Gaia Milk Chocolate Drops
Weight: .875 oz. (25 g.) / 3.5 oz. (99 g.) in total package/box
Calories: 133.5 calories in 1/4 package/box
Cost: $2.49 for 1 package
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA
Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Organic Theme Week.
These Gaia Milk Chocolate Drops from Bridge Brands (San Francisco, CA) were USDA Organic (Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth*) and Fair Trade Certified.
Rather than a bar, this chocolate was formed into thin, disc-shaped milk chocolate rounds. These milk chocolate drops were nestled in a recyclable, slim brown box, printed with soy-based inks. Made with "organically grown and sustainably harvested" ingredients, Bridge Brands' Gaia line of milk (and dark) chocolates is geared toward helping farmers lead a better life.
The disc or drop shape allows chocolate flavors to be easily accessible for tasting. In this case, the milk chocolate tasted uniformly sweet; and that may delight some. However, the high percentage of sugar in milk chocolate can obscure subtle chocolate flavors.
Yesterday, I wrote about organic certification and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are also almost 80 third-party certifiers, or accredited certifying agents, who are authorized by the government to certify organic products. That list includes Oregon Tilth's Certified Organic (OTCO) program.
Oregon Tilth (Corvallis, OR) is a third party, non-profit organization that worked with USDA on the National Organic Program. Oregon Tilth staff focuses on sustainably raised food, from farm to table. (Their work also extends to manufacturers and retailers -- with fibers, textiles and personal care products.)
Food companies (farmers, processors, others) pay an annual certification fee (from a fee schedule that's based on income) and an inspection fee to become certified.