Christmas 2020: Chocolate for gifting

Are you looking gift some chocolate 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.

Fortunately, this year there are heaps of options that are certified free of both child and slave labour. We’ve gathered together all the ones we’ve spotted, but there are likely more. If you see anything that has one of the following marks on it, even if it’s not on our list, it’s fine.

certification marks for UTZ, the new Rainforest Alliance, WFTO, Fairtrade and the Fairtrade cocoa programme

(Click here for more information on the certifications referred to. UTZ is currently transitioning to a new logo, so the logos on either side of the arrow mean the same thing.)

Read right through to see all the options we’ve found or click on the table of contents to jump to the section you’re looking for. Also available as a summary pdf. Also check out our post on a slave-free Christmas meal - it includes sections on chocolate biscuits, chocolate sweets and baking ingredients.

chopped dark chocolate

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Santas, tree baubles and Christmas coins

We start this section with easy-to-source products you’ll find at Kmart and the major supermarkets; there are a couple of dairy-free options at the end that you’ll need to go to more specialised shops for.

Kitkat is making 29g UTZ-certified Santas; these are available at The Warehouse and supermarkets for around $1 each.

New World and PakNSave supermarkets are stocking the 60g MT milk chocolate Santa, which is made with Fairtrade certified cocoa. It sells for about $1.40. You can also buy the same santa in a bag with some mini snowmen, although we haven’t found that online.

All Kmart’s own brand chocolate is UTZ-certified. That includes own-brand Santa and reindeer sets, made up of a plush toy and a set of 6.5g milk chocolate santas or reindeer for around $6.

Also from Kmart, there’s a UTZ-certified 4-piece milk chocolate set that includes four santas in a Christmas star you can hang on the tree; 32g total weight for $2.50.

Kmart has ’reindeer treats’ in a box you can hang on the tree. 8 pieces of chocolate (52g) for $2.

Lastly, Kmart also has 80g UTZ-certified milk chocolate gold coins for $2.50. Check out Kmart’s other own brand Christmas chocolate too, if you’re in a store: it wasn’t clear from the website whether their whole own brand range is UTZ-certified and they’re yet to answer our email on the topic.

Moo Free has a ’milk’ dairy-free Santa and a white dairy-free snowman this year - look for them at organic and vegan shops. Around $4 for a 32g santa. We haven’t looked at one in person to see if the certification mark is displayed, but all Moo Free products except their organic range use UTZ/Rainforest Alliance cocoa.

Chocolate blocks

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 is slave and child labour free :-)

Most of the rest of the Whittakers range is in transition, and will be certified free of child and slave labour (through a revised Rainforest Alliance scheme) by the middle of next year.

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

Green and Blacks Organic

Green and Blacks organic range is Fairtrade certified: it consists of 90g bars of 85% dark, 70% dark and 37% milk chocolate. Look for them at your local supermarket, RRP $4.25.

Note that the rest of the Green and Blacks range is certified through a much weaker in-house scheme, Cocoa Life - not Fairtrade. We do not recommend the rest of their range, only the three organic flavours.

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, hazelnut, 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, hazelnut 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 for $10 each:

  • raspberry milk
  • salted caramel dark
  • Peru single-origin
  • coconut milk
  • star anise milk
  • coffee milk

They also currently have three Karen Walked 75g bars for $15 each:

  • blood orange and dark chocolate
  • coconut and passionfruit milk chocolate
  • feijoa and hazelnut dark chocolate

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.

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
  • salted caramel in dark (NEW)
  • 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.

Tonys Chocolonely

6 colourful blocks of Tonys Chocolonely chocolate

Tonys Chocolonely is a Dutch company that has recently started selling in New Zealand. They are a company on a mission to make 100% slave free chocolate and they also have Fairtrade certification. Read more here.

The following 80g bars are currently available in New Zealand:

  • White Chocolate Raspberry Popping Candy
  • Milk Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Extra Dark Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
  • Milk Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt
  • Milk Chocolate

Order online or buy from New World, Farro or specialist European grocers. Around $8 per block.

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)
  • Dark Salted Coconut Toffee (47% cocoa)

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

Pico

80g blocks of mint, salted butter caramel, coconut, quinoa and cranberry and sea salt Pico chocolate

Australian company Pico has recently started selling Fairtrade certified chocolate in New Zealand; their products are all also vegan and organic. They sell 80g blocks in the following flavours:

  • hazelnut milk
  • almond milk
  • sea salt
  • coconut milk
  • salted caramel
  • mint crisp
  • super dark

Look for them in organics shops; they retail for around $6.

Ola Pacifica

Ola Pacifica sells almond, orange and coffee-flavoured chocolate blocks in cartons online, 12x80g blocks for $75. Individual blocks are also available at a wide range of stockists, mostly in the North Island. They are made with Samoan cocoa, which is always free of child and slave labour. Ola Pacifica’s products are also vegan-friendly, carbon-neutral and sold in paper packaging.

Chocolates

Kmart

Kmart own brand milk chocolate Christmas balls and milk chocolate truffles are both UTZ-certified. The balls are $6 for a 250g bag; the truffles are $2.50 for pack of 5.

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 for a 240g box. Nestle After Eights seem less widely available, but we have seen them at The Warehouse at $8 for a 300g box.

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

Maitre Truffout and Belgid’Or

New World is stocking a range of truffles, pralines, brandy beans etc. from Maitre Truffout and Belgid’Or. The Maitre Truffout range are made with Fairtrade certified cocoa and the Belgid’Or range with UTZ certified cocoa. Flavours include:

Countdown

Countdown has a 191g box of cocoa dusted Belgian truffles for $4, UTZ certified.

Trade Aid

Trade Aid have a limited edition almond, ginger and cranberry milk chocolate, 180g for $11.99. Organic and sold in home-compostable packaging. As with all Trade Aid products, it’s certified fair trade through the World Fair Trade Organisation.

Trade Aid milk chocolate coated cashews and dark chocolate coated almonds

Year-round Trade Aid sell 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.

Moo Free

Moo Free has a Christmas selection box, featuring four dairy-free chocolate bars and dairy-free chocolate buttons. As with all regular (i.e. not organic) Moo Free products they are made with UTZ/Rainforest Alliance cocoa, although we haven’t got our hands on a box to see if they display either certification mark.

Look for it at organic or vegan shops; around $15 for 105g chocolate.

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-$7. 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.

Trade Aid

milk and dark 50g chocolate bars from Trade Aid.

Trade Aid sells 50g bars of both milk and dark chocolate for $2.49. As with all Trade Aid products, they are certified fair trade through the World Fair Trade Organisation. Buy 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)
  • Raspberry milk (gluten free, certified organic)
  • Salted caramel (gluten free)

They retail around $4; look for them at organic shops and cafes. You can also buy them singly or in cartons online.

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, $23 for 500g, $49.45 for 2kg. 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, $24.50 for 2kg or $55 for 5kg.
  • Kokako drinking chocolate (Fairtrade certified) is available online, or see here for stockists. $9.50 for 250g or $48 for 2kg.
  • 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 both ’classic’ and ’dark and decadent’ varieties.
  • Wellinton Chocolate Factory sells Fairtrade certified hot choclate online, from their physical store in Aro Valley or through many higher-end retailers. $12.50 for a 250g bag - organic, vegan and in home-compostable packaging.

Toiletries and cosmetics with cocoa butter

Not exactly chocolate, but toiletries and cosmetics surprisingly often contain cocoa butter. Here are some options with slave-free cocoa.

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. This year they have a fun Christmas range with stars, snowmen, santa boots etc.

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.