Fairly traded cocoa products in New Zealand

This post contains a list of all the fairly traded cocoa products we are aware of for sale in New Zealand. To jump straight through to the list, click here, or read on to learn more about the issues first.

Cocoa is what started Just Kai!

Some years ago we were horrified to learn that every time we bought chocolate or other cocoa products we were paying people to enslave children. Children who had been trafficked to work on cocoa farms in West Africa, denied schooling, denied wages and ‘encouraged’ to work by being beaten with bicycle chains. In addition, low cocoa prices seem to drive many families to send their kids out to work, meaning those kids never get an education. Instead, they commonly work 12 hour days and are frequently beaten. It’s hard to get accurate figures of how wide-spread these practises are, but the 2018 Global Slavery Index estimates:

  • around 29,700 people (16,000 of them children) are enslaved on on cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast - working without pay and unable to leave;
  • 1.6 million children also work on these cocoa farms (out of a total workforce of 5 million);
  • 1.4 million of these children are doing work hazardous to their physical health.

Given that 60% of all cocoa in the world is grown in Ghana and the Ivory coast and 1/3 of the workforce there are children, 1/5th of all cocoa is grown by children. Out of every 10 squares of chocolate you eat, 2 are the product of child labour.

In 2005 many US chocolate companies signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol committing to ending the worst forms of child labour. However, this protocol is non-binding and little has changed. As of 2015, many of the world’s largest chocolate companies are currently facing lawsuits for turning a blind eye to these issues.

Who would want to support all that??!!

The good news is, you don’t have to! You can, instead, choose to only buy fairly traded cocoa, chocolate and other cocoa products. The more consumers who make this choice, the fewer children will be enslaved and the more farmers will receive sufficient wages to be able to afford to send their kids to school.

Whenever you buy anything with cocoa in it, check the label: if it’s marked UTZ, Fairtrade or WFTO it’s fine*. Cocoa grown in Samoa is also fine: perhaps uniquely amongst cocoa growing countries, child labour, forced labour and the unsafe use of agrochemicals do not appear to occur in the cocoa industry there.

To help you find such products, we’ve compiled a list of fairly traded cocoa products currently available in New Zealand. Trade Aid products (which are all WFTO-certified) are mostly sold in their own shops (including their online shop). Many of the other products are widely available in supermarkets, although some are limited to more up-market supermarkets or health food shops. With a a bit of looking, you should be able to find more or less everything your heart desires!

* You can read out comparison of Fairtrade and UTZ certification here. The standards certified by WFTO are very similar to those for Fairtrade International, although the organisational structure required is very different. Trade Aid chooses to certify through WFTO in part as the bulk of their products are hand crafts and Fairtrade International do not currently have standards for those.

Fairtrade cocoa logos

World Fair Trade Organisation logo

Trade Aid logo

UTZ logo and Nestle Cocoa Plan logo with the statement "The Nestle Cocoa Plan works with UTZ to ensure a better future for cocoa farmers and even better chocolate for you."

Fairly traded cocoa products available in New Zealand

last updated: October 2019

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chocolate blocks

Trade Aid (World Fair Trade Organisation)

  • classic dark chocolate (55%)
  • pure dark chocolate (70%)
  • extra dark chocolate (85%)
  • rich milk chocolate (40%)
  • milk chocolate caramel crunch
  • dark raspberry chocolate (amazing!)
  • dark chocolate with mint (really good!)
  • dark chocolate with salt toffee crisp (70%)


  • KitKat chocolate blocks, all flavours, including:

    • milk chocolate
    • coconut whirl
    • choc mint whirl
  • Rolo block
  • Aero blocks:

    • milk chocolate
    • minty bubbles
    • caramel
  • Countdown own brand blocks:

    • white
    • milk
    • salted caramel
    • hazelnut


  • Whittakers. NB only these two flavours and only in the 250g blocks - all the rest is made of regular cocoa:

    • Ghana Dark 250g block
    • Creamy Milk 250g block
  • Green and Blacks. NB only these three flavours - all the rest of the range is certified through Cocoa Life, an in-house certification that is much less robust:

    • milk
    • dark
    • 85% dark.
  • Wellington Chocolate Factory, all flavours, including:

    • Peru Norandino
    • Dominican Republic
    • Bouganville
    • Samoa
    • coconut milk
    • chilli lime nuts
    • hazelnut
    • salted caramel brittle
    • craft beer
  • Alter Eco (available in some New World and PakNSave supermarkets as well as Huckleberry and Naturally Organic shops), all flavours, including:

    • 90% dark
    • 85% dark
    • dark sea salt
    • dark salted almonds
    • dark salt and malt
    • dark salted brown butter
    • dark salted burnt caramel
    • dark quinoa crunch
    • dark crisp mint
    • dark salted coconut toffee
  • Bennetto Chocolate, all flavours (which are also all vegan):

    • intense dark 75%
    • orange with chilli
    • mint and cacao nibs
    • toasted hazelnut
  • Pana Chocolate, all flavours, which include:

    • mint
    • sour cherry and vanilla
    • coconut and goji
    • strawberry and pistachio
    • pineapple and ginger
    • fig and wild orange
    • nuts
    • cinnamon
    • orange
    • hemp and nib
    • eighty
    • rose

Note: Nestle milky bars (i.e. their white chocolate) bizarrely don’t contain cocoa butter, so you can buy them without worrying about the ethics of the cocoa supply chain. They taste fine, too :-) As well as plain milky bars, they also do one with toasted coconut and one with cookies in it: don’t buy the one with cookies - the cookies aren’t made with fairly traded cocoa.

Can have either Fairtrade or UTZ certification

  • SoFree chocolate blocks sometimes have UTZ certification, sometimes Fairtrade and sometimes nothing - check the packaging! They do a range of vegan and/or sugar-free chocolate blocks including vegan ‘milk’ chocolate; purchase from vegan and health food stores.


chocolate bars

  • KitKat (UTZ), all flavours, including:

    • classic (various sizes)
    • chunky gooey caramel
    • double-chocolate crisp
    • salted caramel whirl
  • Pixie caramel (UTZ)
  • Smarties bar (UTZ)
  • Chokito (UTZ)
  • Nestle Aero bars (UTZ) all flavours, which are:

    • milk chocolate
    • minty bubbles
    • caramel
  • Vego (Fairtrade) vegan hazelnut chocolate bar

chocolate sweets

  • cocoa-dusted chocolate almonds (Trade Aid/WFTO)
  • cocoa-dusted chocolate cashews (Trade Aid/WFTO)
  • Nestle milk chocolate scorched almonds (UTZ)
  • smarties (UTZ)
  • Alter Eco (Fairtrade, available in organics shops such as Naturally Organic):

    • dark chocolate truffles
    • mint chocolate truffles
    • salted caramel truffles
    • sea salt truffles
    • silk velvet truffles
    • classic coconut dark chocolate clusters
    • cherry and almond butter coconut dark chocolate clusters
    • seeds and salt coconut dark chocolate clusters
  • Countdown milk chocolate almonds, sultanas, peanuts and licorice bullets (UTZ)
  • Vego (Fairtrade) vegan hazelnut pralines
  • Serious Popcorn dark chocolate drizzled popcorn (Fairtrade)
  • Allens lollies (freckles, fantales) (UTZ)

chocolate ice cream and frozen desserts

  • Ben and Jerry’s whole range (Fairtrade) including:

    • chocolate chip cookie dough
    • chocolate fudge brownie (astonishingly rich!)
    • various flavours with chocolate-coated toffee chunks
    • mint choc chip
    • coffee with choc-coated coffee beans
    • vegan peanut butter and cookies (and three other vegan flavours)
  • NiceBlocks chocolate iceblocks (Fairtrade) - they do a bunch of other cool fair trade flavours as well :-)

Note that Little Island ice creams no longer use fair trade cocoa :-(

chocolate sauce and spread

  • Trade Aid chocolate sauce (WFTO)
  • Vego chocolate hazelnut spread (Fairtrade)
  • Countdown Essentials choc hazelnut spread (UTZ)
  • Esthers chocolate almond butter (made using WFTO certified chocolate from Trade Aid)

hot chocolate

  • Milo (UTZ)
  • Countdown own brand (UTZ)

    • hot chocolate
    • instant drinking chocolate (can mix with cold milk)
    • mocha
    • cappucino
  • Wild Bean Cafe (the cafes at BP petrol stations) (Fairtrade)
  • Trade Aid hot chocolate (Trade Aid/WFTO)
  • Kokako (Fairtrade)
  • Devonport Chocolates (Fairtrade) - comes in dark, classic and spicy variants.
  • Coffee Lala (WFTO)
  • Prima Roastery (Fairtrade)
  • West Coast Cocoa (UTZ)

    • deluxe
    • dark deluxe
    • peppermint
    • caramel
    • mayan chilli
  • Douwe Egberts cacoa fantasy powder (UTZ) - available from office supply stores
  • Flying cup hot drinking chocolate (Fairtrade) - available from office supply stores
  • Hamodava Belgian hot chocolate (Fairtrade)
  • Nesquick chocolate milk mix (UTZ)
  • Allens Fantales hot chocolate (UTZ)


  1. Milo and Nesquick products other than actual drinking chocolate powders (e.g. cereal, muesli bars, drink boxes) don’t use fairly traded cocoa.
  2. Devonport Chocolates products other than their cocoa powder and hot chocolate also don’t use fairly traded cocoa.

chocolate milk

  • Little Island chocolate coconut milk (Fairtrade).
  • make your own from Countdown own brand instant drinking chocolate (mixes with cold milk) or milo (both UTZ)

cacao nibs and beans

  • Pams Superfoods raw cacao nibs (Fairtrade - NB certification mark not displayed)

cocoa powder and baking supplies

  • Trade Aid cocoa powder (WFTO)
  • Trade Aid 55% chocolate drops (drops about 8-10mm across) (WFTO)
  • Pams Superfoods raw cacao powder (Fairtrade - NB certification mark not displayed)
  • Nestle Baker’s choice (UTZ):

    • cocoa
    • cooking chocolate
    • choc bits (which come in dark, milk and white)
    • mini smarties
    • melts (also in dark, milk and white)
    • chocolate chunks (dark and milk)
  • West Coast Cocoa baking cocoa (UTZ)
  • Countdown and Countdown Essentials (UTZ)

    • milk and dark cooking chocolate
    • cocoa powder
    • milk choc melts
    • dark choc chips

cocoa butter

  • Trade Aid (currently only available from Piko Wholefoods in Christchurch, but they do deliver throughout the South Island). (WFTO)
  • Pams Superfoods raw cacao butter (Fairtrade - NB certification mark not displayed)

toiletries and cosmetics

  • LUSH - WHERE MARKED (Fairtrade). LUSH sell a range of bath, body, face and hair products, many of which contain cocoa butter. Always check the ingredients list: if the cocoa is fair trade it will say so after the ingredient name, if it doesn’t it isn’t. Most of their cocoa butter is fair trade but the cocoa butter in 2-3 products isn’t; none of the other cocoa products they use (e.g. cocoa powder) are currently fair trade. The cocoa butter in three products comes from the incredible Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó: check them out - I was humbled to read of their commitment to peace-making in very difficult circumstances and would love to support them. Search for your nearest LUSH store here.