The Famous 1657 Chocolate House Just Got Greener!
The start of a new year has become synonymous with change, and this year we are stepping up and making a difference. This year we are pledging to a more sustainable cause to protect our planet for future generations. We hope that people can enjoy our famous chocolate for years to come by taking these greener steps. And, we hope we are not alone!
This January, we are hoping to see businesses around the world making changes for the greater good as we slowly edge closer to the incoming climate crisis. All it takes is for everyone to make small lifestyle changes to create a greener, more sustainable world. Starting with environmentally friendly packaging, for example, glass containers instead of plastic or promoting bags for life made of sustainable, recycled materials, we can all do our bit to help. At Chocolate House, we feel we too should do our bit to minimise our impact on the planet.
If we don’t act now, the damage could be catastrophic! Did you know that if we do not change our actions to a more sustainable lifestyle by 2030, we will have reached a point of irrevocable damage to the environment and climate? As a result, our passion for creating and supplying chocolates will become increasingly difficult.
Read on to find out how the climate crisis will impact one of the world’s biggest trades, chocolate, and how we are doing our bit to make a positive difference.
How is Chocolate Made?
Chocolate is made of cocoa which comes from the dried seeds of the cacao tree. The cacao tree needs humid environments to thrive and, therefore, can only be farmed in a handful of countries. Currently, 70% of the worlds cocoa is grown in West Africa, with Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil equating for the other 30%.
Sadly, all of these countries are susceptible to extreme weather conditions that can ravage ecosystems, challenging the communities that depend on this livelihood. Furthermore, since these countries are especially vulnerable to climate change, studies have shown that cocoa production could be significantly impacted and altered by 2030.
Chocolate Production and the Climate Crisis
As the climate of the planet rises and the seasons around the globe vary, delicate ecosystems are significantly impacted. The rising temperatures have led to reduced rainfalls and prolonged seasons of drought; the droughts are causing a reduction in soil moisture. For the cacao tree, these changes make it extremely difficult for them to survive in their natural environment. Not only will the drought reduce the amount of water available for the plants, but the heat itself will scorch the soil and surrounding foliage so that the cacao plant struggles to take root.
For us chocolatiers, everything, as we know it, depends upon the smooth running of the ecosystems; it isn’t just cocoa that will be affected. However, the effects of these changes go much further.
Whilst rising temperatures may cause drought in tropical regions of the world, they can cause extreme flooding in colder areas where glacial ice is melting. The melting of the icecaps is causing sea levels to rise and ecosystems and communities to flood, destroying wildlife and endangering many species like the polar bear. We may feel far removed from areas significantly impacted by the climate crisis, but the more regular floods and storms the UK is experiencing stem from our changing climate. Consequently, it is crucial we all change our ways.
How can we save the chocolate industry?
As well as climate crisis, another significant factor impacting the chocolate industry is the unfair treatment of cocoa farmers. Unfair wages and mistreatment is a known fact within the chocolate industry. It will be challenging to source chocolate sustainably until the relationship between substantial chocolate companies and independent farmers is addressed. In some cases, farmers are expected to work for less than $1 a day, whilst chocolate corporations rake in cash daily. Until farmers are paid a higher wage, they cannot afford to farm sustainably.
As farmers are unable to afford to make sustainable decisions, we, as one of the richest nations, must take it upon ourselves to make do so. We at The Famous 1657 Chocolate House are going greener this year in our attempt to do our bit, and we want to invite you to join us.
We are introducing glass containers in our kitchen, store, and wherever possible in our attempt to reduce single-use plastic. With more sustainable packaging and storage in place and cotton and paper bags for shoppers, we are always looking for more ways to improve. And, we will be sure to keep you updated on our endeavours!
In the meantime, if you want to enjoy the glorious taste of our chocolate for years to come, please join us in our decision to go green and support small businesses.