For International Chocolate Day, Il Bisonte’s Journal travels to three places where sustainability for the cocoa supply chain is at stake.
Let’s imagine for a moment that we’re in the “control center” of a multinational chocolate company. If we aim big, we’ll find ourselves at Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest manufacturer of cocoa products. Some passionate readers might imagine rooms full of Umpa Lumpas and golden ticket projects, like in Roald Dahl’s fantastic factory. Other more pragmatic readers might imagine liters of coffee flowing and mind-boggling figures quoted over the phone. The truth is that for several years now the common slogan echoing throughout the headquarters of great chocolatiers is: Sustainability.
Think back now – it’s easy, we could be standing there reading this post – to the long displays of chocolate candy and bars found in those sweet supermarket aisles. If we peruse them attentively from an ethical perspective, we’ll have to navigate myriad origin labels and lists of ingredients. This is why the Sustainability trend often leads us to choose the most comforting (or more captivating) packaging, despite assistance from specific apps or information found in places like our Journal.
Finally, let’s imagine ourselves crossing the ocean to the Andes of Ecuador: precisely to Salinas de Guaranda where the El Salinerito cooperative is located. Here the chocolate is not sustainable simply because the label clearly lists the supply chain, but because it’s the result of an experience in solidarity, one of communities engaging with their land, for some it’s the Pachamama (Mother Earth). This is how Barry Callebaut’s «Forever Chocolate» project – which aims to make the total amount of chocolate produced sustainable by 2025 in some parts of the world – is already well underway.