Trading Fairly: Ethical Christmas Chocolate
This Christmas we’ve had a head start on working up an appetite for chocolate. A recent survey by Harris Interactive revealed that chocolate has kept us going through lockdown, with 1 in 8 of us eating chocolate every day.
With the chocolate world booming this year and Christmas being one of those times where chocolate sales skyrocket regardless of global pandemics, it’s important to look at the impact chocolate production is having on our environment.
That’s why we wanted to share our insight into the chocolate trade, the most ethical ways chocolate is sourced and produced and how Montezuma’s, among dozens of other brands, are creating a new way of ‘trading fairly’ when it comes to the complex ethics surrounding chocolate.
So, if you’re a chocoaholic, a health fanatic, a festive freak or a climate conscious individual, this year’s Christmas chocolate range is as ethical as it is deliciously festive.
What makes Montezuma’s Christmas chocolate ethical?
When we had our lightbulb moment 20 years ago whilst still in the heart of South America, we had already worked out the ideals with which we would be proud to run a business, should we ever be privileged enough to do so.
These ideals needed to simply be an extension of our personal values and extend across everything we do, from the way we look after our customers, suppliers, people, the environment or anyone else who comes across our brand.
Our core purpose is to make extraordinary chocolate from only the highest quality ingredients which to us means exceeding our strictest quality expectations as well as our ethical guidelines we call Trading Fairly. Here are a few of the ways we do so.
When we first started out we very quickly had the realisation that the only way to ensure our cocoa growers were treated ethically was to buy from an organic cooperative in the Dominican Republic (which we’ve now expanded to Peru).
We also source non-organic cocoa from African and South American origins, all of which are supported by certification and fully traceable back to their source.
Our key cocoa sourcing principles include:
- We only buy the best quality cocoa beans
- We are committed to long term sustainability of the cocoa industry
- All our cocoa is certified and comes from sustainable sources
- All our cocoa is traceable to source
- We pay a premium for all the reasons above
- All our suppliers must sign up to our Supplier Code
We understand the impact that our collective carbon footprint has on the world we live in, which is why we introduced our own footprint assessment to work out where we can make the most impact in becoming more efficient and sustainable.
We’re also in the process of seeking B-Corp accreditation which requires the highest level of transparency on our environmental impact alongside a target of being carbon neutral by 2025.
One way we aim to achieve our sustainability goals is with our eco-friendly packaging, which as of February, means the entire Montezuma’s chocolate range is 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable.
We are incredibly proud to say that there are other areas of our business ethics which don’t regard packaging or sourcing, but the way we treat our team.
We currently pay over the National Living Wage for all our employees and have a ‘Making a Difference’ review to support and benefit employee happiness and mental health.
When we calculated our gender pay gap (back in 2018), we realised our female staff marginally tipped the scales by 2.4%, with 68% of our workforce being female (over half our executive team).
Charity and community
After a fantastic charity Children on the Edge reached out to us to ask if we could donate some Easter Eggs for a children’s treasure hunt, we became inspired by their cause and bonded through shared values and the incredible work they do.
10 years later our relationship with the charity has never been stronger and we still stand side-by-side to do as much as we can for children who live on the edge of society all around the world.
In our stores we supply free paper bags and ask all of our customers to make a donation to Children on the Edge in a campaign we call ‘bags for cash’, which so far has raised more than £100,000 for the charity.
Source: Children on the Edge.
Extraordinarily ethical chocolate
Long before we started Montezuma’s, we had already dreamt up the ideals we would run our own business with. These ideals became a reality and have stayed with us since the day we started. Over the years, some of the words may have slightly changed but we have never budged on our own principles, which we called Trading Fairly.
We are very proud of our products where substance wins over style, and of our business where sustainable and organic business growth wins over greed.
A range of ethically-sourced Christmas chocolates and gifts
This year’s range of Christmas chocolates and gifts include a wide range of deliciously festive treats from Grand Truffle Collections to White Chocolate Snowballs, all of which strictly follow our Trading Fairly guidelines and are all ethically sourced and use eco-friendly packaging.
Here are a few of the most popular products from this year’s Christmas chocolate range;
Absolute Black Truffle-Filled Snowmen
Indulge yourself in the dreamy taste of the Absolute Black Truffle-Filled snowmen, crafted with the finest ingredients to create a delicious dark chocolate flavour that’s 100% coca. Make sure you grab one before they’re gone!
Milk Chocolate Giant Button Jar (900g)
Smooth and creamy organic milk chocolate giant buttons in brand new, festive Christmas packaging. Spread some joy with 900g of delicious bite-sized milk chocolate buttons that make a great sharer for tasty treats throughout the festive period.
Let it Snow: Vegan Christmas Gift Box
A fantastic collection of some of the tastiest Vegan Christmas chocolates around, including Dark Hazelnut Snowmen, Royal Mint Bar and Sunrise Truffles. A delicious Christmas gift box which makes the perfect present for those living a vegan diet or lifestyle.