Fairtrade Fortnight with Seed and Bean chocolatiers
This year Fairtrade Fortnight focuses on the importance of supporting Fairtrade cocoa growers – so we caught up with one of our favourite Fairtrade chocolatiers Seed and Bean, to delve a little deeper into this ever-growing industry.
Tell us about the history of Seed and Bean – what inspired you to start making chocolate?!
Seed & Bean was founded in June 2005 with the idea of creating an ethical range of confectionery. The focus was on always using organic ingredients, using small-scale suppliers and being brave and wild with flavours; chocolate with a wild side. We’re proud to have stuck to these principles and can say that Seed and Bean is still 100% organic, our products are ethically sourced, and every piece of Seed and Bean chocolate is handmade in England.
Our production facility is deliberately small: our batch size is just 45 litres, compared to large industrially-produced chocolatiers who make batches of 20-50,000 litres a batch! When it comes to chocolate, we really are chocolate artisans.
We’re always evolving our range of adventurous and unique flavours English botanical flavours, and believe there is something for everyone in our vast range of 22 flavours
Right from day one, we’ve made it our ethos to create the most ethical, sustainable and delicious British chocolate, which was recognised by the Good Shopping guide when they accredited us as the most ethical chocolate producer in Britain.
Why are the principles of fair trade so important in the chocolate industry?
We were thrilled to learn that the Fairtrade organisation is placing a specific focus on cocoa this year!
Chocolate is one of the world’s favourite foods, but most people don’t realise what a hard task growing cocoa is.
Cocoa is a delicate and sensitive crop, and farmers work tirelessly to protect trees from wind, sun, pests, and disease. With proper care, cocoa trees begin to yield pods at peak production levels by the fifth year, and they can continue at this level for 10 years. But for all this hard work, cocoa farmers gain very little, despite the profitable global cocoa trade.
Fairtrade aims to make cocoa farming more sustainable so farmers can better provide for themselves and their families. Fairtrade premiums are invested in various projects and programmes to improve productivity and quality as well as community programmes such as schools, medical centres and clean running water. Fairtrade also provides valuable training for farmers, teaching them how to negotiate their contracts with traders.
Do you have any plans for celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight 2019?
We do! Firstly of course is shouting about being Fairtrade, as this sometimes gets lost. Many customers don’t know what Fairtrade really means or understand the extent of its importance. We are also working with some other exciting Fairtrade brands such as Percol Coffee (and of course Nomads Clothing!), to help spread the message. We are working on the perfect Fairtrade coffee and chocolate pairings, as well as promoting our compostable packaging and ethical processes. We are also working with the Fairtrade organisation on promoting the Fairtrade message and providing products for events – we want everyone to know that we are a Fairtrade chocolate brand!
We were very impressed to learn that your packaging is 100% compostable, even the foil.
How are Seed and Bean so ahead of the game of other mainstream chocolate manufacturers?
We’re glad you noticed! We were the first UK chocolate brand to have compostable foil making our packaging 100% compostable. We ensure that everything we do aligns with our ethics; from knowing exactly where our ingredients come from, to being a 100% organic company. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense for our packaging not to be as eco-friendly as possible! As well as the individual bar packing, we package all orders with compostable materials rather than widely use polystyrene.
Are there any new flavours or projects on the horizon that you are excited about and can share with us?
We have a really exciting year coming up with some new products and listings on the horizon! I can’t reveal too much but definitely keep an eye out!