So for my first #FairTradeFriday post in months, I’m afraid I’m going to burst all of my fellow southerners’ Blue Bell bubble… y’all, I can’t find anything that indicates Blue Bell ice cream uses any Fair Trade ingredients.
Thankfully, they did sort out the additional concerns about what was in their ice cream this past year (and I had my first bowl of Homemade Vanilla the other night and it was HEAVEN) but since my beloved ice cream has returned to North Texas, it’s made me wonder–where do they get their vanilla? Their chocolate? Sugar? These ingredients commonly come from areas where the laborers are exploited. For instance, did you know that it is estimated that 40% of the world’s chocolate is produced by slave labor? (Facts-About-Chocolate.com) I’ll post more about that in the future.
I decided to follow through with my questions, and tried to do a little more research into Blue Bell. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to actually going about this! I searched free2work.org, but this is a smaller company, so no information there. I scoured Google, and found nothing. So I tried contacting them directly via their consumer relations number, which seemed appropriate… and I’ve gotten nowhere. The only info I could really get is that they are a privately owned company and don’t publish any information about their suppliers. Fair enough, but I could never seem to get a hold of someone who could listen to my concerns.
Well, I’m not giving up, and I’m definitely not saying I won’t buy Blue Bell again–but this has made me look more into how to better contact my favorite brands and encourage them to take steps to ensure that their products are made even more amazing by being more ethical. I’m still doing a little digging on that, and post more about what I’ve found next week.
And if anyone has any additional information on Blue Bell, please share it with me! I’d love to find out more. I’m merely pointing out that these are questions we should be asking of all the products we love, so we can be conscious consumers.
Meanwhile if you want to support an alternative, or need something else while you’re still waiting on Blue Bell, or have no clue what this brand is that I’m talking about in the first place, there’s another amazing ice cream brand that you might not have realized is Fair Trade certified: Ben & Jerry’s.
Read more about their efforts:
- Ben & Jerry’s Sourcing New Ingredients, Renaming Flavors to Meet Non-GMO, Fairtrade Standard
- Ben & Jerry’s now sourcing Fairtrade ingredients for all ice cream flavors
- Fair Trade info on Ben & Jerry’s website
Have a wonderful Friday! 🙂