We sat down with the brains behind Bennetto’s Chocolate, Lucy Bennetto, to learn a bit more about the ethics of our favourite indulgence and discover exactly what it means to be certified Fairtrade and organic in the cocoa industry.
What was the inspiration behind Bennetto’s Chocolate?
I started Bennetto Chocolate after making my own chocolate from scratch and experimenting with different Fairtrade organic cocoa beans. Finding eco-friendly products that didn’t compromise on flavour and ethics was very difficult at the time, so I wanted to create a product that had a good impact on all who contribute along the way.
What do the terms ‘certified Fairtrade’ and ‘organic’ mean to you?
As a start-up brand, we are in the fortunate position to make these choices as we go. Our cocoa is only sourced from known Fairtrade organic cooperatives and we do our best to offset all carbon created from our processes.
We plant timber trees in the Peruvian rainforest to offset our manufacturing and freight. These trees help provide our cacao farmers with diversified and long-term income streams. Within New Zealand, we contribute to a beautiful forest in Southland, to offset our business operations here.
“…being certified Fairtrade and organic was a non-negotiable to me”Lucy Bennetto
As part of my mission to not harm the planet and its people being certified Fairtrade and organic was a non-negotiable to me, providing the best systems to ensure we are providing a fairly traded product, while also not using harmful chemicals damaging the beautiful ecosystem around our cacao plantations.
Similar to coffee, cocoa is best suited to organic growing conditions and as Fairtrade products will always be from small-scale farming communities, we know that the cocoa has been nurtured by family-run farms. In our opinion, this is why we get a far more interesting flavour and better quality in our cocoa products.
You went to see the cocoa plantations for yourself, tell us more about your trip to the Dominican Republic and what you learned.
I’ve made several trips to Peru, as that is where the majority of cocoa is now sourced. I have 100% confidence in the Fairtrade programme and can vouch for its accountability first-hand. It is important for me to experience each area of the business so that I can stay accountable to my customers
Tell us about your quirky packaging and how it differs from competitors.
We employed an artist from Auckland, Henrietta Harris, to create the bird characters for our packaging. Their outfits are just a bit of fun but the birds all live in and around our cacao plantations in the Amazonian rainforest.
Recently we developed a new 30g bar wrapper that is completely plastic free! This means that our packaging is now completely compostable and recyclable.
Try Lucy’s chocolate for yourself by shopping direct from their website or ask your local independently run supermarket if they are a stockist.