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In the last few years, the Fair Trade movement, and more specifically the Fairtrade mark, have exploded onto the market. Fair Trade is now the most recognisable emblem of trading fairly and has helped raise consumers’ awareness of the problems faced by farmers in developing countries. The rise of conscientious consumption is mainly thanks to Fair Trade and its efforts to make more fairly traded products more widely available.
On the farmers’ side, the movement provides a safety net that guarantees a minimum price for their produce. A fair price that allows them to cover costs and make a living that not only protects farmers from volatile commodity markets, but also from unscrupulous buyers. And the promotion of workers’ welfare, environmental consideration and sustainability is invaluable.
Although we wholeheartedly support the principles of Fair Trade, there are a couple of major stumbling blocks that prevent us from making and selling Fair Trade chocolate.
It is simply not possible for a company-owned cocoa plantation, such as our Rabot Estate, to gain Fair Trade accreditation. Only smallholdings are eligible.
The quality and scope of Fair Trade cocoa and chocolate is extremely limited. Our products differentiate themselves by exploring the subtle nuances of origin, quality and variety of the cocoa bean. So, using Fair Trade cocoa would severely compromise our aim of creating high quality chocolate.
We therefore needed a wider-ranging approach that would fit with our love for fine cocoa and allow us to continue making creative chocolate. In fact, the work that we do both complements and extends beyond the scope of Fair Trade.