This post contains a list of all cocoa products we are aware of for sale in New Zealand that are made without forced or child labour. 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:
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: child labour continues to be widely used.
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 Fairtrade, WFTO, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ* you can be confident it’s free of child and slave labour, and that the farmers have received at least a little more than market price for their beans. However, these certifications aren’t created equal. Throughout the list you’ll see Fairtrade and WFTO-certified products listed first for two reasons:
*Rainforest Alliance and UTZ have recently merged - by the end of 2021 the UTZ logo will no longer be used.
Our list also includes products made with single-origin Samoan cocoa. 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.
last updated: July 2021
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Chocolate blocks with WFTO certification
Trade Aid - available at their own shops (including online) and some supermarkets. All flavours, including:
Green and Blacks, Available in most supermarkets. 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:
Wellington Chocolate Factory, all flavours, including:
Bennetto Chocolate, all flavours (which are also all vegan):
Pico chocolate, available in health food shops, all flavours (all of which are also vegan) including:
Devonport Chocolates Samoan range only:
Whittakers entire range, with the exception of their single-origin Samoan and Nicargaguan chocolate. This includes their 250g classic blocks, e.g.:
also Whittakers 100g specialty blocks, which include:
Kit Kat chocolate blocks, all flavours, including:
Countdown own brand blocks:
Kinnerton NOMO (allergy friendly, available from The Warehouse - note that they don’t display a certification mark, but say on their website that they use 100% Rainforest Alliance cocoa), all flavours including:
Hot chocolate with WFTO or Fairtrade certification
Hot chocolate with Rainforest Alliance or UTZ certification
Countdown own brand:
Chocolate bars with WFTO certification
Wellington Chcoolate Factory 25g bars, all flavours (available both as singles and in boxes of around 20):
Chocolate bars with UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification
Whittakers bars, all flavours, including:
Whittakers sante, all flavours, including:
KitKat, all flavours, including:
Nestle Aero bars all flavours, which are:
Chocolate biscuits with UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification
Griffins chocolate snaps range:
Ice cream and frozen desserts with Fairtrade certification
Note that Little Island ice creams no longer use fair trade cocoa :-(
Ice cream and frozen desserts with Rainforest Alliance certification
Magnum ice creams on sticks, all flavours and sizes. This includes:
Magnum ice cream in tubs, all flavours. This includes:
baking ingredients with WFTO or Fairtrade certification
dark chocolate drops:
baking ingredients with Samoan cocoa
dark chocolate chips:
dark chocolate drops:
milk chocolate drops:
white chocolate drops:
dark baking chocolate:
milk baking chocolate:
mini smarties for baking:
Chocolate sweets with WFTO or Fairtrade certification
Chocolate sweets with Rainforest Alliance or UTZ certification
chocolate spreads with UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification
make your own from UTZ/Rainforest Alliance-certified powders. These are the ones that claim to dissolve well in cold milk:
If you wish to make your own cosmetics, Go Native supplies non-food-grade cocoa butter for this purpose. They have two products, both of which are certified fair trade but both through certifiers we rarely see in New Zealand. This means Just Kai hasn’t analysed these certifications in the same detail we have analysed the certifications we recommend throughout this document. However, based on information in the International Guide to Fair Trade Labels, we make the following recommendations: