Ethical chocolate: the best fair trade chocolate brands

Our favourite treat isn’t always as sweet as it makes out. Here’s everything you need to know about ethical chocolate – and the delicious brands doing things differently

Ethical chocolate. REALLY?

Are we really going to tell you that not all chocolate was created ethical and take away this tiny bit of happiness we all have each day?

We probably already have enough guilt over the sugar content. The plastic wrapper. The fact that we bought a family size bar with the intention of just eating a little bit at a time…

Well, yes we are.

But we’re going to give it back, too – we promise.

And not only, that but we’re going to double, triple your pleasure – and take away any guilt.

In fact, did you know eating chocolate can actually make the world a better place? And we’re not just talking about our world, when we scoff that moreish sweetness. But the whole world.

So how is chocolate unethical?

Chocolate production is, outrageously, linked to poverty and exploitation. More than 60% of the world’s cocoa is produced in Ghana and the Ivory Coast in West Africa.

There male farmers earn on average 75p a day and female farmers earn an average of 23p a day, according to the Fairtrade Foundation. This is below the extreme poverty line.

Around 2.1 million children are forced to work in illegal conditions because their parents don’t earn enough money, reports Tony’s Chocolonely. They also reveal that up to 30,000 people are the victims of modern slavery, forced to grow cocoa for no money at all.

Meanwhile the likes of Nestlé recorded profits of around £10 billion last year. Is Nestlé ethical? Is Mars ethical? Is Cadbury’s ethical?

The figures suggest their chocolate is not so sweet after all. But what can we do about it?

Well, clearly, we need government legislation to make these companies take responsibility for their exploitation.

But in the meantime, we can choose to only buy chocolate from brands that are working to change the system from the inside. Who are not only improving the supply-chain, but the quality and taste of chocolate as well. It’s literally a win, win, win.

Here’s some of our favourites, the first is a brand we know quite a lot about. The others are ones who are on our radar, but we’re still to speak with directly:

7 ethical chocolate brands to buy

Divine Chocolate | organic gift set


Divine’s chocoloate is crunchy, long lasting, impactful.

The most incredible thing about Divine Chocolate is has been championing farmers for more than 20 years. It is co-owned by the 85,000 farmer members of Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative in Ghana that supplies the cocoa and .

Divine chocolate is suitable for vegetarians and most dark products are suitable for vegans. They are predominantly palm oil free and have organic and vegan ranges that offer flavours including ginger and turmeric, refreshing lemon, and blueberry and popped quinoa.

Chocolate & Love

This brand is both Fairtrade and organic. Win-win.

Cocoa Loco

Also Fairtrade and organic, these bars are made with beans from the Dominican Republic.

Seed & Bean

Ditto, plus wild flavours. What’s not to love?


The founders’ dream is to become “Britain’s Greatest Little Chocolate Company.” Watch this space.

Eat Your Hat

They claim to make ridiculously delicious things out of ethical ingredients that make people happier and keep the environment in good shape. We can confirm their chocolate is ridiculously delicious.


Award-winning bean to bar chocolate made in the heart of Hackney, London. The branding is as smooth as their chocolate.

Main image: Fairtrade

About the author

Lizzie Rivera

Lizzie Rivera

Lizzie Rivera is the founder and chief purpose officer at Live Frankly. She has been writing for mainstream publications for 10 years, specialising in sustainability and ethics since 2014.


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