Image by Sandy Millar, from Unsplash
Christmas is coming! Maybe you’re starting to think about buying gifts, or planning your Christmas meal. Perhaps you’ve heard, though, that many of the foods we eat here in New Zealand are produced with slave labour, and you’re not sure what to do. You want to buy some nice chocolate for your co-workers, but you’ve heard that 20% of the world’s cocoa is produced by children; you were thinking baked salmon might be a nice summery option for Christmas lunch, but you’ve heard that farmed salmon are often fed on fish caught by slaves. How can you have a festive celebration that doesn’t come at the expense of others?
We have good news! This Christmas, you can have your cake and eat it too! At Just Kai we’ve been busily researching slave free options for chocolate gifts and your festive meal, and there’s heaps to choose from!
It’s a busy time of year, though, so if you don’t have time to read those in full, here’s a few things you might like to know about:
Wanting to give someone a biscuit sampler box? This year all the Griffin’s sampler boxes are filled with biscuits made with slave-free cocoa. This is the first year they’ve done that, so it’d be great to support them! Griffin’s are also selling peppermint candy cane mallow puffs made with slave-free cocoa :-)
Looking for scorched almonds? Waikato chocolates’ scorched almonds (and chocolate fruit and nut) are made with slave-free cocoa. Look for them at The Warehouse. Again, that’s a first for them this year - neat to see more and more Kiwi companies getting on board with slave-free purchasing!
Wanting little treats for the kids? Kmart’s entire own-brand Christmas range is made with slave-free cocoa. Come Easter, their Easter range will be, too.
Looking for chocolate for a colleague? Tonys Chocolonely have brought out a couple of Christmas chocolate flavours with a Christmas tree stamped into the block. Our guide also lists a wide range of chocolates (truffles, pralines, chocolate-coated mango etc.) and good quality chocolate blocks.
Serving fizzy drinks on Christmas Day? Coca-cola and Bundaberg are both made with slave-free sugar. That’s the whole range from those brands: Coca-cola includes Schweppes, L&P, Fanta etc. as well as Coke; Bundaberg has large range of flavours alongside their signature ginger beer.
Doing Christmas baking? All the Countdown own-brand sugar, cocoa and baking chocolate (including their chocolate chips, buttons etc.) is slave-free, as is the Nestle Bakers Choice range. There are further options in our guide.
Wanting to serve seafood on Christmas Day? You’ll need to be a bit careful:
- Prawns are, sadly, at really high risk for slave labour: slavery occurs at all stages from producing feed for the prawns and farming them through to shelling them ready for sale. Fortunately, Kingfisher prawns (sold at PakNSave and New World) are slave-free - plus they’re a Thai company, so in buying from them you’re supporting good jobs in a company much less well-off than our own.
- Salmon is also often fed on fish caught and processed with slave labour. Handily, two widely available brands, Regal and Southern Ocean, use reliably slave-free feed. See here for more options.
- Fortunately, mussels sold in New Zealand are always slave free :-)
So, there’s a bit of a taster!
If you want to know more, check out our detailed Christmas meal guide or our guide to chocolate gifts. There’s information on sweets, biscuits, crackers and desserts, as well as which hot chocolate, chocolate stocking stuffers and even toiletries make good slave-free gifts.