Chocolate -- how we love thee! Unfortunately, conventional chocolate production isn't good for the Earth, , engulfing rain forests, spreading toxic pesticides and paying out meager wages (especially to child workers).
But luckily for us chocoholics there is a sweet story as well, with becoming much more widely available, and supporting sustainable agriculture and worker health and rights.
Take , which offers a potpourri of sumptuous chocolate hearts, filled with everything from natural organic peanut butter to vanilla, to fresh raspberry and more! The Cupid's Cups (pictured) go for $14.50.
Fair trade-grown and made in Madagascar, Madécasse chocolates are "one of the only fine chocolates made in Africa," according to its owners, who fell in love with Madagascar while on a Peace Corps assignment. They claim that making the chocolate in-country multiplies the good of the enterprise for local people. Try the 70% cocoa dark bar, or the pink pepper and citrus for something different. ($6 per 75-gram bar at or $30 for a four-bar gift pack at .
A pioneer in fair trade, makes excellent organic chocolates in a variety of flavors. One of our favorites: The Organic Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt. $4.25 each at or .
Coming in a variety of flavors, are not only organic and fair trade, but also serve to enhance the lives of a small Mexican tribe. Try the Macadamia Nut and Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt Chocolate bar, $5.15 at .
If your lover loves animals, then you'll definitely want to check out . All profits from the dark chocolate goodies go toward supporting a new animal rescue charity each month from across the country.
The sampler package features a range of Rescue chocolate bars in a variety of fun flavors like Peanut Butter Pit Bull, Foster-iffic Peppermint and the chewy Mission Feral Fig, which is filled with cranberries, almonds and figs. Shop at or .
A bar of organic chocolate and espresso for two. Sounds pretty romantic to us! controls every step of the chocolate-making process from "the bean to the bar," paying Belize cocoa farmers fair trade prices and supporting their cooperative. And earlier this year, they announced their commitment to move their entire line to Fair Trade Certified in the U.S. Shop at .
Seattle's uses fire-roasted, organic and fair trade certified cocoa beans. Try their delicious salted caramels, in rose, lavender and chili flavors for your spicy sweetheart! $8.80 for box of four. Shop at .
What we really love about is that it's the world's first farmer-owned, certified fair trade chocolate brand, dedicated to improving the livelihood of small-scale cocoa farmers in Ghana. That and the fact that it tastes decadent, a word we love around here. Shop at .
donates 10% of its net profits to help support at-risk species, habitat and humanity. These delicious chocolates are made with ethically traded, shade-grown cacao and are certified organic. Indulge your sweet tooth and know that your money is going toward the greater good. Plus, cute animals on the package! Shop at .
Just a few years old, Smith Organic Chocolates is a small operation that includes Donna Smith, her husband Kirby and friend Melanie making homemade chocolate goodies using as many certified organic ingredients as possible. Donna's signature is her Organic Almond Butter Balls ($17.99 for a half-pound) that can come special in a red Valentine's box with a personalized message. For those who want some classic romance, take a bite out of the Cameo 2-Piece Heart Box ($18.99). You can choose organic white or dark chocolate for the base of the box as well as a variety of colors for the elegant cameo on top. Buy online at or .
Boston-based makes incredible chocolates with subtle but bright flavors using a stone-ground process based on traditional techniques used in Oaxaca, Mexico, where the cacao beans are grown. Not only organic, this chocolate is Direct Trade-certified, which means farmers are paid a premium wage for a premium commodity, even more than a fair-trade price, according to the chocolate-makers. From $5.50 at .
Pair a couple of these chocolate beauties from with The Sting or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and you've got a sweetly sustainable, affordable and totally romantic evening. $30.55 and up for a 12-pack at .
If variety is the spice of life, the Sampler is a must ($44.95). This selection is deliciously Twilight-themed, with "Eclipse" and "New Moon" bars. The fine organic chocolate bars also come in flavors like lavender and roseberry, and each bar is wrapped in 100% recycled paper, with biodegradable labels. Shop at .
Get drunk with love for 's tempting assortment of organic and fair trade artisanal chocolate bonbons. The company uses a mix of certified organic and fair trade ingredients for its "Bacchanal" and "Roman Holiday" flavored treats. New for this year are "drunken figs," which are smothered in chocolate ($35). All ingredients are regionally grown and sustainably harvested, and each delectable candy is filled with a splash of liqueur or wine. Yum!
For something a little different, try chocolates, made with traditional (almond), unique (mint) and odd (quinoa) ingredients mixed into organic and Fair Trade-certified chocolate made in Switzerland. $29.50 for three at or $4.39 each at .
For something a little exotic, try 's Goji Berries covered in milk or dark chocolate. Goji berries, discovered in the Himalayas 3,000 years ago, are known as a powerful anti-oxidant containing many vitamins and at least 18 amino acids. Combine that with the health benefits of chocolate and you get one healthy yet tasty fusion of flavors. $10.99 at .
These decadent handmade chocolate truffles come in several tempting flavors, including milk, dark, white, cognac, whipped and caramel flavors. $34.95 for a 10 pack, they and are delivered in a hand-painted, pearlized box. $35-$60 at or .
dark chocolate-coated cacao nibs pack a wallop of goodness, and come in reusable tin packs. No ordinary candy, Sweetriot is refreshing and all natural, as well as antioxidant-rich, dairy-free, kosher, and gluten-free. The fair trade chocolates come in three formulations, including with espresso. Yum! Available at and .
is a company devoted to upholding fair-trade practices using only organic, non-GMO ingredients. They are also friendly to those with allergies being a gluten-free facility, using organic soy in all their products and keeping their factory free of eggs and gelatin. Indulge the one you love in one of their tubs of Organic Fair Trade Vegan Chocolate Hearts or the Cherry Truffle Hearts (both $65). They also offer limited edition boxes of chocolates like The Valentine Truffle Birdie Box handmade by a women's cooperative using tree free fibers and filled with creamy truffles ($17.50). Shop at .