*How treating yourself can benefit others worldwide*
If you follow us at all, you know we LOVE Valrhona Chocolate. Not only is it literally the finest chocolate in the world, their heart for others is just as grand as their incredible reputation.
At The Chocolate Season, we made a very conscience effort to support a company that would stretch our dollar further. Chocolate is not inexpensive, it’s a highly sought after resource and is in high demand with short supply. We knew that if thousands and thousands of dollars were going to be spent, we wanted to leave an impact larger than that of our hometown.
Valrhona is known for picking out diverse growing regions to bring you a catalog of unique flavor profiles and experiences. They also make sure to provide economic stability to the farmers of that region by committing to longer term contracts so they know they have a guaranteed stream of income. Since 2012, their cocoa suppliers have signed Valrhona’s Responsible Purchasing Charter, which ensures fair trade and wages to those in the chocolate pipeline. We never want others suffering just so we can (literally) enjoy the fruits of their labor and not be responsible enough to make sure they are getting treated fairly. Chocolate is a gift and blessing to many, and deserves to be seen as such.
Relationships with the growers go beyond an ink and paper contract. Valrhona looks for ways to improve every town or village they step foot in.
For example, Nyangbo 68% is sourced from Ghana, and is a chocolate we use in a multitude of our ganaches. Valrhona saw a need for rebuilding in several communities due to unsafe conditions for children.
Starting in 2016, they started financing for a community center with library and ICT center in Wassa Nkran, as well as built an elementary school. In Pieso, they built a kindergarten and funded an elementary school renovation, and constructed a middle school and renovated an elementary school in Atwereboanda, and just last year they built a new primary school in Bosomtwe. So far, they have helped 5,613 children get access to good school conditions.
When you purchase chocolate from TCS, this helps us purchase more bulk couvertures to fund other great projects, like the Valrhona Clean Water Project in Los Ranchos, Peru as well as support the Feeding American Food bank.
Some chocolate naysayers are mentioning child labor and the scandal associated with Mars, Nestle, Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mondelez, Olam and Hershey. Sure, you’re paying less at the grocery store, but who’s paying the ultimate price so you can save a few dollars?
This is not ok with us, or Valrhona. They joined the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) in 2017 to make sure they were using their purchasing power for good. This foundation is dedicated to protecting children in cocoa-growing communities by implementing locally managed child protection systems as well as investing resources into community development, women’s empowerment, and access to education- which are key to prevent child labor.
If you’re not already falling in love with this company, they go a step further with becoming a B-Corp certified company, which means they meet rigorous standard of socially-responsible and environmentally-sustainable practices….including efforts to make their packaging recyclable, reducing water consumption by 60%, and launching their Agroforestry project- Cacao Forest- an initiative to create new cocoa farming methods that improve rural communities’ resilience, diversify producers’ incomes, increase farm productivity and protect the environment.
When you choose to support TCS, you’re not just helping a small mom n’ pop (yup, that’s me and Brad, I’m Mom…he’s Pop) provide for their kids Theo and Annie, you also help us provide a safe and innovative work environment with a team-focused culture for our 25 work kids.
We work every day to give Lincoln, and our nationwide clients, an experience we pour our souls into. In an economy where you have to be an informed and conscience consumer- please know your dollar stretches around the globe, and impacts WAY MORE than you could have ever thought possible.