GoEco Recommends: Certifiably Awesome Chocolate

Chocolate. Need we say more? It’s the indulgence that everyone loves, whether it be your Easter egg treat, your Christmas nibble, or your warming cup at the end of a long day. But as much as we love chocolate, it’s important to be aware of where your indulgence comes from, the practises involved in its production and the sustainability of its ingredients.

The cocoa industry has been somewhat notorious for its inhumane practises, with forced labour, low-wages, and slavery rampant in some supply chains. And with the highest carbon footprint of any plant-based food, chocolate puts a heavy strain on the environment.

But there are ethical companies determined to make chocolate great not only for the choccy-nibbler, but for the dedicated workers involved in its production chain too. With the rise of the plant-based diet, more and more vegan options are also coming to market – a valid excuse to try them all in our opinion. Next time that sweet tooth needs satisfying, have a try of our favourite brands below.

Our Top Picks…

Beyond Good 

Company: Working directly with cocoa farmers across Madagascar, Beyond Good cut out the middlemen so that their growers can keep more of their profits. In fact, you can ‘Meet the Farmers’ on their site, demonstrating the absolute transparency Beyond Good is committed to. In the early days of Beyond Good, the company not only financed the growers chocolate crop but their staple rice crop too, and the mutual respect sees the Beyond Good folk hitching lifts with the growers when they are in town – a true working relationship based on trust, fairness and respect. Environmentally, they pioneer shade-growing, agroforestry techniques which have the added benefit of providing habitats for endangered species such as lemurs on the island. 

Product: Beyond Good proudly use Criollo heirloom and close derivative Trinitario cocoa – the former being world’s oldest and arguably most prize bean famed for its flavour. 90% of the world’s cocoa is the Forastero variety; hardier but less finely flavoured cocoa, with just 3% of the world’s cocoa now coming from Criollo. We adore the sea salt and nibs, 63% single origin Madagascan cocoa bar, and every single one of their bars are vegan, meaning there is no excuse not to give them a go. And if you are trying your hand at some baking (vegan or otherwise) be sure to grab their pure Madagascan Vanilla, which comes in both bean and extract forms. 

Seed and Bean

Company: This ethical brand uses deliberately small production facilities to keep their carbon footprint low and wrap all of their chocolate bars in compostable foil. Mostly Fairtrade and wholly organic, Seed and Bean are stocked at Sainsbury’s so should be easy enough to come by. 

Product: Seed and Bean provide a range of dark (vegan), milk and white chocolate varieties, with a wide variety of fascinating flavours from sweet orange and thyme to lemon and poppyseed. If you are a white chocolate fan, we highly recommend the raspberry and vanilla flavour.

Doisy and Dam 

Company: Drawn in initially by – we won’t lie – the awesome name, this team of dedicated chocolatiers ensure that all their products are palm oil free and wrapped in recyclable packaging. Most of their beans are sourced in Columbia with a streamlined supply chain straight to Kent. B-Corp certified Doisy and Dam prioritise ethical practice, working with Columbian-owned Luker Chocolate manufacturers who set up one of two not-for-profit cocoa research facilities in the world, with the sole purpose of producing the best cocoa possible whilst training farmers across Colombia to quadruple their yields, raise their profits and achieve a better quality of life.

Product: Dark chocolate is Doisy and Dam’s speciality, with all their products 100% certified vegan. They have a variety of bars, snack bags, truffles and sharers, with the Doisy and Dam Almond Nuttercups being our personal favourite. 

Divine

Company: Fairtrade-certified and widely renowned for their ethical practice, Divine has been around for a while and are also now B-Corp certified. Divine describes itself as a social enterprise; a business determined to make a profit but also act as a force for good. As co-owners, Divine’s cocoa farmers receive shares of the distributable profits from chocolate sales, and Divine are particularly passionate about the empowerment of female farmers. In 2020 Divine used Sierra Leone’s first forest-friendly cocoa beans, but due to their B-Corp certification and links to Fairtrade, you can trust that all their farms make outstanding efforts towards environmental protection. 

Product: Divine have a wide variety of chocolate treats on offer, and also sell baking chocolate for the Mary Berry’s out there. From after-dinner thins to hot chocolate there’s so much to choose from, along with an enormous range of cocoa percentage strengths – allowing you to find your ideal indulgence. 

Montezumas

Company: Montezumas was set up by two lawyers who left the rat race to travel South America after falling in love, but besides the adorable backstory they’re an amazing company. They are palm oil-free, use eco-packaging, and source sustainable cocoa beans directly from suppliers. Montezumas are also serious about reducing their carbon footprint; they are increasing video conferences to reduce travel and use only renewables in their manufacturing processes.

Product: Montezumas giant chocolate buttons deserve a mention here, but there is so much to choose from again in their range. Their recently released 100% cocoa bar is well worth a try (although not for the faint-hearted) – and their gift boxes make a great present. 


We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: hello@goeco.co.uk. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!

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