Hot cocoa ranks near the top on the list of winter's small pleasures for many who live in the cold and snowy North.
Now the cup of steamy chocolate milk that melts the chill in our bodies can also warm our hearts — when it's made from cocoa and sugar produced and marketed in the socially responsible manner known as "fair trade."
The cocoa comes from the Dominican Republic, where a cooperative of farmers cultivates the beans on plots under a canopy that preserves the forests. Equal Exchange, the importer, reports that biologists say this chemical-free method of farming helps maintain biodiversity and protects the winter habitat of millions of migratory songbirds.
The sugar, also organic, is fairly traded from Paraguay. And the dried milk powder comes from Organic Valley, an American cooperative of family farms.
Lutheran World Relief participates in Equal Exchange's Interfaith Program. To find out how your congregation can order the cocoa mix, call (781) 830-0303, ext. 228; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.equalexchange.com.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers