Fairtrade Finland is warning that unless we change the way we buy chocolate, we could lose it to climate change. Fairtrade chocolate ensures that workers are paid fairly and practice sustainable farming methods. Mirka Kartan of Fairtrade Finland explains:
“Buying Fairtrade certified chocolate has a positive impact on the environment as it supports producers with tools and practices to adapt. When producers are certified as Fairtrade, they commit to environmental standards that protect the local ecosystem.”
Farmers who are fairly paid can implement farming methods that are sustainable rather than clear cutting forests. These include investing in shade-grown systems that have a higher yield and protect the rainforests where cacao grows. Cacao is a fussy crop to grow. The beans only grow in a narrow band 20 degrees north and south of the equator. As deforestation spreads and temperatures in these regions rise, studies show that cacao production is likely to drop.
A drop in cacao production could bring about what Fairtrade Finland calls ‘Chocogedden: The end of chocolate as we know it.’ Buying fairtrade chocolates may cost more, but it does help to prevent climate change and protect the vital cacao crops. From Fairtrade Finland:
“With melting chocolate animals we are raising awareness of how climate change threatens cocoa trees and the wildlife that surrounds it. The world is buzzing about the environment but we need to bring the message home in more ways. If chocolate as we know it disappears by 2050, maybe people will look to organisations like Fairtrade to make a stand.”