Ethical, sustainable cacao – from the roots to the wrapper
Ethical cacao production is a journey, not a destination. Companies that really want to get it right need to continually reflect, re-assess, measure and develop their ethical business practices.
We’re continuously improving our methods as we learn more about the complexities and nuances of each region we work with. These methods are not fixed entities – they grow just like the cacao we all love so much.
That’s why we can confidently say our cacao is ethical. Whether in St Lucia or Ghana, where most of our cacao is grown, or in other regions around the world, we are hands-on, engaged and committed to being ethical.
The Hotel Chocolat Cacao Sustainability Charter:
Cacao Sustainability Charter: The Four Pillars
KNOW YOUR FARMER:
- Traceability back to exact farm location
- Understanding farmer age and gender as part of our commitment to preventing child labour
Our vision: Farmers work on a professional and diverse farm, which is self-sustaining
Key achievements: We’ve appointed an independent agency to interview our farmers to identify what they require, in order to further improve our programmes
- Raising incomes to Living Income standards.
- Farming best practice educational and Young Farmer programmes to encourage cacao farming as a viable career, and sustainably improve farm yields.
- Gentle Farming program (Sep 2021 onwards, Ghana) to further improve climate change resilience and enhance biodiversity.
Our Vision: Cacao farmers deserve the same respect as growers of fine Syrah and Chardonnay grapes. They are fairly compensated so that they can afford a living income for themselves and their families.
Key achievements: Weekly radio shows share farming tips with remote communities
Guarantee to buy all yields from our farmers.
Guarantee to pay a premium price per kg significantly above market-rate: Equitable or better than Fair Trade.
- Putting the infrastructure in place to support the health and education of our farming communities
- Child labour prevention
Our Vision: Robust structures are in place that enable communities and government to continually address the root causes of child labour and adapt best practice to prevent it
• Over 2,500 medical treatments at the medical centre in Osuben that we funded.
• 6 boreholes providing clean water for farming communities in 2019 and 2020.
• Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation scheme operating in Ghana
• Gentle Farming Charter (Sep 2021 onwards, Ghana) to level up existing strategies and provide even greater community support, including total eradication of child labour.
- Encouraging and facilitating tree planting
- Ensuring no deforestation
- Shade-growing and biodiversity incentivised and measured.
- Farms GPS-mapped to help monitor the above commitments
Our Vision: Farmers’ land is free from deforestation, and farming practice is environmentally friendly, including crop diversification and to mitigate climate change impacts. This is continually monitored and adapted in accordance with the latest best practice.
• Farmers commit to zero deforestation in return for premium price
• All farms GPS-mapped and confirmed not adjacent to protected land
• Six nurseries that we fund in Ghana alone have supplied over 100,000 quality tree seedlings this year