A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a dinner for food bloggers by Cadbury’s PR, Lea Simpson. This was to celebrate Cadbury using fair trade Ghanaian cocoa in their Dairy Milk bars. I must admit, my first thought was “but I don’t actually like Dairy Milk”. It’s true. Give me white choc, give me 70% or higher single-origin dark choc, but don’t feed me anything in between.
However, I am a big fan of the fair trade cause and I put my money where my mouth is. I buy fair trade wherever possible, whether I’m buying food or clothing. I recently sewed myself a shirt using fair trade organic handwoven cotton, that’s how much of an earth-loving hippy fair trade evangelist I am. So what if I don’t actually like the chocolate? I can still tell you all to go out and buy it!
So on the appointed evening I turned up at the Underground Cookery School with a bunch of other food bloggers. Lea gave us a talk on what she’d learned about fair trade chocolate. There is a minimum price per tonne of cocoa which is set by an independent board. Cadbury cannot pay under this price for their cocoa. The market price is currently well above the minimum anyway. On top of this, there is also a premium paid. This premium is shared between all the farmers and can be used for development projects such as building schools.
The food for the evening was Ghanaian-themed. There were some delicious canapés to start off with like little deep-fried rice balls, and mackerel on slices of fried plantain. The wine flowed freely and it was good to meet some of the bloggers I hadn’t met before. Dinner consisted of zebra stew and jollof rice, a spicy tomato rice. Instead of the zebra stew I had more mackerel with my meal. The rice was delicious and luckily we were given the recipe by the catering company, Jollof Pot. I will definitely make it again.
We were all stuffed to bursting by then so it’s lucky dessert consisted of some chopped up fair trade chocolate. It tasted like Dairy Milk. Presumably Cadbury will eventually extend their range to include dark chocolate, and then I’ll be all over it. In the meantime my friends love me because I’ve been handing out the samples we got in our goody bags.
Lea’s currently in Ghana seeing where they produce the chocolate and blogging her adventures here. It sounds like she’s having an amazing time. It’s really great that a big corporate like Cadbury has made the decision to go fair trade. Here’s hoping it makes a big difference in the Ghanaian people’s lives.