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Chocolate & Slavery: What Is Mason & Co’s Response?

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

We have been asked about whether or not we use beans that are ‘Fair Trade’, and how we can be sure that the beans we use are not sourced from farms that employ children and are unethical in their practices. It is no secret that the chocolate industry, particularly in Africa, is plagued by the sad story of slavery (check out the documentary ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’).

In India, there are currently not the same slavery concerns, however, it is important to note that it is still legal in India for children below the age of 14 to work in non-hazardous family ‘enterprises’ which of course could lead to a form of child labour.

So here is how we ensure our chocolate is ‘Fair Trade’:

1. We do not buy on the open market and we buy directly from the farmers. This means that we know exactly where our beans are coming from and we can actually trace every bar of chocolate to a single farm and even a single batch of beans. You can say that we are farmer-direct. 2. Additionally, not buying on the open market or using a broker means that we can be sure that the money goes directly into the farmers’ hands. 3. We only buy from 3 farms in India and we work to build personal relationships with the farmers. We believe that having personal relationships with the farmers, getting to know them and their families and spending time of the farms is the the single most important way we can ensure sustainable and fair work practices. 4. When we do buy beans from outside of India for our Limited Editions Bars, we have a policy of not buying from Africa unless there are fair trade certifications or we have personal knowledge of the working practices of the farm.

At Mason & Co, we make every effort to ensure that our sourcing, production and supply of cacao beans and chocolate is fair and sustainable to the people and the environment touched by the supply chain.

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