Celebrate Fair Trade Month!
In honor of Fair Trade Month, we thought we would share what we do throughout the year to promote fair trade practices here at our office in Burlington and further afield. As you may know, Lake Champlain Chocolates is a Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certified Company and as such, we have a committee made up of ten individuals from different departments throughout the company working to promote and evaluate Fair for Life(FFL) practices. The core values we are trying to encourage are empowerment, integrity, sustainability, community, and fairness.
Making a Difference
We want to raise the bar on trade standards within the chocolate industry and our local community and we want FFL values and practices to be part of every-day life at LCC. How do we achieve these broad goals? We promote and evaluate FFL practices throughout the company, educate fellow employees about Fair Trade and Fair for Life principles and standards, and communicate suggestions and present materials to management regarding continuous improvement efforts.
Our packaging and production teams gather twice daily as part of a newly implemented stretching program designed by a local physical therapist to alleviate and prevent aches and pains associated with repetitive motion. Making Five Star Bars, Chocolates of Vermont and sea salt caramels all day can be hard on the body!
At origin, efforts are focused on Fair prices for cocoa and sugar, fair labor conditions, transparency in the supply chain, community development and environmental sustainability. The committee meets on a monthly basis, but between meetings, we continue the conversation via email and discussions with fellow employees. We have put up Fair for Life bulletin boards in our break rooms to share quick facts & education about FFL at LCC and around the world. We have also initiated an employee recognition program encouraging everyone to take time to show appreciation for small gestures in the work place.
This past spring our group visited Monument Farms, a 5th generation dairy farm who has been providing us heavy cream for our truffles for the past 30 years. Visiting our suppliers supports our partnerships, and encourages community and transparency.
Since the committee’s inauguration in January, LCC has earned its fifth leaf in FFL certification —the highest level attainable! We continue to push for increased awareness and action in Fair Trade purchases and practices within our work community.