Time to upgrade your chocolate
9 Responsible Chocolate Companies for Your Next Craving
If you’re going to indulge (and, let’s face it, we all need a little indulgence right about now), do it right! Traditionally made chocolates lack in flavor, heath benefits and often harm people and the planet.
Chocolate manufacturing can be hard on the environment. Approximately 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from East Africa, and experts believe almost three-quarters of illegal deforestation in the region is related to the chocolate industry. More than 200,000 hectares of forest were cleared for chocolate production from 2001-2014, almost half of which was on protected land.
It’s often bad for workers as well. An estimated 1.5 million children work within the chocolate industry in dangerous conditions and for little profit. Global commodity pricing means farmers see only a fraction of the money made from their cocoa beans, and most can’t afford to purchase the final product.
But the story doesn’t end here. Many companies are challenging the status quo by producing chocolate that is lighter on the environment and more supportive of the people who produce it.
We chose to highlight the following brands because they focus on premium, sustainably-sourced ingredients for chocolates that are well worth the calories. In most cases, they are also better for your health!
Nine Top Socially and Environmental Responsible Premium Chocolate Brands to Taste
Below are nine chocolate companies that stand out – not only for their premium products but for their commitment to doing right by the planet and the people within it. Can chocolate save the world? These brands have us thinking there’s a chance!
Goodio – Vegan Craft Chocolate
Price: €25 (five bars)
With a vision to bring Nordic inspired flavors and principles of well-being, transparancy and sustainability to the world, the Finnish chocolatier created Goodio Craft Chocolates. Handmade in Helsinki, Goodio chocolate is premium quality, made from organic, raw, vegan ingredients and packaged in a biodegradable wrapper so beautifully that you almost won’t want to open it…almost. The company keeps its chocolate at low temperatures during production to ensure the raw cacao’s taste takes center stage.
Goodio prioritizes transparency throughout its supply chain, as its cocoa beans come from organic farms in Peru, Ecuador, and the Congo. For your health, each bar is sweetened with Indonesian coconut palm sugar, which has a lower glycemic index than standard sugar.
Hu Kitchen – Paleo-friendly Chocolate
Price: Starts at $5.42/bar
On a mission to replace industrial unhealthy ingredients commonly found in chocolate to simple, heathy ones, Hu founders created a brand that centered around the wellbeing of humans. They proved that delicious paleo-friendly chocolate is more than possible. The company prioritizes sustainably sourced, premium-quality, whole-food ingredients that make its chocolate bars a natural fit within a healthy lifestyle.
Hu’s trademark Simple chocolate bar, for instance, contains nothing but organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, and organic, fair-trade cocoa butter for a sweet treat you can feel good about.
Raaka – Organic Single Origin Small Batch Chocolate
Taking its name from the Finnish word for raw, this Brooklyn-based company captures the allure of Nordic chocolate in every bar. Raaka chocolate is made from scratch and comes from sustainably sourced, unroasted beans that let you focus on the complex flavors other confectioners camouflage in filler ingredients.
The company is committed to transparent trade and purchases cacao directly from cooperatives that prioritize sustainability and premium pricing for the growers. This means that the farmers are protected from market fluctuations and often take home a higher profit percentage than possible with Fair Trade Certification.
Vosges Haut-Chocolate – Artisinal Wellness Chocolates
Chocolate as medicine?! Okay, we’re listening. Vosges Haut-Chocolat is said to have healing properties for the mind and soul thanks to a process that infuses all chocolates with a frequency at 528hz, which is sustained as the chocolate cools and said to have transformational, healing and shift energy on a cellular level, which is said to balance one’s mind, body and spirit.
Using the finest ingredients available, founder Katrina Markoff, pulled inspiration from her travels and flavors her chocolate with indigenous spices, flowers, herbs, roots, and liqueurs for sensory experiences meant to that expand your palate.
This chocolate may also help heal the planet as all Vosges Haut-Chocolat comes from a certified organic manufacturing facility that operates on 100% renewable energy. The ingredients come from premier growers worldwide, many of whom are organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified. The company monitors all steps of its supply chain and has planted a cacao crop in Belize to take greater responsibility for every stage of production.
Beyond Good – heirloom and single origin chocolate
Truly living up to its name, all Beyond Good chocolate is organic, vegan-friendly, and made from single-origin cocoa beans from Madagascar or Uganda.
The brand cuts out the middleman to ensure its farmers benefit from their business, and the company uses agroforestry techniques to restore forests and promote biodiversity. This leads to greater sustainability for the entire chocolate industry. In fact, many of the brand’s chocolate bars are made right in Madagascar to keep production close to cocoa farmers for maximum freshness.
Price: $5.95/ big bar, $2.39 small bar
Calling itself the “sweet solution to chocolate’s bitter truth,” Tony’s Chocolonelly is on a mission to do away once and for all with the horrible practices often associated with traditional chocolate production around the world. This chocolate company works “to end modern slavery and illegal child labor in the chocolate industry” by focusing on sourcing principles that address the poverty, unfairness and exploitation typical in cocoa supply chain. What’s more, they lay out a plan so that anyone else, yes their competitiors, can do the same. Their Sweet Solution bars demand human rights legislation to help eradicate the use of child and slave labor prevalent in chocolate production. Accountability – legislation to hold companies accountable for what happens in their supply chain — about legal parameters versus traditional charity-based approach. 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.
Good Now Farms Chocolate – single origin, direct trade
Price: $12/ 55g bar
Good Now Farms Chocolate
This award wining chocolate is made from some of the best single origin cacao beans in Latin America which means the distinct bean flavors are intense and pure in the chocolate. Good Now always trades directly with producers and pays a premium for their beans. Good Now Farms the it a step farther by They roast, grind, mold and package their chocolate all on their farm. Unlike mass market chocolates, which are heavily alkalized and therefore contain significantly reduced amounts of beneficial antioxidants, Good Now Farms chocolate is never alkalized and doesn’t contain any additives, so it is also better for your health!
By focusing on key values of community, honesty, excellence and wellbeing, this chocolate company seeks to change the chocolate game and make the world a more beautiful place in the process. Lofty ambitions, for sure, but it does seem they’re on they’re way to doing just that. Their supply chain features stable pricing, full transparency, this party verification. With their wide assortment of gourmet chocolate bars, gift boxes and specialty chocolates treats they are most certainly up to the important task of elevating your chocolate experience.
With its “full circle approach,” Alter Eco describes its chocolate as an “enlightened indulgence.” The key to enlightenment being: clean ingredients, investment in farmers, regenerating the earth and elimination of waste. A Certified B Corp, Alter Eco makes Organic chocolates are Fair Trade certified and as just about as decadent as it gets. They offer a wide variety of chocolates from Deep Dark BLACKOUT to Quinoa Crunch and everything in between. So go ahead, dive in. It’s for the good of the planet.
Craving more or looking for a great gift for the holidays? Check out The Meadow Chocolate Club or Kekao Subscription Boxes for some of the finest craft chocolates for guilt free year round indulgence.
Story by L. Noyes & A. Lynch
Header image: Vie-Studio/Pexels