Ethical chocolate: from bean to bar | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Published on :

Each yr, the French devour on common seven kilos of chocolate per individual. A comforting and scrumptious product, it isn’t all the time very ecological. Its manufacturing is the reason for deforestation in a number of nations, notably in Ghana and Ivory Coast the place producers aren’t all the time paid the correct worth. But chocolate can be a narrative of custom in France. For practically 4 centuries, French artisan chocolatiers have offered wonderful know-how

The French chocolate trade is altering. For a number of years, professionals have been working onerous to create a extra virtuous and extra moral product. This is especially the case of the Les Copains de Bastien chocolate manufacturing facility in Paris.

Marc Chincholle, chocolatier at Les Copains de Bastien is preparing to crush cocoa beans.
Marc Chincholle, chocolatier at Les Copains de Bastien, is making ready to crush cocoa beans. ©France 24

This chocolate manufacturing facility is a part of the “Bean-to-bar” motion, from sourcing the bean to creating the bar. “It’s about producing your own chocolate,” explains Marc Chincholle, chocolatier at Les Copains de Bastien. “I buy the beans, I'm going to cook them, I'm going to crush them, grind them… And I'm going to make my chocolate. From this chocolate, I'm going to make my pralines, my eggs and my bars.”

Team work, in accordance with the chocolatier, who works as shut as attainable to his producers: “The producer must be able to make a living from his plantation. We are there to support them, help them find ways to ferment, dry the beans and to ensure that their plantation brings them enough money to make a decent living from their profession.”

Committed collective

In France, a number of chocolatiers have joined collectively throughout the Club des chocolatiersengages, a collective which promotes a short-circuit mannequin. The goal is to make sure a greater revenue for cocoa producers and to ensure extra environmentally pleasant chocolate.

“This approach was to say: how can we connect cocoa farmers with chocolate makers? 99% of farmers have never tasted a gram of chocolate. At the same time, nearly 80% of cocoa users chocolate in Europe and around the world, have never visited a cocoa plantation”, explains Daniel Mercier, chocolatier in Cher and founding father of the Club des chocolatiers engaged.

“85% of planters live below the poverty line […]. We had a bitter taste when we said to ourselves that they receive less than a dollar per kilo, while for us, our chocolates are sold between 80 and 100 euros per kilo. There was an unacceptable gap,” says the chocolatier.

Daniel Mercier founded the Club of Committed Chocolatiers.
Daniel Mercier based the Club of Committed Chocolatiers. ©France 24

The collective of chocolatiers additionally needs to be extra ecological, specifically by selling agroforestry. “These are multi-storey crops. The cocoa grows under a canopy and we have a ground cover crop, an intermediate crop alternating between cocoa trees and fruit trees, mango trees, banana trees and then large farm trees in the “above”, provides Daniel Mercier.

An method that goals to be extra accountable and clear in direction of shoppers. “Today, I think that history is in the making. The goal is for consumers to understand and know what is really going on in this somewhat nebulous world of cocoa,” says Daniel Mercier.