The good eggs: A guide to sustainable Easter chocolate

Selection of Easter eggs and bunnies on concrete background

Tianna Nadalin

Posted April 08, 2020

Enjoy guilt-free indulgence this Easter with our guide to sustainable chocolate.

Everybody knows there’s something extra delicious about Easter chocolate. And with Aussies tipped to spend more than $7 million on eggs this year, why not lay into some good eggs, guilt free? Enter sustainable chocolate. As consumer demand for Fairtrade, palm oil-free, certified organic and non-GMO chocolate increases, chocolatiers across the globe are taking steps to make their sweet treats more sustainable, ethical and, ultimately, more enjoyable. Here are eight ways to indulge, sustainably, this Easter.

Eight ways to have a more sustainable Easter

Choose certified organic

Help your body and the environment by choosing Certified Organic chocolates. This guarantees the cocoa beans used to make the chocolate haven’t have been sprayed with harmful pesticides and are generally non-GMO (genetically modified organisms).

Choose Fairtrade

Fairtrade Australia CEO Molly Harriss Olson says sustainable chocolate is about enabling the long-term viability of cocoa farmers and their livelihoods. “Fairtrade terms of trade guarantee that farmers are getting a secure, stable minimum price,” she says, so buying Fairtrade-certified products guarantees that the growers, farmers and workers through every stage of the supply chain have been paid fair wages, ensuring a better quality of life for some of the most vulnerable people in our global community. “Chocolate lovers have generated millions of dollars for poor farmers in West Africa by choosing Fairtrade for their daily chocolate fix,” says Molly.

Choose Rainforest Alliance 

Love chocolate? Choosing Rainforest Alliance treats will help ensure its viability and availability for years to come. The Rainforest Alliance trains cocoa producers around the world on how to implement sustainable farming principles. This includes climate-smart cocoa farming, reducing deforestation, improving biodiversity and land conservation and supporting the wellbeing of small communities.

Choose palm oil-free

Palm oil (which is often listed as vegetable oil) is found in up to 50 per cent of products on supermarket shelves, including many chocolates. Palm-oil production has long been associated with widespread deforestation, the devastation of natural habitats, displacement of communities and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Where possible, look for chocolates that contain no palm oil, or look for chocolates with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) logo. RSPO-certified means you’re buying products that have been made using sustainable palm oil.

Choose cruelty-free

For animal-friendly sweet treats, look for Vegetarian Society Approved chocolates. This stamp of cruelty-free approval ensures the chocolates are GMO-free, not tested on animals and, in the case of the vegan trademark, contain no animal-derived ingredients.

Choose ethical

According to World Vision, more than 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa, where children are often forced to harvest cocoa in dangerous conditions. Choosing ethical chocolate, which is made without forced, child or trafficked labour, means your sweet treat won’t come with a bitter aftertaste. You can also download World Vision’s Good Chocolate Guide to Australia for a full list of ethical chocolatiers.


Loving Earth chocolate eggs

Choose local 

Victoria has a rich bean-to-bar chocolate scene, with an assortment of small-batch, artisan chocolate wizards driving a new direct-trade social movement. From sweet social enterprises and do-good cacao mongers to tree-planting chocolate-inspired environmentalists, Victoria’s swathe of sweet innovators are giving back to the wider cocoa community in interesting, unique and creative ways.

Choose waste-free

As well as considering what your Easter eggs are made of, it’s also important to think about the packaging. Choose Easter treats with less (or no) packaging – or opt for cardboard where possible – to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill. And remember – those colourful foil wrappers can be recycled Australia-wide, so once you’re done gorging, scrunch them into a big ball and pop them in the recycle bin.


Ethical chocolate: what to buy

Major brands

Cadbury range

In the lead-up to Easter, Cadbury’s Australian factories pump out about two million Easter eggs a day, with Cadbury accounting for about two-thirds of Easter products sold in Australia (they’ve got 16 of the top 20). Cadbury marketing director Paul Chatfield says that while many Cadbury products contain no palm oil (including the Dairy Milk range), “all of the products we make in Australia that contain palm oil use fully segregated palm oil”. This means certified palm oil is kept separate from conventional palm oil throughout the supply chain. “Sustainability has never been so important to the people who enjoy our products – they want us to do business in a way that aligns with their expectations and values,” he says. “For the very small number of Easter products made overseas [that contain palm oil], we use 100 per cent RSPO palm oil.”

Moser Roth Easter eggs

The Mini Easter Eggs from popular German chocolate brand Moser Roth, that are available through Aldi stores, are certified Fairtrade and come in milk, dark and hazelnut cream.


Ferrero, maker of all-time pantry great Nutella, may have arrived late to the sustainable palm oil party, but at least it was fashionably so. The family-owned Italian company has emerged as a champion for sustainable palm oil, with the company now using 100 per cent RSPO-certified segregated palm oil. For Fairtrade and sustainable Ferrero treats, look no further than Ferrero eggs in both hazelnut and cocoa, as well as the classic Ferrero Rocher Golden Squirrels.


If you like deliciously silky dark chocolate and seriously smooth milk chocolate, you’ll love the Divine Chocolate range of Fairtrade Easter treats, which are made from premium cocoa produced by Kuapa Kokoo, the co-operative in Ghana that also co-owns the brand. Divine chocolates are also vegetarian friendly and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Find them at independent retailers.

Moo Free

Get around vegan, gluten-free, organic and non-GMO sea salt and caramel, dark chocolate, original or Bunnycomb eggs, made using single-origin organic cocoa from plantations in the Dominican Republic. You can buy them online from David Jones as well as independent retailers.


From indulgent six-pack eggs to peanut brittle milk chocolate – there’s a Chocolatier treat to suit every Easter egg tragic. As well as being one of the first Fairtrade-certified manufacturers in the country, Melbourne-made Chocolatier products are also members of the Rainforest Alliance cocoa program. Available through independent grocers and retailers, as well as David Jones and Myer.

Woolworths Select

It’s not just confectioners shaking things up in the cocoa world. Supermarkets are also starting to move towards sustainable house labels. Woolworths Select range of Easter eggs are made using Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa.

Darrell Lea

While not Fairtrade-certified, Darrell Lea’s partnership with cocoa sustainability program Cocoa Horizons has seen the iconic Aussie brand move to using 100 per cent sustainable cocoa. So go on, have another Rocklea Road egg. You know you want to.


Easter chocolate block

Photo: Unsplash

Boutique brands

Pana Organic

With hand-picked cacao from Bolivia, coconut from the Philippines, wild carob from Spain and Mexican dark agave among its list of mouthwatering ingredients, this Richmond-based company’s range of raw, vegan, gluten-free and refined-sugar-free chocolate has something for every health-conscious chocolate addict. Plus, they come in a handy Easter gift pack. And, as well as sourcing the highest-quality ingredients, Pana is also giving back by planting trees. They planted 10,000 in their first year of business and have increased it every year since.

Loving Earth

What’s better than an Easter egg? Loving Earth’s organic, vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Butter Eggs (pictured below). Loving Earth buys directly from Peruvian farmers who still use traditional methods to harvest their heirloom cacao pods. This ethical attitude is underpinned by a sustainable ethos that sees their products produced in a solar-powered factory in Scoresby and packaged in home-compostable cardboard (made using Earth-friendly vegetable inks). Aha! But what about the plastic wrap, you say? It’s in fact non-GMO potato starch.

Hey Tiger

When it comes to ethical chocolate, this innovative Melbourne-born brand is about as sweet as it gets. But Hey Tiger is more than just the maker of some of the finest Easter chocolates on the market (hello, hot cross bun and chocolate crumbs bar, and caramel popcorn eggs) – it’s also a social enterprise on a mission to make chocolate great again. As well as sourcing fair-trade cocoa, Hey Tiger has partnered with the Hunger Project, donating 50 cents per full-size bar and 25 cents per mini-size bar straight to charity.

Treat Dreams

This chocolate is a feast for your taste buds – and your eyes. Made in Sydney, it’s vegan-friendly (although you’d never be able to tell) and made using fair-trade and direct-trade cocoa. While many of their chocolates (including their adorable chocolate Easter bunnies) are palm oil-free, Treat Dreams’ range of delicious Dream Eggs are made using Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil.