by Brandt Maybury, Green & Black’s Taste Specialist.
At Green & Black’s Organic we can’t wait for Easter (our favourite time of the year) to arrive. Not only does Easter provide you (and us) with the perfect occasion to unwrap that gold foil and break into your favourite Chocolate Easter Egg, it is also a great time to treat your friends and family by introducing them to the delicious taste of our Fairtrade chocolate.
We have something to meet everyone’s taste this Easter. Our classic flavours, such as the Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate 70% Egg and the Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate Egg, make a great treat for any chocolate lover whilst our Green & Black’s Organic Tasting Collection Egg offers an assortment of our favourite bars, ideal for those with a sophisticated and adventurous palate looking to try something new. It also provides a whistle-stop tour of the entire range telling the stories behind our bars and showcasing where our ingredients come from.
One of such stories is CONACADO, an association of cocoa growers in the Dominican Republic, and the main source of our cocoa.
Out of the shadow
The CONACADO association works with nearly 10,000 farmers who sell organic and Fairtrade cocoa. Before the formation of CONACADO, small-scale farmers were selling low quality beans and so were struggling to make their ends meet. No matter what they did, they could not get ahead.
The Dominican Republic is the second poorest country in the Caribbean, with forty-two per cent of its population of 9.6 million living below the poverty line. Low incomes prevent cocoa farmers from investing in the farm inputs, maintenance and training in modern farming methods that could potentially double productivity from their current low levels.
Fairtrade has made a real difference to the lives of the CONACADO growers, their families and local communities after it came on board in 1995, and further, following the partnership with Green and Black’s in 2011.
Selling under Fairtrade has provided the growers with a stable income as well as the Fairtrade Premium, which the association has so far invested in improving quality of the cocoa, new fermentation and drying centres, schools for local children and clean water, among others. And this financial empowerment means the growers can now plan for the future, make their farms sustainable and competitive.
Meeting Basilio Almonte, Technical and Quality Manager at CONACADO, during the last Fairtrade Fortnight was a humbling experience. Basilio joined the association back in 2003, initially training farmers in cocoa quality improvement and organic farming techniques before advancing to his present position. He is ambitious, confident and positive about what the future holds for him and his two children. ‘Through Fairtrade’, he says, ‘we can have a more equal world’.
When thinking about Basilio’s enthusiasm, it brings me back to what Easter is all about – hope, love and joyful living. Choosing Fairtrade certified chocolate eggs will not only sweeten your Easter, but also contribute to making a real change miles away – for a cocoa grower, their family, and a local community.
Green & Black’s Organic chocolate Easter egg range is available in stores nationwide as well as in Green and Black’s online store www.greenandblacksdirect.com.