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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate

     
Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate 
Posted: 19 September 2014    7.5 
Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate from USA Equal Exchange is different from all of the other companies I've reviewed on the Chocolate Republic.   Everybody working for Equal Exchange owns an equal share.  Equal Exchange is the kind of company you want to support.  With milk chocolate this good, you don't have to invent rationalizations in your head to keep buying. 
Avg price/gram: USD 0.041   Cocoa %: 38  Size: 100g   
       


You hand over $4.  The grocery store gives you one of these chocolate bars.  Does Equal Exchange wind up being a fair exchange?

Equal Exchange is different from all of the other companies I've reviewed on the Chocolate Republic.  Most of the bars I've reviewed are multinational brands.  Many are publicly traded and owned by shareholders.  Nestle.  Cadbury.  Hershey.  Others were artisanal operations then bought out by a multinational.   Green & Black's.  Dagoba.  Scharfen-Bergen.  The artisanal places were, without exception, started by single or dual founders.         

Equal Exchange is a worker-owned cooperative. Everybody working for Equal Exchange owns an equal share. Since its founding in 1986, the company has always worked with small farmer co-operatives -- originally, to obtain coffee beans, but by 2002, the company had expanded into the chocolate market.  Not just the beans come from the co-operatives.  So does the milk powder, sugar, hazelnuts, and vanilla beans, and anything else Equal Exchange chooses to include.  The co-operatives are located in the US, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, and Madagascar. 

The back label indicates that all the ingredients for their Milk Chocolate bar are organic.  70% of the raw cane sugar, unrefined whole cane sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and ground vanilla beans by weight are considered Fair Trade.        

Equal Exchange practices an unusual model which works, apparently.  They don't actually make a thing.  They source the raw ingredients from their various small farmer co-operatives and then send these ingredients on over to a nameless Swiss company to turn them into chocolate bars. We classify this as American chocolate because Equal Exchange's headquarters are in Massachusetts.        

Equal Exchange's Milk Chocolate bar is superb.  With 38% cocoa solids, it's on the higher end of the milk chocolate range.  The chocolate is smooth, creamy, and bursting with flavor.  The label reads that this is milk chocolate with a hint of hazelnut.  I couldn't taste the hazelnut at all.  It's the hazelnut and vanilla beans which likely lent the bar a touch of added creaminess.       

Equal Exchange is the kind of company you want to support. With milk chocolate this good, you don't have to invent rationalizations in your head to keep buying.  Considering the organic and Fair Trade labels, which always boost up the final selling price, Equal Exchange products sell at a very fair exchange.        

For a taste of home grown cacao without all the fluff and glamour to add to the price, Equal Exchange has you covered.        

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Casino Dark Tanzania 85% With Split Almonds from France -- 85% cocoa solids
 Fearless Hibiscus Flower Ginger Root from USA -- 70% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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