Consumer has taken a deep dive into the chocolate industry to find out how easy it is to buy ethical chocolate, and de-mystify different labels on chocolate bars and what they actually mean. 

Wellington Chocolate Factory is just one of a few locally made brands for sale in New Zealand to carry both Fairtrade and Organic logos, meaning it’s “fully traceable from the farm to the shelf and isn’t mixed with non-certified ingredients”.

Why does this matter?

Farmers are paid a fair price for their cocoa — every cent matters.

Consumer says “In 2019, Fairtrade increased this price from US$2000 to US$2400 per tonne after research found rates weren’t high enough to keep households above the poverty line. It also pays farmer co-operatives a price premium (US$240 per tonne) to spend on community projects of their choice”.

By choosing chocolate with a Fairtrade logo, you’re helping the communities who grow cocoa beans thrive and flourish. 

No other certification provides the same assurance. 

Other labels you may see – like the Rainforest Alliance – aren’t made equal. 

The price paid to farmers isn’t a set amount; it’s negotiated between farmers and buyers. It also allows manufacturers to mix certified cocoa with non-certified. Your chocolate may contain 100 per cent certified cocoa or none at all. It’s hard even to find out what they pay their farmers. 

It makes you think. 

A 2020 report from UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and French research agency BASIC found chocolate with Fairtrade and organic certifications made more money for farmers. Premium dark chocolate with no certification returned farmers 12.2% of the sale price, compared to 23.2% for chocolate with both certifications. 

Paying cocoa farmers what their beans are worth is critical in lifting households out of poverty and ending child labour.

Unfortunately, child slavery is rife in the chocolate industry, so unless you buy chocolate which carries the Fairtrade logo, you can’t be sure it comes from slave-free communities. 

Your purchasing power matters.

Wellington Chocolate Factory has been making some of New Zealand’s tastiest ethical chocolate since 2013. 

We dream of creating a better-tasting world, one bean at a time. When you choose to buy from a brand that carries both the Fairtrade and organic logos, you’re helping us create a better industry, and by choosing WCF, you get to enjoy delicious guilt-free, award-winning chocolate, made in the heart of Wellington.

You can read more about truly guilt-free chocolate here: