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BEST FAIRTRADE VEGAN CHOCOLATES IN DUBAI YOU WON'T FEEL GUILTY EATING


Best fairtrade vegan chocolates in Dubai -  Healthy and Best Organic Chocolates

The truth behind the chocolate is anything but sweet. 

What if I told you that for every bite of that sweet delicious chocolate that you eat you have the hand of a child slave to thank? The cocoa farming has a long history of trafficking, child labor and slavery, and the practice still continues. Chocolate behemoths like Nestlé, Hershey's, Godiva and Mars are part of these inhumane activities because they directly or indirectly buy cocoa beans sourced in such conditions.

Hundreds of thousands children are enslaved on cocoa farms, where they are trafficked, unable to leave, and forced to work with little to no pay. Irony is that almost all of these kids who work in cocoa farms have never even tasted chocolate. Forget chocolate, even getting one decent meal is a luxury for them and they work for over 100 hrs on an average every week on the farm. 

The adult farmers who work in the cocoa farms are also not provided living wages and have to work for over 18 hours in gruesome conditions. Poverty is rampant among cocoa farmers. The reason? The high demand of inexpensive chocolate products in the developed world. In the quest to bring prices down while maximizing profitability big chocolate brands like Cadbury, Mars, Mondelez and Nestlé get their cocoa from these sources. The hard truth is, when we buy these products, we are equally guilty of human rights violation including child labor and slavery.

As consumers, the onus of changing these wrong inhumane practice in the chocolate industry ultimately lies on us.'

What are you gonna do? I am not asking you going to stop eating chocolate. God no!
So then? By simply boycotting chocolate brands like Mars and Nestlé and supporting ethical brands who are trying to bring positive change in the cocoa farming industry we can ensure that no child is exploited and every farmer is paid fairly for their efforts.

Fortunately there are plenty of ethical chocolate brands in the market to satiate your sweet cravings. Whether you want it raw, free from processed sugar, organic or milky - there is a fairtrade vegan chocolate for you.

However, choosing ethically produced, delicious chocolate can be complicated. There are ingredients to avoid and certifications, sustainability, packaging and origins to consider. And, none of these indicate quality.

As a self-proclaimed chocolate aficionado, in my quest to find the perfect ethical and vegan chocolate I have tried hundreds of chocolates and brands from all over the world, and was lucky enough to find some that ticked all the boxes for me!

I have to say, good vegan milk chocolates are hard to come by. Thank God brands like iChoc, Loving Earth and Raw Halo make amazing dairy-free milk chocolates. I've handpicked the best ethical chocolates (both dark and milk chocolates) and ensured that each of them have proper certifications in place. 

Why go for certified chocolates? It is practically not possible to inspect the sourcing and making of our favorite chocolates in-person in faraway countries of Africa. Certifications like Fairtrade, UTZ, USDA and Ecocert Organic provide some form of checks to make sure that social aspects are better controlled, that environmental aspects are improved upon, and that the economic challenges that the cocoa farmers have are alleviated, to some extent and they have a safety net.

Here I have listed some of my favorite fairtrade {mostly organic} vegan chocolates that are available easily in Dubai (and US, UK and other countries). These awesome brands are not only better for your body, but better for the planet and the people making them as well. Ah, let me assure you they taste just as sinful too!


iChoc Vegan Chocolates

Best for: Vegan Milk Chocolate
Ethics: Vegan, plastic-free compostable packaging, fairtrade, palm-oil free, organic
From: Germany
Product Range: A wide range of vegan milk chocolates
Favorite Flavor: Classic milk chocolate, white nougat crisp and choco cookie
Best Vegan Milk Chocolate - Fairtrade Chocolates - iChoc Vegan Chocolates in Dubai
I first got my hands on iChoc vegan chocolates when I was traveling to Finland almost 5 years back and have been obsessed with them ever since. They were the first vegan milk chocolates I ever tried and was surprised with how good they were. The second I broke off a square I was in love - perfect with the creaminess and smoothness of a conventional milk chocolate but dairy-free. 

iChoc come in a variety of vegan milk chocolate flavors including white nougat, hazelnut, classic milk chocolate, orange, and white vanilla. All the chocolates are crafted with organic ingredients, sustainably grown cocoa beans and use rice milk as a dairy alternative. I've tried several vegan milk chocolates and honestly, I find the dairy-free chocolates crafted with rice milk as their base are closest to the creamy, silky and smooth texture of a real milk chocolate.

iChoc is part of popular German organic chocolate maker Vivani, and although Vivani makes both milk and dairy-free chocolates, iChoc is completely a vegan brand. In fact, Vivani's vegan rice milk chocolate is also fabulous, and is sometimes available at OFC. 

 Their white nougat crisp flavor with caramel bits is quite heavenly and one of my favorites. The Choco Cookie is also amazing - a smooth creamy chocolate with crisp biscuit pieces. I am not a big fan of plain white chocolate, but if you are I have to say iChoc vegan white chocolate is the best I've tried so far.

The iChoc chocolate range comes in a fully recyclable packaging, even the foil inside is compostable! Needless to say, they are my favorite vegan chocolate brand.

Available at Organic Foods & Cafe (OFC), Dubai.

Loving Earth

Best for: Guilt-free treats - healthy milk chocolates and dark chocolate
Ethics: Vegan, fairtrade, eco-friendly packaging, certified organic, refined sugar-free, direct trade, bean-to-bar, solar-powered factory 
From: Australia
Product Range: A wide range of vegan chocolates including various vegan milk chocolates
Favorite Flavor: Salted Caramel,  Very Buck 'N Berry and Turkishfuly Delightful
Loving Earth Vegan Chocolate - best Vegan Chocolates - Fairtrade and Organic Chocolates - Ethical Chocolate Guide
Aussies are good with sustainability and mindful about health. Loving Earth chocolate is a great example of this. This Aussie chocolate brand makes delicious vegan chocolates keeping both  health and the planet in mind. 

All Loving Earth dairy-free chocolate bars are not only organic, but GMO free, gluten, soy and dairy free, and are even sustainably farmed. Not just that. They've paid great attention to detail in their packaging too, which is fully compostable. Even the printing on their boxes is done with eco-friendly and vegan soy ink, making them great for the environment, too! 

Now you must be wondering, that's all good, but what about the taste? I have to say, their chocolates are simply divine. The rick creamy chocolate instantly melts-in-the-mouth good and is packed with flavor and taste. They've got a range of flavors including some really unusual ones like Turkish chocolate and citrus lemon. White chocolate lovers will love that the brand introduced a new vegan white chocolate and I believe its going to be just as good as their other flavors. Since it has tapioca, its a no-go for me (tapioca is a root vegetable and I don't consume root vegetables as part of my ahimsa Jain diet).

Raw Halo

Best for: Guilt-free treats - healthy milk chocolates and dark chocolate (raw vegan)
Ethics: Vegan, fairtrade, eco-friendly packaging, certified organic, plants trees (in partnership with One Tree Planted), refined sugar-free
From: United Kingdom
Product Range: A wide range of vegan chocolates including vegan milk chocolates in two sizes
Favorite Flavor: Mylk & Pink Himalayan Salt
Best fairtrade vegan chocolates in Dubai - Raw Halo Healthy and Best Organic Chocolates
Raw Halo vegan mylk chocolate bars are hands down my favorite. Raw Halo raw chocolates are made keeping both the planet and health in mind. Their chocolates are not just organic but also free from refined sugar, soy, and other nasties. 

Raw Halo vegan chocolates are ethically made using stone grinding method from organic Peruvian raw cacao. Unlike conventional chocolates, Raw Halo’s cacao beans aren’t roasted. Instead, through careful temperature control, the cacao beans are minimally processed to retain their nutrients and flavor.

Between dark and milk, honestly I always prefer milk chocolates. They have a range of raw vegan chocolate options, both dark and milk. Their vegan milk chocolate varieties are the vanilla mylk chocolate, salted caramel mylk chocolate (I haven't yet seen them in Dubai) and my favorite mylk & pink Himalayan salt chocolate. The vegan mylk pink salt chocolate is seriously too good and hard to resist. The chocolate is silky smooth and melt in your mouth. 

Raw Halo pushes raw chocolate to a new level in terms of taste, quality and ingredients – all without sacrificing on flavor, nutrients and taste. Whether you like milk or dark chocolate, you have to try Raw Halo for sure!

Available at select Spinneys stores across UAE.

Plamil Vegan Chocolates

Best for: Vegan Milk Chocolate
Ethics: Vegan, fairtrade, organic (most range), nut-free
From: United Kingdom
Product Range: A wide range of vegan milk chocolates
Favorite Flavor: Classic milk chocolate
Best Vegan Chocolates - Fairtrade Chocolates - Plamil Vegan Milk Chocolates in Dubai - Ethical chocolates
Plamil is the first company in the world to launch a vegan chocolate and has been doing it long before people knew what "Vegan" meant. To be precise, they have been making vegan chocolates for over 50 years. The best part is, all their chocolates are made in their own vegan and nut-free factory and are one hundred percent vegan, with no scope of any cross contamination (unlike most brands).

They have a wide range of dairy-free chocolates suited for everyone - including sugar-free chocolates, sweetened with Xylitol, for chocolate-loving diabetics. Their So-Free range is certified organic and are produced in a factory powered by renewable energy - making these chocolates not only fairtrade and organic but also eco-friendly. They also do chocolate hearts, bunny shaped vegan chocolates for Easter and vegan chocolates packed in different themes for gifting kids and for Chirstmas.

For vegan milk chocolate lovers, their classic plain milk chocolate is excellent. Its made with rice milk and tastes like the real deal with creamy texture, smoothness and all the chocolatey-ness. Some of their dark chocolates aren't that great, and the white chocolate is my least favorite.

Available at Organic Foods & Cafe Dubai

HU Chocolates

Best for: Healthy dark chocolate
Ethics: Vegan, sustainable sourcing, USDA certified organic, refined sugar-free, paleo, and sustainable packaging
From: Miami, United States
Product Range: Dark chocolates
Favorite Flavor: Almond Butter Puffed Quinoa and Cashew Butter & Vanilla Crunch
Best Vegan Chocolates - Fairtrade Chocolates - Hu Vegan Dark Chocolates in Dubai - Ethical chocolates
Hu chocolate bars are made with organic and fair-trade cacao and sweetened with unrefined organic coconut sugar and they're certainly one of my favorites. Their dark chocolates have a great taste and texture and melt beautifully in your mouth without compromising on ingredients. You won't find soy lecithin, emulsifiers, cane sugar, vanillin (synthetic vanilla flavor) or other nasty ingredients in their chocolates.

From classic dark and mint chocolate to salted dark - have have a good range of flavors. In fact, they also do nut-butter filled versions like their Cashew Butter & Vanilla flavor - a rich dark chocolate bar filled with creamy dry-roasted cashew butter and bits of real vanilla beans.

I have tried all their flavors, and my favorite is the Almond Butter Puffed Quinoa chocolate. Love the crunchiness of quinoa mixed with creamy nut butter and rich dark chocolate. The cashew chocolate hunks and their cashew butter and raspberry chocolate were my least favorite (was most excited about this flavor but it left me disappointed). 

Love the fact that all their chocolates are wrapped in sustainable and elegant brown paper and sealed with biodegradable plastic film.

In Dubai, Currently only available at Treehouse Juicery at Airport (T3 departure). I had them first time in US, and usually get them when I am traveling or if someone is coming from US. You can find them online at certain stores that ship international.

Pana Chocolate

Best for: Healthy chocolates
Ethics: Vegan, raw, certified organic, fairtrade, eco-conscious, refined sugar-free, palm-oil free
From: Australia
Product Range: A wide range of vegan milk chocolates
Favorite Flavor: Coconut & Goji
Best Vegan Chocolates - Fairtrade Chocolates - Pana Vegan Chocolates in Dubai - Ethical chocolates
Another of my favorite healthy but supremely delicious vegan chocolate is from sustainable chocolatier Pana. Their raw chocolates are really rich and creamy, have a great texture and melts on the tongue. You can taste the quality of their chocolate in every bite. All their chocolates are handmade in Melbourne, and their range includes some really interesting flavors. My favorite is their Coconut & Goji chocolate - a decadently satiating snack. 

For the earth conscious among you, while the foil part of the packaging is not recyclable or compostable (the company gives this information on their website), the cover is made from 100% recycled materials, the glue seal is an edible plant gum and even the inks used in printing their packaging are 100% vegetable based,.

I love Pana chocolates, but at Dhs18.50 (~$5.05) for a 45g bar they're certainly expensive. However, since the melt-in-your-mouth consistency lingers even after the last bite, I'd say these are worth the splurge. Although, once you open them its hard not to eat the whole bar - so make sure to save up for them.

Available at various stores in Dubai including Organic Foods & Cafe, Wild and the Moon, Jones The Grocer and online stores like ripeme.com and greenheartuae.com.

Pacari Chocolate

Best for: Healthy chocolates
Ethics: Vegan, certified organic, fairtrade, eco-conscious, refined sugar-free, palm-oil free, B Corp certified, biodynamic certified, eco-packaging, gives back  (partnership with WWF Ecuador)
From: Australia
Product Range: A wide range of vegan organic dark chocolates
Favorite Flavor: Chocolate covered goldenberry
Best Vegan Chocolates - Fairtrade Chocolates - Pacari Vegan Chocolates in Dubai - Ethical chocolates

Listed as one of the top 2 most ethical chocolates in the market by Ethical Consumer Magazine, Pacari organic chocolates are ethically made in Ecuador and has won several awards for their fine sustainable chocolates. Their fairtrade and vegan-friendly tree-to-bar chocolates are made in small batches using finest quality organic cacao sourced directly from farmers, ensuring they are paid fairly for their efforts.

Their chocolates are a treat for chocoholics! They have a very wide range of flavors in their chocolate bars category - some very interesting like blueberry and lemon verbena to unusual ones like ginger & chia and lemongrass. One of their most interesting chocolate varieties are the chocolate covered fruits - they are totally scrumptious and great for munching. I especially love the chocolate goldenberry.

Available at various stores in Dubai including Organic Foods & Cafe and Organic & Real (including their online stores).

OTHER BRANDS

Few other brands that are worth a mention are British family-owned vegan chocolate maker Moo Free (also fairtrade and organic), UK-based ethical and vegan chocolate brand Ombar (also organic), another UK-based fairtrade organic chocolate brand Divine (vegan-friendly), a brand actually owned by cocoa farmers.

US-based Fairtrade worker-owned co-operative chocolate brand Equal Exchange is another ethical brand that you'd love. Their chocolates and cocoas are crafted using only the purest ingredients sourced from small farmer organizations that are the heart and soul of the Fair Trade movement.

Another interesting fairtrade and organic chocolate option available in Dubai is Love Raw's vegan butter cups. All these chocolates are available at OFC and/or Ripe Me.

Scotland-based Chocolate and Love, a fairtrade and ethical chocolate brand, also has a range of vegan-friendly dark chocolates (available at Candylicious, Spinneys and Waitrose). 

While there are many other vegan chocolates and vegan chocolate brands available in Dubai, but they are not fairtrade and hence do not have a mention here.
Best Ethical Fairtrade Chocolates - Vegan Chocolates - Chocolate and Love Sustainable Chocolates in Dubai - Ethical chocolates

Which are your favorite ethical and fairtrade vegan chocolates?
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