bitter side of sweet display
Check out the Fair Trade Bitter Side of Sweet display at each MPTC Campus Library.

Did you know?

*70 percent of cocoa is produced by small holder farmers in West Africa, primarily Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Indonesia, Brazil, and Ecuador are also major cocoa-producing countries.

*Cocoa trees take about five years to reach peak production and can continue producing at that level for about ten years.

*Chocolate is made from the seeds of cocoa pods, a tree-grown fruit. After harvesting, the seeds are removed from the pods and processed (fermented, dried, then roasted).

*It takes about 500 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate. In an average year, a cocoa tree produces enough fruit to make about two pounds of chocolate.

An estimated two million children work on cocoa farms. Up to 40 percent of these children are not enrolled in school. Many Cocoa farmers are exposed to numerous hazards, including dangerous tools, dust, flames or
smoke, hazardous chemicals, and physically demanding labor. Fair Trade standards prohibit child labor, and community development premiums are often used to improve access to education. Fair Trade standards also prohibit harmful chemicals and provide a framework for environmental sustainability. The Fair Trade minimum price protects farmers against market volatility by ensuring a minimum sale price for their crops.

We love chocolate and other products made with cocoa. It is part of our daily lives. At the same time, many people do not know how tough cocoa farming is, nor do they know the impact of choosing one chocolate bar over another. By choosing chocolate with the Fair Trade logo, you are standing up for the people and places involved in the cocoa industry.  MPTC bookstores carry Divine Chocolate bars. Look for the Fair Trade logo on all chocolate you buy at your grocery store or local market.

Find out more about Fair Trade and MPTC Fair Trade College!

valentine event
fair trade college logo

Written by Anne Lemke
Student Community Impact Coordinator