Displaying items by tag: chocolate
A well-known chocolate brand has omitted any reference to Advent from its Christmas calendars, calling them instead ‘Countdown Calendars'. Known to fans simply as Tony’s, the Fairtrade brand was founded in 2005 by three TV journalists who discovered that many chocolate manufacturers bought cocoa from plantations accused of modern slavery and using child labour. Launching their first festive calendar their promotion asked, ‘Are you looking for a way to count down to Christmas that gives you an excuse to chomp on our chocolate for 24 days straight? This is it.’ The company said making no reference to Advent keeps it ‘accessible to all who celebrate the festive season’. Christian Concern expressed unease over the marketing, saying, ‘To remove Advent from Christmas is to miss the meaning of Christmas.’ Others also criticised the ‘woke’ move, asking what is a ‘countdown’ to if not the birth of Jesus Christ.
Women who have had a brush with the law are turning their lives around by making luxury handmade chocolates at a community interest company called Positive Changes. People with criminal records face barriers to employment - no qualifications, low self-esteem. Grace Chocolates, based in a church hall, is breaking their cycle of re-offending by giving them a job. In twelve months, six volunteers working with women one day a week made 19,000 chocolate truffles. Mary, an ex-drug user, said, ‘I was put on a court order and got involved with Positive Changes. It’s more than just a chocolate-making company. Words cannot easily describe how my life has been turned round 360o. When I started the course I was quiet and withdrawn. But my self-esteem and self-confidence is now sky-high by comparison. Rev Dan Harper said, ‘Positive Changes is freeing ladies to grow into the people that God made: wonderful, worthwhile people capable of love, compassion and hope.’