In 2011, Chocolove embarked upon a process of doing our part by buying fully traceable cocoa: traceable in every step in the supply chain back to the farmer. It would take two years of persistent work to get it set up, and to get a seal on the back of our package. It was hard to do. A key to the success of fully traceable supply to the farmer was Rainforest Alliance and Utz, who had gone before me and were well established in-country.
Chocolove specifies certified, fully traceable cocoa. Over 90% of the cocoa beans that we purchase and package are traceable to the farmer coop where they were grown. What this means is the cocoa in a Chocolove bar is the cocoa that is from certified farms. You might expect this to be a simple fact for all chocolate, but not so for some other companies. Certification on our wrapper means that the cocoa in the bar was made by people following the laws of the International Labor Organization and the rules of the Rainforest Alliance. While you might think the Rainforest Alliance only cares about the rainforest, they are in fact focused on people first, as stewards of the land and forest.
In the words of the Rainforest Alliance, “The advancement of basic human rights is intrinsic to sustainable land management and forest conservation… The earliest sustainability certification standards we helped develop included provisions to guard against child labor and forced labor—and to protect the land rights of indigenous people”.
Fascinating to consider that buying a Chocolove bar helps to protect the earth’s complex and vital ecosystem. Today it is easier than it was in 2011 to imagine all the people, and yet the work is still hard to do. I hope today you’ll join us and work to help the world live as one.