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Wednesday, September 30, 1998 Published at 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK


Guilt-free chocolate

Comic Relief is helping launch a mass-market 'ethical' chocolate bar.

Consumer Affairs Correspondent Nicola Carslaw reports
Divine is milk chocolate and costs the same as the big name chocolate brands.

The makers say they pay fair wages to cocoa growers in Ghana - so chocoholics can tuck in, without feeling guilty.

While Ben Elton thinks some ethical products have a reputation for not being tasty, he said he enjoyed eating these chocolate bars.

Fair trade

Fair trade means the 30,000-strong Kuapa Kokoo collective in Ghana is paid over the market price for its produce.

As a result the community has a better standard of living, and can reinvest money in schools, health centres and scholarship projects.

[ image: There is a variety of 'ethical' goods available]
There is a variety of 'ethical' goods available
Nina Collins has the job of getting Divine into British shops. It is already in 310 Tescos and Ms Collins is hoping it can be more widely distributed.

"Divine is in the market place to say to consumers and major companies hey, this is the right way to trade."

Ben Elton helped launch Divine in London last night along with a delegation from the Kuapa Kodoo collective.

"There's room for a bit of fair play. There's nothing dowdy or chunky-jumpery about that.

"There's nothing sexy about people being abused and not being able to feed their children. And there's nothing sexy about something we enjoy being at the end of a long chain which starts with a really sad situation, where families just like our families, are living in great poverty."

[ image: Specialist shops are springing up to cater for ethical consumers]
Specialist shops are springing up to cater for ethical consumers
Divine goes on the shelves at Tesco from October the 5th, and costs £1.19 for 150 grams.

Pauline Tiffins from the fair trade organisation Twin, says it should appeal to everyone.

"We all like a nibble or two of chocolate. What we're saying is it's great to have great chocolate that does everybody a favour. This chocolate we can guarantee is really giving people a good deal. "

One fair trade organization says sales of such goods have increased from £2.75m to more than £12m in the last three years.

A survey in July found 58% of consumers would stop buying a brand if child labour had been used to make it.

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