Retraining my taste buds – Fondue Follow Up
Last Thursday, over 50 people visited my house between 4pm and 8pm. Some stayed a few minutes; others a few hours. The lure? Not merely the opportunity to wish me a very happy birthday (which it was by the way, much to the relief of my husband!). No, they came for a dip in the chocolate fountain. Choosing from a wide range of fruit (fair trade or organic, of course), sweets and biscuits, they loaded their skewers and coated it all in melted fair trade chocolate. The ultimate guilt free treat.
For many there, it was the first time that they had considered the impact of their chocolate choices on those that grow the cocoa beans. The long hours, dangerous conditions, little or no pay, regular beatings – enough to put you off even your favourite brand.
Stop the Traffik organised the world’s largest fondue party to raise awareness and funds. With parties in Australia, New Zealand, America (including Honolulu!), Kenya, Nigeria, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, Finland, France, Scotland, Ireland, England and Lebanon, imagine what a difference this could make to consumer choice worldwide.
With a host of happy friends full of yummy chocolate and a cheque for £150 in the post to Stop the Traffik, I feel I have done my part. But of course, it cannot end there. After plenty of dips in the fondue, I could consider my taste buds to be retrained, but it’s the decision I make stood in front of the sweet counter or vending machine that counts. It’s the opportunities I take to choose and promote fair trade chocolate – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays…… It’s the action I take in supporting Stop the Traffik, Fair Trade Fortnight and other fair trade campaigns.
My work is far from over. But it has definitely begun. After having helped in Year 2 in the local Primary School, I was presented with a box of fair trade chocolates. Pleased as I was with the chocolates (although after my overindulgence at the fondue, I‘m not sure I want to eat chocolate ever again!), I was even more pleased that they had gone out of their way to find a fair trade box. Slowly but surely, the message is getting through.