Fairtrade chocolate / UTZ chocolates / Rainforest Alliance

Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance/UTZ & Co.

Did you know that Fairtrade does not buy or trade any goods themselves? This is done between (cocoa) producers and buyers (e.g. chocolate manufacturers). In order for them to be able to do all this under the Fairtrade name, they have to pay Fairtrade an annual participation/licence fee.

Did you know that producers receive the Fairtrade Seal already when only 20% of the ingredients are traded "fair" (= 5% above the world market price!)?  This means that 80% of the ingredients do not have to be Fairtrade certified and yet the chocolate manufacturer can still use the Fairtrade logo on his products.

In 2019, the 5% surcharge on cocoa beans was too low even for Fairtrade and at the end of 2019, it increased the additional payment for buyers. There is currently no percentage surcharge but a flat rate of 240 US-$ per ton of beans. This corresponds to about 220 €. The Fairtrade share for a 100g bar of milk chocolate is ≈ € 0.01 (provided 100% of the cocoa is Fairtrade - if it is the minimum requirement of 20%, then this share is € 0.002 per 100g bar).

"If the Fairtrade proportion is only € 0.01 per bar, why is the chocolate more expensive?

This is due, for example, to the not inconsiderable annual royalties that the producer (e.g. the cocoa farmer - yes, he too; although he is the one that is supposed to be supported) and cocoa bean buyers (chocolate manufacturers) have to pay to the Fairtrade Head organisation "TransFair". In addition, there are "control fees" payable to the control organisation called "FloCert", which is insisted on to be used by TransFair. Not to be neglected is the not inconsiderable administrative effort for producers and buyers.

By the way: if no chocolate manufacturer can be found to buy under the Fairtrade rules, the cocoa is sold on the world market at the world market price. There is no Fairtrade purchase guarantee. Nevertheless, the cocoa farmer must pay the annual participation fee to Fairtrade or TransFair resp.

Some well-known chocolate manufacturers (e.g. Zotter) have therefore turned their backs on Fairtrade or have decided not to use the system. They prefer to work directly with the cocoa farmers, or obtain their cocoa beans from special traders whose plantations they know personally (This is much easier to do today than in the 1970s, when Fairtrade was founded, because of the Internet and worldwide travel possibilities). For processing the cocoa according to the wishes of the chocolate manufacturer, the cocoa farmers receive the money they can actually live on. It couldn't be more direct and fair!  We support these efforts and therefore label these chocolates on our site with references to "Direct Trade" and "Direct Cacao".
 

UTZ and Rainforest Alliance (now merged) also operate a certification seal. They also do not buy or trade in goods either. Cocoa farmers can use the seal to advertise if they participated in their training (and pay for it if necessary). It is up to the farmers to decide whether they implement the contents taught in the training courses, e.g. to increase production or to avoid child labour. There is no financial support for the farmers. Stiftung Warentest (the leading German consumer safety organisation) states that these seals only have a "medium significance" and the "lowest claim" in their test.

If you buy a Fairtrade product or products with the UTZ label solely on the basis of the logos (because you may think you are doing good) you may be paying a lot of money unnecessarily (because in fact you are financing licencing fees and all the bureaucracy that goes with it). The farmers in the countries of origin however have little or nothing of this in financial terms.

Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance/UTZ & Co. Did you know that Fairtrade does not buy or trade any goods themselves? This is done between (cocoa) producers and buyers (e.g. chocolate... read more »
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Fairtrade chocolate / UTZ chocolates / Rainforest Alliance

Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance/UTZ & Co.

Did you know that Fairtrade does not buy or trade any goods themselves? This is done between (cocoa) producers and buyers (e.g. chocolate manufacturers). In order for them to be able to do all this under the Fairtrade name, they have to pay Fairtrade an annual participation/licence fee.

Did you know that producers receive the Fairtrade Seal already when only 20% of the ingredients are traded "fair" (= 5% above the world market price!)?  This means that 80% of the ingredients do not have to be Fairtrade certified and yet the chocolate manufacturer can still use the Fairtrade logo on his products.

In 2019, the 5% surcharge on cocoa beans was too low even for Fairtrade and at the end of 2019, it increased the additional payment for buyers. There is currently no percentage surcharge but a flat rate of 240 US-$ per ton of beans. This corresponds to about 220 €. The Fairtrade share for a 100g bar of milk chocolate is ≈ € 0.01 (provided 100% of the cocoa is Fairtrade - if it is the minimum requirement of 20%, then this share is € 0.002 per 100g bar).

"If the Fairtrade proportion is only € 0.01 per bar, why is the chocolate more expensive?

This is due, for example, to the not inconsiderable annual royalties that the producer (e.g. the cocoa farmer - yes, he too; although he is the one that is supposed to be supported) and cocoa bean buyers (chocolate manufacturers) have to pay to the Fairtrade Head organisation "TransFair". In addition, there are "control fees" payable to the control organisation called "FloCert", which is insisted on to be used by TransFair. Not to be neglected is the not inconsiderable administrative effort for producers and buyers.

By the way: if no chocolate manufacturer can be found to buy under the Fairtrade rules, the cocoa is sold on the world market at the world market price. There is no Fairtrade purchase guarantee. Nevertheless, the cocoa farmer must pay the annual participation fee to Fairtrade or TransFair resp.

Some well-known chocolate manufacturers (e.g. Zotter) have therefore turned their backs on Fairtrade or have decided not to use the system. They prefer to work directly with the cocoa farmers, or obtain their cocoa beans from special traders whose plantations they know personally (This is much easier to do today than in the 1970s, when Fairtrade was founded, because of the Internet and worldwide travel possibilities). For processing the cocoa according to the wishes of the chocolate manufacturer, the cocoa farmers receive the money they can actually live on. It couldn't be more direct and fair!  We support these efforts and therefore label these chocolates on our site with references to "Direct Trade" and "Direct Cacao".
 

UTZ and Rainforest Alliance (now merged) also operate a certification seal. They also do not buy or trade in goods either. Cocoa farmers can use the seal to advertise if they participated in their training (and pay for it if necessary). It is up to the farmers to decide whether they implement the contents taught in the training courses, e.g. to increase production or to avoid child labour. There is no financial support for the farmers. Stiftung Warentest (the leading German consumer safety organisation) states that these seals only have a "medium significance" and the "lowest claim" in their test.

If you buy a Fairtrade product or products with the UTZ label solely on the basis of the logos (because you may think you are doing good) you may be paying a lot of money unnecessarily (because in fact you are financing licencing fees and all the bureaucracy that goes with it). The farmers in the countries of origin however have little or nothing of this in financial terms.

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Hojicha - White chocolate with Houjicha, roasted green tea Hojicha - White chocolate with Houjicha, roasted green tea
Content 75 g (€7.87 * / 100 g)
€5.90 *
Kinako - Japanese milk chocolate with roasted soybean powder Kinako - Japanese milk chocolate with roasted soybean powder
Content 75 g (€7.87 * / 100 g)
€5.90 *
Yuzu-Shichimi dark chocolate with spices Yuzu-Shichimi dark chocolate with spices
Content 75 g (€7.87 * / 100 g)
€5.90 *
Amydala Kakaospezialität Marzipan
Organic - Traded according to Fairtrade standards
Content 250 g
€9.30 *
Almond Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles - Almond truffles with salted caramel Almond Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles - Almond truffles with salted caramel
9 handmade chocolate truffles - gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free - BIO
Content 92 g (€10.65 * / 100 g)
€9.80 *
70% raw chocolate made from Arriba Nacional cocoa beans
Content 50 g (€11.00 * / 100 g)
€5.50 *
Manabi 65% cacao made from Arriba Nacional beans
Content 50 g (€9.00 * / 100 g)
€4.50 *

"Wenn der Fairtrade Anteil nur € 0,01 pro Tafel beträgt, warum ist die Schokolade dann soviel teurer?"

Das liegt z.B. an den nicht unerheblichen jährlichen Lizenzgebühren, die der Produzent (z.B. der Kakaobauer - ja auch der; obwohl der ja unterstützt werden soll) und Kakaobohnen-Käufer (Schokoladenhersteller) an die Fairtrade Dachorganisation "TransFair" zahlen müssen. Dazu kommen "Kontrollgebühren", die an die von TransFair vorgeschriebene Kontrollorganisation namens "FloCert" zu zahlen sind. Nicht zu vernachlässigen ist der nicht unerhebliche administrative Aufwand für Produzenten und Käufer.

Übrigens: wenn sich kein Käufer für den Fairtrade-Kakao findet, wird der Kakao auf dem Weltmarkt zum Weltmarktpreis verkauft. Fairtrade gibt keine Abnahmegarantie. Trotzdem muss der Kakaobauer die jährlichen Gebühren an Fairtrade bzw. TransFair bezahlen.

Bekannte Schokoladenhersteller (z.B. Zotter, Peru Puro,) haben Fairtrade deshalb bereits den Rücken gekehrt oder verzichten bewußt gleich ganz auf eine Zusammenarbeit (z.B. Original Beans, Meybol,). Sie arbeiten lieber direkt mit den Kakaobauern zusammen, deren Plantagen sie persönlich kennen; oder beziehen ihre Kakaobohnen über darauf spezialisierte Händler. Aufgrund der Möglichkeiten durch das Internet und den heutigen weltweiten Reiseverbindungen ist das inzwischen für jeden einfach möglich.

Für die Verarbeitung des Kakaos nach den Wünschen des Schokoladenherstellers erhalten die Kakaobauern dann auch das Geld, von dem sie wirklich leben können. Schokoladenhersteller wie Zotter, Meybol, Original Beans, Friis-Holm, etc. zahlen dem Bauern einen garantierten Preis (aktuell 5.000 $ pro Tonne Kakao). Direkter und fairer geht‘s nicht - und das ohne Lizenzgebühren!  Wir unterstützen diese Bemühungen und kennzeichnen deshalb diese Schokoladen auf unserer Seite mit Hinweisen zu "Direct Trade" und "Direct Cacao".

Einen tieferen Einblick zu diesem Thema lesen Sie hier im Spiegel Artikel "Echt fair?" u.a. mit Meybol Cacao
 

Rainforest Alliance & UTZ

Auch UTZ und Rainforest Alliance (jetzt fusioniert) betreiben ein Zertifizierungssiegel. Auch sie kaufen oder handeln keine Waren. Kakaobauern können mit den Siegeln werben, wenn sie sich an deren Schulungen beteiligen (und ggf. dafür bezahlen). Ob die Bauern die in den Schulungen vermittelten Inhalte, z.B. zur Produktionssteigerung oder zur Vermeidung von Kinderarbeit auch umsetzen, bleibt ihnen überlassen und wird nicht nachhaltig kontrolliert. Finanzielle Unterstützung an die Bauern gibt es auch nicht.

Stiftung Warentest bescheinigt diesen Siegeln im Test nur eine „mittlere Aussagekraft“ und den „geringsten Anspruch“ ! Beide Siegel werden in der Industrie immer wieder als Minimal- und Billigsiegel bezeichnet.

Fazit:

Wenn Sie Fairtrade Schokolade oder Produkte mit UTZ Label nur aufgrund der Logos kaufen (weil Sie vielleicht denken, Sie tun etwas Gutes) zahlen Sie möglicherweise unnötig viel Geld, denn Sie bezahlen für ein Lizenzsystem: den Zertifizierungsaufwand, die Zertifizierungsfirmen und der Bürokratie-Aufwand. Die wollen ja bezahlt werden. Die Bauern in den Ursprungsländern haben - anders als es suggeriert wird - finanziell wenig bis nichts davon.

Tatsächlich fair und direkt gehandelte Schokoladen sind auf dieser Webseite mit Direct Trade Schokoladen gekennzeichnet.

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