Why are we different from other chocolate stores?
At Cacao & Spice we believe that chocolate that is Single Origin
and that comes from a biodiverse environment,
creates a chocolate product which is a lot more tasty,
while at the same time creating a positive impact for small (female) farmers,
bio diversity and nature preservation projects.
That is why we made the choice to only work with single origin chocolate, that comes from a bio diverse environment.
Did you know that cacao, just like wine and coffee, take in the flavor of their surroundings?
Nowadays most chocolate, even many FairTrade labeled brands, come from a mono culture.
Cacao is a shadow tree, which means it needs the shadow of bigger trees to grow in. If there is no shade, the fruit might burn.
To prevent this, mono culture plantations spray a kind of 'sun screen' upon the cacao fruits.
Non of our cacao comes from a mono culture plantation, but all are grown in a biodiverse environment.
This also creates the best taste as the cacao trees take up all the rich flavors of their surroundings.
We plant trees! By buying our Cacao & Spice chocolate boxes, homemade bonbons or Original Beans chocolate bars you are supporting several reforestation and nature preservation projects around the planet.
For every 200 gram one tree is planted, and for every Original Beans bar, also one tree is planted.
Also you are supporting small (Indigenous) communities, female farmers and the preservation of rare cacao beans.
You are also assisting the preservation of old growth forest, since our cacao is planted in the shades of big trees instead of in a clearcut mono culture.
In total over 2 million trees have been planted through the projects of Original Beans.
All of our chocolate brands are made by passionate people who invest in nature preservation and small rural (indigenous) communities.
fair trade vs.
Small farmers are finding it impossible to survive on the fluctuating FairTrade price for their cacao beans.
We stopped believing in Fair Trade Schemes and limit ourselves to only working with 'Direct Trade' chocolate, ensuring transparent trade.
There are no more than 2 steps between our shop and farmers.
This way small farmers can earn 2x, 3x or even 4x the price a kilo they would earn with "FairTrade" cacao beans.
For us this was a logical choice to do, not only to create and sell the most delicious chocolate in the world, but also to create a better world for is all, through the healing power of cacao.
According to different international studies there could be up to 2.5 million child slaves working in the cacao industry, while almost every chocolate nowadays bares a certification.
Children are even being abducted from their homes and kidnapped to other countries, and forced to work on cacao plantations.
On these plantations they are forced to work with pesticides, without receiving any protective clothing or care.
In the last 10 years, child slavery in cacao has actually gone up by 30% in the big cacao industry.
Some tips if you would like to know more about this:
The documentary 'A bitter taste: chocolate's heart of darkness' https://vimeo.com/ondemand/chocolatedoc
Follow IR Advocates, who on behalf of 8 former child slaves, sued the big chocolate companies
You can make a difference and help slow down deforestation and the exploitation of people and nature. Simply by consuming the right chocolate.
Don't be fooled by labels or certifications, as many chocolate brands have their own certifications schemes, instead, look for:
- Information about the farm or corporation where the cacao is from. Is it mentioned on the packaging? Or on the website?
- Check the price, if it is below 4 euros for a 100 gram bar, warning flags should go off.
- Is the cacao from a mono culture or an agroforestry project or (protected) national park?
- Did the chocolatemaker buy the beans directly from the farmer? And do they have a long term relationship with the farmers?
Also check out the global movement of the IR Advocates (International Rights Advocates):
Change the world,
one chocolate at a time ;)