Christmas 2019: Chocolatey gift ideas

Are you looking for small luxury consumables to gift this Christmas, but don’t want people far-off to suffer so your friend can have a treat? Perhaps you’ve heard that around 20% of the chocolate on sale in New Zealand this Christmas will be made with cocoa produced by kids who are kept out of school to work? You don’t want to support that, but you’re still looking for something nice to give.

We’re here to help! Here’s a range of chocolatey gift options that are certified free of both child and slave labour and where the workers have been paid enough to live on. Also available as a summary pdf.

(Click here for more information on the certifications referred to.)

chopped dark chocolate

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Chocolate blocks

Trade Aid

Trade Aid 100g chocolate bars

Trade Aid sells 100g blocks of delicious chocolate for $4.99. My favourites are dark raspberry and mint crisp, but they also do salt toffee crisp, caramel crunch, milk, dark and extra dark chocolate. The milk and dark varieties are also available as 200g blocks for $6.99. The wrappers are home-compostable and all but the milk and caramel crunch flavours are vegan. The cocoa is grown by a co-op in the Dominican Republic which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, and the sugar by farmers in Peru who are also WFTO members. Awesome all round!

You can buy the whole Trade Aid range direct from either their shops or online, plus a number of supermarkets and health food shops stock their products.

Wellington Chocolate Factory

a selection of Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate blocks

Wellington Chocolate Factory sources beans from around the world and crafts them into chocolate at their Wellington Factory. They do 75g bars in the following flavours:

  • raspberry milk
  • star anise milk
  • organic milk
  • salted caramel dark
  • coconut milk dark
  • ANZAC dark
  • Fiji single-origin
  • Peru single-origin
  • Solomon Islands single-origin

They sell for $12.50 each. The whole Wellington Chocolate Factory range is certified Fairtrade and organic, and many of their products are vegan :-)

You can buy WCF chocolate direct from them either online or from the factory in Aro Valley; they are also stocked by high-end supermarkets and organics shops.

Whittakers single-origin Samoan

Samoa appears to be unique amongst cocoa growing countries in that forced labour and child labour is completely unknown on cocoa plantations there. That means that Whittakers single-origin Samoan chocolate (from their artisan collection) is slave and child labour free :-)

However, do note that Just Kai doesn’t recommend the vast majority of Whittakers range, including the remainder of their artisan collection. Whittakers 250g milk and dark chocolate blocks are Fairtrade certified and so are fine, but we do not believe Whittakers themselves can have any confidence their other products and child and slave labour free.

You can buy Whittakers single-origin Samoan chocolate in most supermarkets. It sells for around $4.

Bennetto

a selection of Bennetto chocolate bars

Bennetto Natural Foods make delicious vegan, organic chocolate using cocoa from a Fairtrade co-op in Peru. They do 100g bars in:

  • amaranth and sea salt
  • raspberry in dark
  • toasted hazelnut
  • mint and cacao nibs
  • orange with chilli
  • intense dark

They also have mini bars, discussed under ’stocking stuffers

Bennetto chocolate is available at organic and health food stores as well as many New World, Four Square and PakNSave supermarkets, where the 100g bars sell for around $8. You can also purchase their chocolate by the carton direct from Bennetto. Note that only their bars are Fairtrade certified, not their hot chocolate.

Alter Eco

a selection of alter eco bars, truffles and clusters

Alter Eco is a US company that’s fairly recently started selling into New Zealand. Their whole range is organic and Fairtrade certified and includes 80g bars of:

  • Deepest Dark Super Blackout (90% cocoa, vegan)
  • Superdark Crisp Mint (90% cocoa, vegan)
  • Deep Dark Blackout (85% cocoa, vegan)
  • Deep Dark Sea Salt (70% cocoa, vegan)
  • Deep Dark Salted Almonds (70% cocoa, vegan)
  • Deep Dark Salt & Malt (70% cocoa)
  • Deep Dark Salted Brown Butter (70% cocoa)
  • Deep Dark Salted Burnt Caramel (70% cocoa)
  • Deep Dark Quinoa Crunch (60% cocoa, vegan)
  • Deep Dark Crisp Mint (60% cocoa, vegan)
  • Dark Salted Coconut Toffee (47% cocoa)

Look for Alter Eco products at health food and organics shops. RRP $7.80.

Oxfam

95g blocks of coconut, citrus and salted caramel chocolate

Oxfam has recently started selling Fairtrade certified chocolate in New Zealand. They stock:

  • 95g blocks ($4.50):

    • dark chocolate
    • dark chocolate citrus crisp
    • milk chocolate with coconut
    • salted caramel milk chocolate
  • 200g blocks ($8.99):

    • milk chocolate
    • dark chocolate

These are only available online.

Chocolates

Trade Aid

Trade Aid milk chocolate coated cashews and dark chocolate coated almonds

Trade Aid make 130g boxes dark chocolate coated almonds and milk chocolate coated cashews, both of which are delicious. The almonds are grown by small-scale farmers in Palestine; the cashews by members of the Fair Trade Alliance in southern India; the cocoa is grown by a co-op in the Dominican Republic which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation; and the sugar by farmers in Peru who are also WFTO members. Awesome all round! They retail for $8.99.

You can buy the whole Trade Aid range direct from either their shops or online, plus a number of supermarkets and health food shops stock their products.

Nestle Scorched Almonds and After Eights

boxes of scorched almonds and after eights

From correspondence, we have learned that Scorched Almonds and After Eights from Nestle Australia/New Zealand are made with UTZ-certified cocoa. Nestle has chosen not to display the UTZ logo on the box, which we’re not happy about, but we’ve decided to include them on the list as they give a lower-priced option for boxed chocolates. Look for the Nestle logo on the box and check they are marked ‘made in Australia’ or ‘made in New Zealand’.

Note that there are a number of other companies making scorched almonds these days and only the Nestle ones are slave-free. Nestle scorched almonds come in milk and dark and should be available in any supermarket for about $6.50 for a 240g box. Nestle After Eights seem less widely available, but we have seen them at The Warehouse at $6 for a 300g box.

If you’re concerned about Nestle’s ethics, see here for why we are happy to recommend their products.

Alter Eco

a selection of alter eco truffles and clusters

Alter Eco is a US company that’s fairly recently started selling into New Zealand. Their whole range is Fairtrade certified and includes:

  • truffles in bags of 5 truffles ($7.50) or boxes of 60 (RRP $96) in the following flavours:

    • classic dark (58% cocoa)
    • superdark (80% cocoa, vegan)
    • silk velvet (39% cocoa)
    • mint creme (58% cocoa)
    • sea salt (58% cocoa)
    • salted caramel (58% cocoa)
  • 91g bags of dark chocolate coconut clusters ($9) in:

    • cherry and almond butter (70% cocoa, vegan)
    • original (70% cocoa, vegan)
    • seed and salt (70% cocoa, vegan)
    • double chocolate (85% cocoa)

They also do a medley box of 60 truffles in a mix of flavours ($96), and this Christmas they’re doing a special ‘holiday’ bag of 9 truffles, RRP $11.

The truffle wrappers are commercially compostable :-) Buy Alter Eco products at Huckleberry stores or Naturally Organic.

Vegolino

packet of vegolino pralines

Vego does Fairtrade certified vegan chocolate hazelnut pralines (around $15 for a 180g bag): look for them in vegan and whole food stores.

Stocking stuffers

Nestle

Nestle 'fun packs' of smarties, kit kats and milky bars

If you want stocking stuffers or other small gifts, one good option is Nestle ‘fun packs’: bags containing 11 small packets of either smarties, kit kats or milky bars for $5. Smarties and Kit Kats are both UTZ-certified* and milky bars are cocoa free! You should be able to find Nestle fun packs in any supermarket.

*check the back to make sure that’s true - there’s a chance you’ll find imported ones that aren’t. You’re looking for either a UTZ logo or a statement saying that Nestle works with UTZ.

If you’re concerned about Nestle’s ethics, see here for why we are happy to recommend their products.

Kit kats, milky bars, pixie caramel, chokito and aero bars

Another option, also brought to you by Nestle, are their various chocolate bars. All varieties of KitKats should be UTZ-certified (check the back to be sure), as are Pixie Caramels, Chokito bars and Aero bars. Milky bars are cocoa free.

Oxfam and Trade Aid

milk and dark 50g chocolate bars from Oxfam and Trade Aid.

Oxfam and Trade Aid both sell 50g bars of both milk and dark chocolate. The Oxfam ones are Fairtrade certified; the Trade Aid ones are WFTO certified. The Oxfam bars are $2.99 each and are only available online; the Trade Aid ones go for $2.49 and are available online, from their physical shops or some health food shops.

Bennetto

Bennetto sells three flavours of Fairtrade certified vegan organic chocolate in 30g bars:

  • coconut
  • raspberry
  • coffee bean

These are available online in boxes of 19-22 bars for about $57-$66, or singly from health food stores, RRP $3.50.

Wellington Chocolate Factory

retail box of Wellington Chocolate Factory Solomon Islands 25g bars

Wellington Chocolate Factory sells 25g Fairtrade certified chocolate bars in the following flavours:

  • Peru (vegan, gluten free, certified organic)
  • Solomon Islands (vegan)
  • Raspberry milk (gluten free, certified organic)
  • Salted caramel (gluten free)

They retail around $4; look for them at organic shops and cafes.

Advent Calendar

So Free’s 2019 Advent Calendar is Fairtrade certfied; it’s also vegan, nut free and organic. We’ve seen it in Auckland at Naturally Organic and the Cruelty Free Shop. It’s $14-$15. Check for the Fairtrade logo: the manufacturer appears to be making both Fairtrade and regular versions, so don’t buy it if the Fairtrade logo isn’t there.

Hot chocolate

hot chocolate mixes as discussed below

Just Kai’s cocoa guide has a great many hot chocolate options. The ones most suitable for gifting are:

  • West Coast Cocoa (UTZ-certified). Buy directly from them online or see here for stockists. They are $3.50 for 50g, $12.50 for 250g and $23 for 500g. West Coast Cocoa comes in the following flavours:

    • deluxe
    • dark deluxe
    • peppermint
    • caramel
    • mayan chilli
  • Trade Aid drinking chocolate (WFTO certified): buy from their own shops, online or from health food shops. $5.99 for 300g.
  • Kokako drinking chocolate (Fairtrade certified) is available online, or see here for stockists. $9.50 for 250g.
  • Devonport Chocolates (Fairtrade certified) hot chocolate mixes can be purchased online or from their stores in Devonport and Queens Arcade in Auckland. $12.90 for 250g. It comes in three flavours:

    • spicy
    • classic
    • dark and decadent
  • Oxfam drinking chocolate (Fairtrade certified), available online, $9.99 for 225g.

Toiletries and cosmetics

a selection of LUSH products scattered over a wooden table

LUSH make a wide range of toiletries and cosmetics which are all handmade. Many of them are packaging free or come in re-fillable packaging; all their products are vegetarian and many are vegan.

Many of their products contain cocoa butter, and in the vast majority of cases this cocoa butter is Fairtrade. However, a few of their products are made with regular cocoa butter, so always check the ingredients list to be sure: if it’s Fairtrade it will say :-) None of their other cocoa is Fairtrade, so avoid products with cocoa liquor or cocoa powder.

Find your nearest LUSH stockist here.