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Chocolate! and other Easter gifts.

I did not want to mention it before – as it may be not be a subject many of us want to think about the day/s following Easter. Especially when you consider:

  • We were expected to consume 80 million eggs in Scotland alone over Easter (The Sunday Herald)
  • This equates to 3.5 eggs per person according to the recent Somerfield Supermarket Survey (now notorious on these pages!)
  • The Times, April 4 expected that Brits were to spend a whopping £520 million on Easter Eggs this year!

Following Easter – it was reported that the Easter weekend was worth £7.8billion to UK retailers (4% more than last year). A manager of the "Glasgow Fort" shopping centre said that other than Christmas, it was their busiest time.

Looking around the shops myself in Edinburgh (which was described as “booming”) there were a lot of bargains to be found – even on the Saturday prior to Easter shops had started to reduce their merchandise. Perhaps, as we are beginning to celebrate Easter by giving more than just an eggs (with kids increasingly expecting toys in addition – akin almost to Christmas – who wants a stingy Easter Bunny?!) – maybe savvy shoppers are keeping gifts aside until next year. Many of the eggs sold this year have a best before date after next Easter. It is not only eggs however. A great example I found was the Early Learning Centre on the Saturday prior to Easter had many items reduced from £6 to £1.50 including craft sets that could be used all round and easter egg hunt sets that can be use for years and years to come.

(Quotes and figures from The Metro, 10 April 2007)

Returning to the subject to chocolate (not that I'm obsessed or anything!) - but have you ever thought about how and where your easter eggs are made? Easter is now seen as a traditionally Christian festival – but how Christian (or ethical if you are not a believer) is what you buy?

Slave Trade - There has been much in the papers recently regarding Easter Eggs and “the slave trade” which begs the question “is it possible to have an “ethical” Easter at all?” This appears to have been something that has been going on for some time (undoubtedly the slave trade has been an ongoing issue – but specifically relating to the Easter Egg trade I am refining it to at present). Campaigners are now warning that “thousands of children are working slave labour on West African cocoa farms to help produce Easter chocolate for the UK”. BBC News 6 April 2007

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