The 9 Best Budget Fair Trade Chocolate Alternatives

1. Endangered Species Chocolate

Give to: the dark chocolate lover.

Both the milk chocolate and dark chocolate flavors are certified Fair Trade, and they were the first American made chocolate bar to do so in 2015. The cacao beans are grown in West Africa. The creme fillings are RSPO Certified palm oil, sourced from Agropalma in Brazil. RSPO certification promotes the growth and use of sustainable palm oil, helping reduce the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment. As part of, IBD EcoSocial certification provides tractability of fair trade and zero deforestation criteria.

My favorite?

In the last three years they’ve given back over 1.3 million to GiveBack Partners like the African Wildlife Foundation, Xerces Foundation, and Rain Forest Trust. 10% of their net profits are donated annually to the GiveBack Partners, who can use the money on whatever projects they want.

Pick it up at: Kroger, Target, Whole Foods.

2. Justin’s

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Give to: the peanut butter lover.

Justin’s sources the highest-quality, local ingredients through a simplified the supply chain. They sourced Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa for their chocolate. This means that the farm the cocoa was sourced from has a waste management system, water conversation system, and a soil conservation system that have gone through the Rainforest Alliance certification program to learn how to implement all these measures from specialists. This also means that the workers on the cocoa farm are paid a fair wage, and have safe living and working conditions. The palm oil that they use is Certified Orangutan Friendly and they are members of the Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil.

Pick it up at: Kroger, Amazon, Thrive Market, Whole Foods, Costco, and Target.

3. Little Secrets

Give to: the M&M’s lover.

My favorite?

Certified by Fair Trade USA. All the chocolate used is over 55% Fair Trade and the palm kernel oil is sustainably sourced. Fair Trade certification ensures that cocoa farmers receive a fair price, enabling them to follow good agricultural practices, and invest in their farms and communities. They also are in the process of getting their Non-GMO certification.

Pick it up at: Whole Foods, Kroger, Giant, Stop & Shop, and Wegman’s.

4. Theo

Give to: the assortment lover.

Theo works with the Norandino Cooperative to source it’s fair trade cocoa beans in Peru, and with Esco-Kivu to source from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Theo supports these cocoa farmers by providing them with low-cost planting materials, farmer training, and, direct purchasing paying above market prices to ensure a fair wage and sustainable livelihood. The chocolate is then produced in Theo’s factory in the United States. This factory is the first fair trade certified factory in the U.S.

Pick up at: Kroger, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Giant, and Giant Eagle.

5. Tcho

Give to: a chocolate flavor lover.

Milk Chocolate

Tcho is certified Fair Trade but pays farmers well beyond the minimum price set by fair trade. The coolest thing about this chocolate TCHOSource™. This is their in-house partnership program for their suppliers.  They work on projects like installing fermentation centers and drying stations at cooperatives in Peru, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, and “providing sensory analysis training to farmers and cooperative leaders to cultivate the understanding and communication of flavor throughout the supply chain.”

Pick it up at: Kroger, Stop & Shop, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

6. Equal Exchange

Give to: a milk chocolate lover.

The cocoa is sourced from fair trade farmer co-operatives in the Dominican Republic and Peru. The sugar and vanilla are also fairly traded and organic. The sugar comes from co-operatives in Paraguay and the vanilla from a co-operative in Madagascar. Equal Exchange is a really cool company because the fair trade values go all the way to the top. The company is employee-owned company. All employees from the top down receive an equal share of any profits.

Pick it up at: Kroger, Whole Foods, Amazon, Target, Stop & Shop, and Giant.

7. Pascha Organic

Give it to: the nutella lover.

My favorite?

Certified Fair Trade, and Organic by USDA. They are also a member of 1% For The Planet. This is a really cool support network where members donate 1% of sales to nonprofit organizations that focus on protecting natural lands and making agricultural and energy production more sustainable.

Pick it up at: Kroger, Whole Foods, Amazon, Stop & Shop.

8. Wild Ophelia 

Give it to: the coffee lover.

Wild Ophelia - Wild Ophelia Mix and Match Cold Brew Chocolate Coffee Bites

With Fair Trade sourced and certified certified cacao beans and other ingredients. It is also certified USDA Organic. This means that the ingredients should be 95% free of synthetic additives. Think- pesticides, chemical fertilizers, dyes and the processing of the ingredients shouldn’t use industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering.

Pick it up at: Kroger, Whole Foods, Amazon.

9. Good Super Foods

Give it to: the healthly food lover.

100% Certified USDA Organic and created with fair trade, directly sourced cacao. They are certified Fair Trade and also certified through the Rainforest Alliance.

Pick it up at: Kroger, Vitamin Shoppe, and Sprouts.

* I tried all of them that are lactose-free. I had a friend try the milk ones.