Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Social and Ethical Commitment
- We accept responsibility to assure that all ingredients in our products have been sourced through ethical and socially responsible means.
- We work to uphold International Labor Organization (ILO) standards with respect to child labor in cocoa bean harvesting.
- We will actively communicate our social responsibility philosophy.
- We are committed to a social solution that works for the farmer, the interim handlers, our chocolate supplier, and our customers and consumers.
- We will actively strive to get 3rd party certification for all Chocolove products.
- We will retain the same great flavor and trust of our consumers.
- We will continue to offer the best value.
We recognize that we must deliver the best flavor and value as well as the most transparent social position and sustainability practices as part of our overall commitment to customer satisfaction.
We Will Continue
- Chocolove will continue to offer and promote our three delicious organic Fair Trade bars.
- For the remainder of our chocolate bars, we will continue to participate in the Barry Callebaut quality partner program and to source our chocolate from their Growing Great Chocolate cocoa beans.
- We will continue to contribute more than our share to World Cocoa Foundation.
- We will continue to support the USDA cocoa reserve and research project.
The Way Forward
- In 2013 Chocolove will seek For Life certification of the Growing Great Chocolate program in West Africa. This is a priority with regard to child labor.
- When we obtain For Life certification, we will start the process of certifying at the next level above the For Life standards which will likely be Fair for Life.
We make and sell 3 flavors of organically grown and Fair Trade USA chocolate bars. These bars are also high cocoa content. They have been available for over 2 years now. If you don’t find them in your local store, please ask the store to carry these great bars or you can buy them direct from us.
Of our other chocolates, most of the cocoa beans are sourced through the Growing Great Chocolate program (GGC). This is a program set up and run by Barry Callebaut. We support the program because it focuses on helping the farmer grow more and better beans as a way to get more farmer revenue and build community. We also believe that while Barry Callebaut buys beans from the farmers’ coops or exporters, it is their rightful role to raise up the farmer and in doing so also ensure the future supply of quality chocolate. While not all of our chocolates are made from GGC beans, not all of our chocolate is made from beans from West Africa. GGC program farmers must sign an affidavit to the effect that they abide by ILO standards for child labor and if found to be in violation are removed from the GGC program.
We are a contributor to the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). We contribute more than our dues. We were one of the first members that does not actually buy and grind cocoa beans into chocolate. We like that the WCF is farmer-focused and helps all farmers irrespective of whether they sign up for a program. The WCF approach strives to organize and educate farmers on issues of labor, proper use of soil amendments and plant treatments, crop management and post harvest handling with a view to increase farmer knowledge and then productivity which raises farmer income in a self-sustainable way.
We fund projects at the USDA Cocoa Research Station. Our funding is spent on a number of projects related to collecting, genetic fingerprinting and preserving as many varieties of Theobroma cacao as possible. The cocoa seed, unlike most seeds, cannot be stored and remain viable. In order to preserve species the cocoa plant must be kept growing and producing. Part of our funding goes to rapid and mass propagation methods that could make thousands of plants in a short time to respond to disease or weather damaged regions. Saving all the unique varieties we can find maintains genetic diversity so that the farmer has good varieties to plant that can resist disease with minimal or no chemical use and provide good yields with fewer soil amendments. Reducing inputs while reducing loss and increasing yield raises farmer revenue.
We take a variety of approaches towards ethics, social issues and sustainability because each program answers a certain customer’s need or farmer’s need. We are one party in a supply chain of 8 from farmer to consumer. We are position 5 in the supply chain of: farmer, coop, exporter, roaster grinder(chocolate maker), Chocolove, distributor, store, consumer. Despite being in the middle we are obviously committed to the consumer as is evident by the quality and flavor of our products. We are also dedicated to our employees and see they get twice the minimum wage and full health care paid, among many other quality of life issues. Despite being four steps from the farmer we also accept the responsibility to see that farmers have every opportunity to raise themselves up and make better lives for themselves and their children. Overall we strive to see that all eight parties in the supply chain are cared for, compensated properly and follow all labor laws.