The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Sixth Day…

On the sixth day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…6 fair-trade chocolates, 5 solar lights, 4 faucet aerators, 3 large rain-barrels, 2 new thermostats and a live…Christmas tree!

Photo: Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates

I’m loving these 12 days of Christmas…lots of my favorite green things and today one of the most delectable…fair-trade chocolate (and usually organic)…yum!!  In case you don’t know, chocolate comes from the roasted and ground seeds of the Latin American plant known as cacao, which has been cultivated for at least three millennia. The majority of cacao is grown in Latin America and West Africa.

Unfortunately as the demand for quality chocolate increased, the methods of cacao farming saw child labor and unfair trade practices escalate.  The establishment of the Fair Trade Federation, a non-profit organization, has helped reduce the amount of child labor through it’s certification process.  Many of the Fair-Trade certified farmers also utilize sustainable farming practices which provide us with a healthier alternative when selecting chocolates and have increased the biodiversity of their farms by growing cacao without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

So, on this sixth day of Christmas be sure to enjoy some organic AND fair-trade chocolate.  Loaded with powerful antioxidants and magnesium this delectable treat is good for your overall health and your heart!  If you haven’t tried organic, fair-trade chocolate here are a few of the greener chocolate producers.

Divine Chocolate – a farmer-organized company that strives to improve the livelihood of small cocoa producers in West Africa through fair trade. 
Endangered Species – chocolate is bought from small, family-owned farms and the company has earned LEED certification for efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. 
Ithaca Fine Chocolates – a relatively new chocolate company (their website is still under construction), is one of the first U.S. companies to go organic and fair trade. The company’s unique Art Bars are made of fine Swiss chocolate, sourced from the El Ceibo Cocoa Coop in Bolivia
Newman’s Own Organics – The beloved Paul Newman created a foundation and company devoted to healthy foods and charity.
Green and Black’s – Known for intense dark chocolates and the fragrant, almost spicy Maya Gold, Green & Black’s offers a true organic cacao-lovers experience.
Lake Champlain Chocolates – Vermont’s fine chocolate crafters offer a line of tasty organic and fair trade morsels.
Sweet Earth Organic Chocolate – from Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates these organic chocolates are made in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Theo Chocolate – Located in picturesque Seattle, Theo produces fantastic organic and fair trade chocolate from bean to bar.
 

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