Your browser may block some cookies by default. By clicking, you agree to allow our advertising partners to place their cookies and serve you more relevant ads. Visit our privacy policy page to view our privacy policy or opt-out.
igphotocrop-1523456631555.jpg
Source: Instagram

Meet Bar & Cocoa, A Curated Craft Chocolate Shop And Subscription Club

By Nicole Caldwell

Green Matters has teamed up with WeWork for the month of April to collaborate on the #workgreen challenge and we invite you to share how you're incorporating sustainability into the workplace. In this three-part Q&A series, we’re spotlighting different WeWork member companies around the country making great contributions to sustainability. In this installment, we’re sitting down with Pashmina Lalchandani, co-founder of Bar & Cocoa.

Company name: Bar & Cocoa

What they do: Bar & Cocoa is an online marketplace and subscription club featuring the world’s best bean-to-bar chocolate. Everything is direct trade and supports the farmers who produce the cocoa beans while also encouraging sustainable agroforestry, organic farming and permaculture methods.

Location: Virtual

Number of Employees: Three

Why Bar & Cocoa is so valuable: About 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown in the tropical West African climates of Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where fair labor practices of any kind are few and far between. An estimated 1.8 million children are thought to be exposed to slave labor in that industry, according to the Food Empowerment Project. Finding chocolate labeled as “fair trade” only ensures a standard minimum premium paid to farmers—generally, at least 10 percent above average wages; not necessarily a living wage at all.

Bar & Cocoa seeks out bean-to-bar producers: a designation signaling chocolate makers who work directly with raw cocoa beans (as opposed to chocolatiers, who buy blocks of already-made chocolate and melt them down to make confections). In this direct-trade situation, middlemen are eliminated completely. Bean producers typically get paid three times the average wage per ton of fine cocoa, which supports sustainable wages. Growers are encouraged to produce superior cocoa beans grown on diverse farms, which means healthier soils and ecosystems. The end result is sustainable, craft chocolate with a very high cocoa content that is healthier and much better-tasting than the chocolate bars at your local convenience store. 

Yum.