Several years ago my family and I decided to drink only Fair Trade coffee after we learned about the atrocities committed again coffee workers worldwide. Most of them can't make a living wage growing and picking coffee. We extended our use of fair trade products whenever we find them, even if it means we pay a bit more for that product. We have used fair trade lotions and shampoo, eaten fair trade quinoa, sugar, and soups. We liked some of them and didn't like others. After reading The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan I did a little research and learned that most of the cacao (chocolate) is grown in West Africa, and many of workers are children living in slave-like conditions. It is heartbreaking what children have to go through for my chocolate fix. (Please read more at the Food Empowerment Project.) Now I am more determined than ever to eat fairly traded chocolate, though it is often difficult to find.
If you want to explore more about fair trade chocolate and cocoa here are a few companies I recommend: Equal Exchange; Taza Chocolate; Theo Chocolate.
OK. Now you are wondering why you should read a book which makes this reviewer list sources of fair trade chocolate, right? How about if I tell you that the cacao growers do not want this information to get out and the really tense, exciting escape and chase scenes are based on real events that involved the First Lady of Ivory Coast in 2004. And the bonus, Tara Sullivan did her homework inserting Ivorian words and places into her writing. I highly recommend this book.
Disclaimer: I listened to the audio CDs of The Bitter Side of Sweet. I the audiobook with my own money.