Cocoa With A Cause

Cocoa With A Cause

Your cocoa doesn’t have to compromise your values.

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No, we didn’t have snowmageddon, but at least your delicious mug of hot cocoa won’t be overhyped. To warm up your winter morning (or frankly any time of day), try fair trade hot cocoa mixes for an indulgent taste with that doesn’t compromise your values.  

“Fair trade principles embody key Jewish values of justice, dignity and respect,” wrote Ilana Schatz, founding director of Fair Trade Judaica, in an e-mail to The Jewish Week. “Choosing fair trade when we have a choice provides us the opportunity of actively living our Jewish values in day-to-day consumer choices,” she wrote. “Fair Trade Judaica is building a fair trade movement in the Jewish community through outreach, education and by expanding the production, distribution and sale of Fair Trade Judaica products.

Fair trade means that farmers and buyers are engaged in an equitable trading partnership, according to Schatz. Farmers earn a livable wage and guarantee the following: safe working conditions, the prohibition of child labor and environmentally sustainable farming practices. Three different organizations monitor fair trade standards and provide certification, each using their own logo which the consumer can find on product packaging.

Fair Trade Judaica maintains a list of kosher-certified hot cocoa mixes on their website. The products are high quality beverages. They don’t use additives or flavorings. “ Just cocoa — maybe sugar, maybe vanilla,” wrote Schatz.  

Flavors run the gamut. Theo brand sells a chipotle flavored chocolate drink. Equal Exchange combines chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper for a zesty sip. For the traditionalists, plenty of fair trade companies sell sweet combinations such as vanilla bean and cinnamon (look for Cisse brand).

Fair trade hot chocolate and other products can be found at chains such as Gristedes, Fairway, Whole Foods, Citarella and Gourmet Garage. Of course in this weather shopping online from the warmth of your home is appealing. Try Equal Exchange for fair trade products. 

Along with rock salt, snow shovel and a flashlight, fair trade hot cocoa should be on your supply list for weathering the next storm.

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