As far as we are concerned, everyday should be celebrated with chocolate, but as today is Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite sustainable, eco-friendly and ethical chocolate brands perfect for expressing your love via cocoa. From sustainably sourced, health-focused, fair-trade to organic cocoa and compostable packaging, here are 5 brands creating delicious bars whilst doing good. Some of these we have already featured and are worthy of the reminder, but we've found a few others whilst ‘researching’ (aka eating) that also tick our boxes. So whatever sort of love you’re celebrating today; self-love, romantic love, friend love, or just a love for chocolate, we've got you covered.
We have mentioned Nucao before, but are a firm favourite. The bars are made from all-natural, organic ingredients including hemp seeds, acerola (a type of cherry), raw cacao and sweetened with coconut nectar. With the added protein, fibre and natural sugar, not only are you getting a bit of chocolate that is nutritious, but you also won’t experience those sugar highs and lows. The bars are also vegan and we love the combining of natural nutrients with the indulgence of good quality chocolate. And if that wasn’t enough to sell you on a bar, nucao are doing their part to reduce plastic waste with their 100% compostable packing and the commitment to plant a tree per bar sold in places like Madagascar that are in danger of deforestation. We say go for one of everything, even the ones we haven’t tried, judging from the reviews, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.
If you / your love is a sucker for beautiful minimalist packaging this is one is sure to impress. Crafted in Glasgow and sourced from co-operative farms in Honduras and Madagascar, Bare Bones works closely with the farmers throughout the process and all bars are handmade with great attention to detail. There are no additives or preservatives used and the simplicity is the beauty of these single-origin bars; it’s either milk or dark. Another major selling point for us, is their eco-packaging, made from recycled paper cups. With only a few London stockists (you can also order online), it might be tricky to get your hands on a bar in time for today, but sometimes love (and chocolate) require a bit of extra effort.
Cox & Co is another single origin producer that we’ve featured before, in case you missed it, that we love. Made with high quality Colombian cocoa and packed with good for you ingredients and no refined sugars, is just one of the reasons we really like these bars. The bars are available in four superfood flavours: Bee Pollen & Honey, Coconut & Chia, Raw Cacao Nibs and Single Origin Pure Cacao. The Coconut & Chia is close running with the Cacao Nibs for our favourite, even though we are devout dark chocolate devotees. And the Single Origin Pure Cacao makes a mean chocolate ganache. If you have hopes of sharing, pick up a bag of the sharing shards too. As far as their eco-creds go, we like that there is investment in the farmers and the local farming communities and the use of environmentally-friendly farming methods to grow the cocoa. Definitely a chocolate worthy of love.
Many of you will have heard of and perhaps tried one, if not several of Montezuma’s bars, truffles or drinking chocolates. As far as flavours and varieties go, you are spoilt for choice, and there is even a chocolate club, meaning you can get 6 bars of chocolate delivered through your letterbox every month. As one of the oldest ethical, organic, British chocolate producers, Montezuma only work with farmers who adhere to their Trading Fair Policy, a policy that ensures that co-operative farmers are paid well about the minimum price for their cocoa. Their commitment to ethics and equality has garnered them a top spot as one of the most the ethical chocolate companies in the UK.
The Dutch makers of Lovechock started in 2009 and set out to produce delicious, raw, organic chocolate with a conscious. And it shows that a whole heap of love goes into making these bars. From the close working with farmers in the organic growing process to keep the cocoa beans raw (traditionally, the cocoa beans are roasted) and their love sustainable packaging. Keeping the chocolate raw throughout the production process means that much of the naturally occurring nutrients found in cacao, such as the antioxidants and polyphenols (aka ‘love chemicals’) are preserved. The bars also only use unrefined coconut blossom sugar to sweeten, which adds additional nutrients and fibre and come in interesting flavours like Turmeric Tulsi, Hazelnut Matcha and Mulberry Vanilla. Finally, all bars are vegan or plant-based in order to reduce the product’s planetary impact. Lovechock also only uses plastic-free, compostable packaging and has done since 2011. We love the idea behind, the ethics and product, and think you’re love will too.