By Ann Marie Foley - 18 March, 2015
A new Easter egg has been launched in Ireland which aims to put the true meaning back into eating eggs at Easter.
The ‘Happy Easter Egg’ is the brainchild of Julie Carvill who felt that the vast array of colourfully wrapped chocolate eggs in shops gave no indication of the real meaning of Easter.
The “Happy” in the title of her eggs comes from the Easter story itself and the risen Lord.
“If you walk around any Irish main street at the moment, you might realise that Easter is coming. But what would you think it was about? Chocolate and bunny rabbits and little cute chickens, and you really wouldn’t have a notion that it was about the crucifixion,” she told CatholicIreland.net.
“Unless you go in the door of a church, the message is completely lost. That is the point of this. It is a Happy Easter Egg and inside is a little booklet with the Happy Easter story. We got that name from a children’s bible where the Easter story finished saying that the disciples were so happy because Jesus was alive again.”
Julie Carvill, who runs a small Christian book and gift shop, The Gallery Bookshop in Bray, imported Easter Eggs in the past but decided to improve the quality and go all Irish this year.
She sourced the eggs with an Irish chocolate company and hired an Irish designer to get the packaging perfect.
An Irish writer created the rhymes for the Happy Easter Story booklet which is in easy-to-read rhyme with illustrations, which are perfect for children.
There is also an online audio version of the Happy Easter Story, as well as a free Easter competition, and lots more on the website.
The quality Irish chocolate egg and honeycomb crisp milk chocolates (total 195g) are made from ethically sourced cocoa beans farmed with respect for workers’ rights, and as they are made in Ireland, they also support Irish business.
For every Happy Easter Egg purchase, 10 cent is donated to the Hope Foundation, an Irish charity giving hope to street and slum children in Kolkata (Calcutta), children who do not know the comfort and security of a safe home or regular meals, and certainly have never had the luxury of an Easter egg.
The special eggs are being sold via parishes which take orders from parishioners and order in bull.
Some parishes ordered the eggs for their children’s groups and altar servers.
While an initial deadline of 15 March was set, there are still plenty of Happy Eggs left. All orders online or by phone are welcome as long as stocks last and there is enough time for delivery.
Julie Carvill is not the only one concerned about the true message of Easter and ethically produced Easter Eggs.
The Sisters of Mercy and their partners-in-ministry working on opposing human trafficking are asking that people choose Fair Trade chocolate this Easter and all year round.
In their online news service the Sisters highlight that it is estimated that of the 4 million tons of cocoa beans produced annually, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) produce 70% of the world’s cocoa supply.
Research by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) shows that many cocoa farming families survive on real incomes of about 40 cents per dependent per day.
Such low earnings make it difficult for farmers to pay hired labourers at the legally required minimum wage.
Consequently, child labour, including child trafficking, is common. The ILRF estimates that between 500,000 and 1.5 million children are engaged in child labour.
The Sisters advise that farmers operating with Fairtrade Certification, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified are engaging in good labour practices.
They urge everyone to check for logos of such certification when buying Easter Eggs and chocolate.
To order Happy Easter Eggs: 085 229 3722
Also see: www.christianbooks.ie