My old friend Wayne brought up a salient point about chocolate. In West Africa, the production of cocoa often includes child and slave labor. West Africa produces the majority of chocolate that the rest of the world enjoys.
A simple overview of what's going on is here:
Here is the list of ethical chocolate makers, provided by slave free chocolate.org.
Denman Island Chocolate
Divine Chocolate Co
The Endangered Species Chocolate Company
Green and Black’s
Health by Chocolate
L.A. Burdick Chocolates
La Siembra Cooperative (Camino)
Newman’s Own Organics
Original Hawaiian Chocolate
Plamil Organic Chocolate
Rapunzel Pure Organics
Seed & Bean Chocolate
Sweet Earth Chocolates
Terra Nostra Organic
Trader Joe’s Organic Chocolate Bars
I'm disheartened to see that my three favored brands, Ghirardelli, Callebaut and Lindt, are not among them. I also note the absence of both Hershey's and Nestle's, maybe the largest international chocolatiers, and M&M/Mars. So much for hugs and kisses. So much for Cadbury eggs. So much for Snickers. Until these companies do the right thing, I can easily pass up their "treats".
A more detailed list of companies that use slave-free cocoa or are working on getting there is available here
(at least Callebaut is working on it)
Note that there are several "green" and PC-type companies on the non-recommended lists.
Well, this changes some things. The Easter chocolate I was going to gift will take a bit more effort to locate. But knowing what I know, I can't happily give a gift that's been made with slave and/or child labor.
Thank you for the heads up, Wayne. We all do better when we all do better.