Can you *imagine* Easter without chocolate? Whether you're a chocoholic or not, the holiday just wouldn't be the same without a cocoa bunny wrapped in fabulously shiny foil. Sadly, growing cocoa has become a difficult task for the small family farms in developing countries that supply 90% of the world's cocoa.
With benefits to these families at an all time low, and fewer of them choosing to grow cocoa as result, the industry is facing a potential long-term shortfall in global supply of cocoa - supply is down, prices are up, farmers are fading. GASP. Equally as sad is that this price rise does not benefit the farmers providing our Easter gold, who are additionally experiencing rising costs associated with production and damaged crops.
It's a pretty sad bunny story.
Fortunately, there's a system that has been developed to offer farmers and workers in developing countries a better deal and improved terms of trade. You might have already seen or heard of Fairtrade but not be familiar with what it means or just how important it is to angels such as our very important cocoa farmers.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair trades of term for farmers and workers in developing countries. Chocolates that carry the FAIRTRADE insignia contain cocoa sourced by suppliers who have paid a Fairtrade Minimum Price to small farmers across the developing world. When you buy Fairtrade, farmers receive greater benefits and incentives, more cocoa is produced, supply is stronger, prices remain fair, the chocolate bunny does not become extinct. Everyone wins.
The awesome part is that it's not hard to buy Fairtrade and eat ethically this Easter. Coles have stepped up this year and will be stocking the Coles Fairtrade Chocolate Bunny ($2.50), and you can get Chocolatier Australia Fairtrade range at David Jones, Woolies, Oxfam and Coles. Even select IGAs will stock the Absolute Organics Fairtrade Easter eggs. Of course, more choice is always better so if you want to see more of the Fairtrade range in retail for next year, support them by signing their petition.
Look out for the Fairtrade logo when you're shopping for Easter goodies and help support the industry that brings it to us in the first place. Long live the chocolate bunny!