At the end of Fairtrade fortnight, I'd like to champion something that is seeking to take things a step further: Equitrade. This certification is available to higher value finished or part-finished products from the developing world which attract a fair price. One weakness of Fairtrade is that it leaves developing nations as the raw materials producers, rather than them getting technology and higher value jobs and sales.
One way round this has been to make the producers shareholders in the Western-based manufacturing, which is what happen with Divine chocolate. The alternative is to build a chocolate factory in Africa, which is what Malagasy have done.
The chocolate is absolutely fantastic - over 70% cocoa, yet not bitter.I have had the Mora Mora and Sambariano bars and they are wonderful. OK, they are just over £3 a bar in our local branch of Booths supermarket, but they are a brilliant treat if you can find them, so why not stash one away as a treat for Easter?
Malagasy also produce a number of other Equitrade products, so I'm looking forward to seeing and tasting more in the future.