It’s strange that Fairtrade isn’t made more of at Christmas, there are those chocolate makers that go further than Fairtrade, but at this time of year I feel that many people are blinkered to ethics and just grab the cheapest, most nasty chocolate gifts off the supermarket shelves just so they can tick that ‘chocolate’ box on their ‘to buy’ list. What is even stranger is the outrageous prices some chocolate companies are charging for the frivolous chocolate gift that are advent calendars. Thankfully we have Divine offering a reasonably priced, Fairtrade advent calendar that pretty good too.
For £4 you’re not going masses and masses of chocolate, but that is made up with messages that actually have a religious meaning. And to be honest that’s another surprising aspect of this review – it’s the first advent calendar that has any symbolism vaguely related to the bible. Of course, it isn’t an advent calendar that forces the issue upon the person enjoying the chocolate, but it is there and from this person at least, appreciated.
The cover also brings into light how chocolate comes into being. It has pictures of the local people harvesting the cacao, removing the beans from the pods, drying them, fermenting them and then packing them off to factories abroad which turns them into gifts that people around the world can give. This sort of appreciation of our inter-connected world does signify, at least in part, the real meaning of Christmas.
I might have found it hard to prize open each door, but it’s nothing compared to the struggle that most people involved at the beginning of the chocolate making process endure. The reverse of the calendar also details the work that Divine does for cacao farmers in Ghana as well as using sugar from Malawi a, vanilla from in India and Uganda as well as milk from various countries inEurope. For me this message is more important than the chocolate contained within – which I found a touch too sweet for my taste. It’s just a shame that they’re no longer doing the dark chocolate advent calendars as I would have really liked that.