When you go out to buy Halloween candy something we all think about is "do we like it" as well as "is this a good buy".
Other things might matter as well. In one of our Halloween Sacraments we mentioned how supporting some brands is a way to support charities. We often talk about fair trade, eco-friendly packaging, and sustainable agricultural practices.
A news report caught my eye on Tuesday but I all ready had a post out and had a Special Sacramental Review scheduled for Wednesday; I like to give the companies who've entrusted us to reveal them to you two days of solo notice. So today I want to talk about other concerns you might want to think about.
The report that caught my eye was here at PRNewswire. It revolved around a scorecard recently released that ranked chocolatiers on how well they are supporting various social, political and economic goals for cacao growth, production and consumption.
This is the link to the actual scorecard mentioned.
Let's look at some realistic issues raised for Halloween by and in this scorecard.
How many chocolate makers are listed? I count only 15 and I doubt that is even scratching the surface of the number of chocolatiers out there whom you could purchase chocolate from.
How many of these offer bite-size candy? This is important because unless it fits in with what you'd normally hand out, it is very unlikely you will switch. 8 of them make bit-sized candy, so less than half.
Of those, how many are likely to have Halloween treats? For each company I didn't recognize for having Halloween treats, I went to check.
Coco-Zen has three types of Halloween specific treats.
Sweet Earth Organics has six types of Halloween specific treats.
Of course we've looked at the Halloween treats from Sjaak's and Equal Exchange which are also on the list -- you can find those reviews on this blog using our search feature. Most recently we talked about TerraSource's charity treats that are easily used for Halloween giving and they aren't even on the scorecard.
Oddly Kraft, Mars, Hershey, and Nestle are the list but not for offering seasonal items which we know they do.
How much more expense are the higher ranked chocolate makers? Sadly in times of economic downturns this may be the most important factor for most of us.
Fair trade, green and eco-friendly agriculture and shipping always costs more in terms of the cash you have to lay out now. Some people can't see the future costs because these are hard to layout clearly.
My advice is to do what you can, buy the greener, fairer products when you can and use those in place of the less social/political sound chocolates which also tend to be more full of additives and preservatives. Consider cutting back on how much candy you hand out to save money. For example, we allow one piece per child not handfuls or 2-3 pieces like other households do. If you cut back then you could switch and try a few of the more expensive now but conscious options.
Let me know if you've tried any of these chocolates yourself and what the reaction was at your Halloween parties and from trick o'treaters.