Hook, Brooklyn at 64 Seabring Street||Made: Tumbador chocolate factory (34 34th Street Unit 6 - Brooklyn, NY)|
|LABOR: Pay Scale||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||unknown||Cocoa farmers paid a minimum of $500 above market price per metric ton of cocoa beans (20% raise)||Unknown|
|Labor: Certifications||65% Fair Trade IngredientsFair Trade USA||81% Fair Trade IngredientsFair Trade USA||Fair trade Foundation UK, Fair Trade, UN Certified Ethically Sourced||88.5% Fair trade ingredients:||Fair for Life certified ingredients||Fair Trade||Fair Trade||Fair Trade|
|Certifications||Unknown||Certified Organic Manufacturing Facility, 100% renewable energy,Women's Business Enterprise (WBENC),Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)||USDA Organic, Fair Trade, UN Certified Ethically Sourced||Certified B Corporation, USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Carbon Neutral Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified||Unknown||B Corp, Finalist at the Specialty Food Association (NASFT) for “Outstanding Confection”||B Corp||B Corp, 100% Vegan|
|R&D||100% RFA certified by 2020Palm Oil Traceability||Root to Bar Project in Belize,RFA Certification, some ingredientsNon-GMO Certification, some ingredients||Pure dark chocolate, made with 4 ingredients||Sustainable packaging||Unknown||Unknown||Subscription service||Unknown|
|Charity||Cocoa Action Program||Cocoa Life program||Programs for development and empowerment in cocoa growing communities.||Unknown||Donates to Bottomless Closet||Unknown||100% of the net profits of all chocolate sales are donated to animal rescue organizations around the country|
|Partners||Subsidiary of The Hershey Company||Corporate partners: Belcampo Belize, V-Day, Little Kids Rock, L’Ecole de Choix||Subsidiary of Mondelez||Unknown||Unknown||Supplies major retailers like: Whole Foods Market, Neiman Marcus, Dean & DeLuca, A Southern Season, Central Markets||Unknown||Unknown|
|LABOR: Special Interest||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
Who doesn’t love the smooth, rich, and blissful texture of sweetness melting in your mouth? Yes, I’m talking about chocolate. Chocolate has been around since the 1300’s when the Aztec’s first discovered cacao seeds. Ever since then, it’s been a game-changer all throughout the world. There are many options when it comes to chocolate. We chose ones that were overall high on our list in terms of accessibility and ethical business.
Current Trend & Status Quo
The cocoa industry has been booming for the past couple hundred years. Almost all of the world’s cocoa is grown in developing countries, such as Colombia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Yemen, but are consumed in industrialized countries. Compared to other commodities, cocoa prices are relatively volatile as they are subject to the effects of seasonality and growing conditions. For example in West Africa where the cacao is grown yearly, Harmattan winds cause a dusty haze that prevent cocoa pods from developing correctly. Additionally, massive demand for cocoa forcibly drives down prices, trapping farmers with low salaries.
The chocolate industry’s top three manufacturing companies are names we grew up hearing: Nestle, Mars Inc., and Mondelez International.
- Nestle: Biggest giant in the chocolate industry, with its 2015 net revenue at 88 billion dollars and workforce of 339,000 employees.
- Mars Inc.: The 33 billion dollar American company responsible for all our childhood toothaches, from Snickers to M&Ms to Twix. Its houses 75,000 employees.
- Mondelez International: One of the world’s largest snack companies with a 2015 net revenue of 30 billion dollars and workforce of 100,000 employees. Mondelez Int’l is responsible for Cadbury and Toblerone chocolates.
- Country of Origin: Many of the countries that produce cocoa mainly lie below the equator such as Peru, Nigeria, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and more. These cocoa producing countries come from warm, wet climates similar to where the bean was originated. Most chocolate is developed in countries where workers are paid very little. However, these companies mentioned above pay their workers a living wage. Cooperatives like Oko Caribe located in the Dominican Republic grow and harvest through agroforestry.
- Agroforestry Farming: This practice is designed to use both agriculture and forestry to create a healthy ecosystem that not only yields a more flavorful crop but also mimics the natural biodiversity of the land. It integrates crops and/or livestock animals with trees and shrubs, yielding diversified income sources, increased biological production, better water quality, and an improved environment.
Other Brands to Consider
- Theo Chocolate (see a review of this deliciousness by Joyce Tang here!)
- Videri Chocolate
- Nahua Cacao
- Divine Chocolate
- Tony's Chocolonely
Written by Maggie Simizon and Richard Sunny