Fair trade a sweet deal all round, chocolatier says

Fair-trade chocolate is not only better for cocoa farmers, forests and workers, it also makes for better-tasting treats, says the head of Victoria’s Rogers’ Chocolates.

Larry Sullivan, president and CEO of Rogers’ Chocolates, said 98 per cent of the chocolate his company uses comes with the seal Fair Trade Certified, and much of it comes from Ecuador.

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“For us, fair trade means people can choose some type of process or product that protects the farmers or the workers,” said Sullivan.

“We also believe it gives us better control of the quality of our product. And as a premium chocolatier, we are known for the high quality of our products.”

He said Rogers’ decided about four years to go fair trade. The decision was made not just for the sake of cocoa farmers and forest preservation. It was also a desire to better protect other workers and not be associated with child labour.

So Sullivan said his company worked with its chocolate maker in San Francisco to ensure every step of its supply chain, right down to the cocoa farmer, could be identified and certified for sustainable farming, good environmental measures and good labour practices.

“We just wanted to make sure we, as a small company, would not source our cocoa without doing what we could to support the various social issues,” he said.

To learn more about Fair Trade Certified, go to fairtradecertified.org.

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