It would be a shame if those chocolatey sweet treats you give to your loved ones were responsible for deforestation, climate change, poverty, and slavery, but that’s exactly what might happen if you choose to buy chocolates from companies that don’t source their ingredients from ethical and sustainable cocoa farmers.
However, there’s a simple way to make sure that you’re supporting chocolate companies that buy from farmers that serve as stewards to their environment and make a living wage doing so, and that’s by looking for a little green frog on the packaging.
When you Shop the Frog, which is used to specify that a product is Rainforest Alliance Certified, you can be certain that your purchases support farmers that are working for a healthy and diverse planet. Rainforest Alliance Certified products are those that are sourced from responsibly managed farms that not only conserve the rainforests, but also improve the lives of wildlife and that of the farmers, their families, and their communities.
“Like coffee, cocoa can be cultivated under the shade of native canopy trees within landscapes similar to natural forest. However, an increasing number of farmers are cutting down forest in order to grow cocoa more intensively, and many are planting cocoa hybrids that require full-sun exposure and regular pesticide application. This practice destroys crucial wildlife habitat, threatens the health of farm communities and produces chemical run-off that contaminates local soil, streams and waterways.
Farmers who earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal protect shade trees, plant native species, maintain wildlife corridors and conserve their natural resources. They reduce their reliance on pesticides in favor of biological and natural alternatives, and they are prohibited from using any banned pesticides. Through Rainforest Alliance training, farmers also learn how to adapt to the effects of climate change.” – Rainforest Alliance
Find out more about where you can Shop the Frog, so your Valentine’s Day chocolates are supporting ethical and sustainably sourced cocoa, and not deforestation, climate change, and poverty.
Originally published on NaturalPapa.com
*Image of “chocolate” via Shutterstock