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Ethical competition prizes help launch new book

Launching ‘The Dark Quest of Countess X’ with an unambiguous anti-slavery writing competition lets me openly draw attention to two of this country’s favourite retail manufacturers – The Body Shop and JH Whittaker & Sons – and their commitment to slave-free supply chains and ending modern slavery in all its forms. Both companies are generous donors of prizes for the competition winners.

Founded in different countries in different economic climates, these companies remain staunchly committed to their originators’ ethical principles, Anita Roddick in the case of the Body Shop and J H Whittaker who brought his passion for chocolate from England to New Zealand in 1890.

As well as scrupulously monitoring their supply chains, The Body Shop has partnered with anti-slavery organizations Somaly Mam Foundation and ECPAT to create the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign.

Cocoa is at high risk for being produced by slaves or child labour yet Whittakers maintains its integrity with almost all of its range certified through Rainforest Alliance in 2020. As part of the merger of two non-profit watchdog programmes, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ*, Whittakers will transition to the new Rainforest Alliance logo and new certification rules by March 2021.

*UTZ means ‘good’ in the Maya language. It is also a label for sustainable farming.