We’ve built our business on doing good. We didn’t get into fundraising to get rich (trust us), we got into fundraising to pave a better way than we had seen before. To rid fundraisers of unhealthy junk that has defined the industry for far too long. Along the way we’ve learned a lot about the things that the companies we partner with care about, and why they’re things we should all care about too. Today we’re taking a dive into the horrors of the chocolate industry, and how the companies that we love are fighting against it.
Food systems have been quietly exploiting marginalized populations since the beginning of time, and there’s no place for human suffering in the food system. Unsafe conditions, child labor, exploitive practices, and unfair wages plague every industry from seafood, to coffee, to the star of this post; chocolate. We feel like the big cocoa industry can best be summed up by this infographic from our friends at Equal Exchange. The TL;DR? When the world’s largest chocolate companies can’t tell you where their cacao was sourced from, or the depths of the suffering that forged the goods that have been lining their pockets for decades, consumers can’t feel good or confident that their consumption is in any way ethical. An article by the Washington Post outlined the horrors of the African chocolate industry, and how children are being exploited for labor by cacao farms may be supplying chocolate giants such as Mars, Hershey, and Nestle. These large conglomerates can’t be sure that their beans aren’t being sourced from these farms that exploit children, and we don’t think that’s ok.
So what does this have to do with healthy fundraising? We’ll tell you. Farmraiser takes care to only work with suppliers that align with our beliefs and ethical code. From aggregators who are working everyday to reduce food waste, to chocolate companies that are blazing a trail of sustainability and ethical consumption. We’re proud to say that many of our chocolatiers are fair trade, meaning that their beans are sourced ethically and without slave or child labor. Some of our favorites are even trail blazers. Theo Chocolate, a maverick bean to bar chocolate factory located in Washington was the first organic and fair trade bean to bar factory in North America. When companies take steps to not only source raw materials in a sustainable way, but also in a way that enforces human rights, they build a better future and set a higher standard for companies in their industries.