Funds from sales of its new Better Way Bar will support three key initiatives: supplying free shade tree seedlings to farmers in Ghana that are part of gentle farming to improve productivity and increase biodiversity, providing professional hands-on pruning help and education to increase yield, and sharing knowledge on the benefits of using organic fertiliser to retain soil moisture and nutrients, which leads to effective plant growth.
Available exclusively in Hotel Chocolat stores and online, two variants offer consumers a 50% Milk option and a 70% Dark option, both made using cacao beans from Saint Lucia and Ghana, where the brand works with farmers to develop what it calls gentle farming practices.
Lysa Hardy, MD Retail at Hotel Chocolat, says: “Chocolate is to be enjoyed, and it can provide a real moment of happiness, but the process of growing cacao isn’t always good for nature, or for the farmers who are growing it. Increasing pressure on farming methods due to low payments for cacao has led to deforestation, poor soil quality, loss of biodiversity and a cycle of hardship for farming families."
Through the launch of the new bar, Hotel Chocolat says it hopes to shine a light on unsustainable cacao farming practices that negatively impact nature, and engage consumers in making conscious decisions when it comes to understanding where chocolate comes from.
“We started our journey of understanding what it takes to grow truly sustainable cacao almost 20 years ago when we bought our cacao farm in Saint Lucia. We’ve spent this time educating ourselves and working with farmers in both Saint Lucia and Ghana, and experts such as Green Tropics, to develop gentle farming practices which have a better impact on nature,” says Hardy.
“We believe that there’s a better way to farm cacao, and while we still have a way to go, we hope that by investing 100% of sales from the Better Way Bar into funding these nature-positive practices, we can go some way towards improving how cacao is farmed.”
Retailing at £2.95, both variants contain Ghanian chocolate praline combined with biscuits and cherries and are enrobed in chocolate made using cacao from Saint Lucia, which Hotel Chocolat says embodies its gentle farming practices.