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This weekend, my mom and I attended Fairchild’s 6th Annual International Chocolate Festival. I traveled from Boston to attend last year, but recent reports on the cocoa industry shifted my perspective.
A CNN Freedom Project Investigation recently reported that, “Tens of thousands of children toil in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast, some against their will, to create the chocolate bars that many of us enjoy.” The report urges consumers to buy fair trade chocolate, which promotes fair prices for those growing and harvesting cocoa and “prohibits the use of slave and child labor.”
I decided to purchase from Fair Trade vendors this year. I was thrilled to discover that chocolatier, Oliver Kita (whom I met the year prior), not only creates delectable chocolates, but does so using organic and fair trade cocoa. Kita uses flowers, herbs, citrus, exotic fruits, berries, nuts, and spices to create mouth watering confections like White Peaches and Cream, Cognac Creme Brulee, and Caramel du Sel (a silky caramel-filled truffle sprinkled with pink hawaiian sea salt)
Kita says, “it’s important for the patrons of my shop in Hudson Valley and anyone who purchases chocolate to align their spending choices with universal and personal values.” That’s what I call guilt free chocolate.