Your Ethical Easter Guide

Being a last-minute sort of person, easter egg shopping would normally involve me flying into the supermarket a day or two before, and buying the best from whatever is left.  This year I’d like to know who is supplying the more sustainable options and support these brands.  With Easter now only a week away, I’ve done a little research, and here’s what I have discovered…


mother orangutan with her cute baby

Photo credit: Leo Biddle.  See interview “The Great Conservationist” by clicking here

Rainforest clearing in South East Asia to create space for Palm plantations poses a threat to several animals including the orang-utan, Sumatran tiger, Asian rhino and Asian elephant.  According to information on the Hamilton Zoo website, if deforestation at the current rate continues, these species could be extinct in the wild by 2022…SIX years away! So to ensure you are buying palm oil-free easter eggs, check out this link on the Auckland Zoo website here.  There are a lot of options (fantastic!), so I am going to print this out and take with me.





When you purchase chocolate with the Fairtrade logo, you know that the cocoa farmers have received a fair price for their produce AND they have received a Fairtrade Premium which the farmer co-operatives can then reinvest in their local community to improve education, healthcare, farming equipment etc.   Growing cocoa is not easy and 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms by about 6 million farmers who earn their living from growing and selling cocoa beans.  However most farmers don’t receive a fair price and live a life of poverty.  By simply purchasing Fairtrade certified chocolate, we can make a huge difference to the lives of these families.



According to Fairtrade NZ, Green and Blacks have a 100% Fairtrade Commitment. For the following brands, look for the Fairtrade logo on selected products;

  • Whittakers
  • Cadbury
  • Pana Chocolate
  • Wellington Chocolate Factory


ChocolateRange.jpgTrade Aid have been certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation, verifying compliance throughout the entire supply chain.  So you can be assured that if you are purchasing anything from Trade Aid, the people behind the products have been rewarded fairly for their time and labour.  I have bought a few bars of their chocolate to send my parents this Easter (image above).  I love the packaging, designed by Aucklander Tina Yu, reflecting the places of the world where the ingredients come from.  I love too, that the packaging is compostable and that organic NZ milk is used in their milk chocolate.

Click here for Trade Aid’s recipe on how to make your very own handcrafted chocolate eggs.  Easy enough to make with the kids and pretty enough to offer friends. See the one minute video clip here.  Well worth a look!

For the first time this year, Trade Aid have produced Easter Eggs in their Christchurch factory – go check them out if there’s a store near you!

Photo from The Wellington Chocolate Factory

If you live in Wellington you probably know about The Wellington Chocolate Factory.  Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock but these guys have only just hit my radar.  This is straight from their website; “At the Wellington Chocolate Factory we make organic, ethically traded, bean-to-bar chocolate of the highest quality. We founded WCF to be a leader in the new chocolate revolution, exploring how artisan production methods, fair trading practice, and local communities can reinforce each other in building a strong, sustainable business.”  Their blog posts, complete with amazing photos, look to be a great read if you’re interested in the work they do with growers behind the scenes.

WHAT?  Craft Beer Easter Egg??? (Right) and Salted Brittle Caramel Egg (Left)

You can buy their eggs online or at various stockists in NZ.  Click here for their contact details to see if there’s a stockist near you.


Whittaker’s were voted New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brand in 2015, and it was great to see them on the Auckland Zoo palm oil-free list, and that some of their products use Fairtrade cocoa.  Like Trade Aid, for the first time they are selling an Easter product, the KIWI in creamy milk or dark chocolate, in two sizes.  20c from the sale of each chocolate kiwi goes to Kiwis for Kiwi, an organisation dedicated to protecting our special bird and the places they live. (NB: these kiwis also are made using Fairtrade cocoa.)


The Lewis Road Creamery story is a good one.  Read about it here and look out for their Easter treats in your local supermarket!


Here’s hoping this info has been useful – I’ve learnt a lot myself! I know I’ll feel good this Easter with the knowledge that the farmers who grew the cocoa beans and sugar in the chocolate we’re eating, have been rewarded for their efforts.  And that I’m not contributing to a loss of habitat for those animals who live in rainforests.  Happy Easter everyone 🙂


Author: The Coastal Creative

Living close to the beach encourages a relaxed way of living and this influences my work as an interior designer. I am drawn to the eclectic, faded colours, rustic timber, the imperfection of things hand made, and objects that tell a story.

7 thoughts on “Your Ethical Easter Guide”

  1. Thank you for the work you put into assembling this list.

    I was curious where you saw that the kiwis were FairTrade? I have previously been too quick to expect that Whittaker’s FairTrade range extended beyond the two types of 250g block.


    1. Great question….when I noticed the chocolate kiwis didn’t have the Fair Trade logo, I messaged Whittakers to ask why. They replied saying that in order to be certified Fair Trade, you not only need to use FT cocoa, but you also must pay a premium that goes to the grower’s collective, to be spent on education, equipment, health etc within the community. Whittakers couldn’t afford to pay this premium AND the 20c donation to the Kiwi for Kiwis organisation, so the logo couldn’t be used. (The chocolate kiwis are still made with FT cocoa though….)
      I’m pleased you found the list useful!


      1. Fascinating! I had no idea you could buy from the fair trade co-ops but not pay the fair trade premium… I guess that means it’s “semi-Fair Trade” – i.e., still none of the things I’m most concerned about (forced labour, child labour, unsafe use of pesticides), but not as good as fair trade in that they don’t get that extra money that means their kids can go to school. I wonder if lots of Whittakers stuff if like that? Like, do you know if that applies to the Lewis Road chocolate milk? It’d be great if there was a certification that covered this situation – i.e. not quite as good as actual fair trade, but nothing like as good as conventional.


    1. Funny timing – I was just looking at your response from yesterday! I’ve looked back to see the exact words written by the person I communicated with at Whittaker’s but alas I’ve deleted it. Your reply has made me a little confused about their response now, because they already pay the premium to the cocoa cooperative in Ghana where they source their beans from, in order to satisfy requirements of the Fair Trade Organisation and use the FT logo on their Creamy Milk and Dark Ghana blocks. So aren’t they using the same cocoa for their Easter Kiwi? Mmmnnnn…. Overall though, as a company they are on the right track and believe in supporting the environment and our people. As you said, “nothing like as bad as conventional” 😉


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