How This Ethical & Sustainable Chocolate Brand Is Raising The Bar
By Melissa Fine for GoodnessMe Box
It’s no secret that we’re picky about our chocolate at GoodnessMe Box. Not only do the choccie brands we recommend always get our approval in the flavour department (hey, taste-testing is part of the job), they also meet our criteria for being products with integrity.
With everyone being treated to Loving Earth’s new Almond Crunch Chocolate in the October Conscious Box, we thought we’d shine a light on how this Aussie brand is working hard behind the scenes to bring you choccie that’s as sustainable and ethical as it is addictive.
Loving Earth’s fairtrade practices: a snapshot
Since Scott Fry and Martha Butler launched Loving Earth in 2007 from humble beginnings (an apartment doubled as their HQ), they have made it their mission to develop wholefood products that showcase native ingredients cultivated by indigenous growers.
“We have been working with the Nyul Nyul and other surrounding First Nation communities from the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley for the last 13 years,” Martha says. This has resulted in “one of the most successful First Nation native food operations in Australia”, which saw Loving Earth partnering with Twin Lakes Cultural Park to commercialise two native plants: ‘Gubinge’ (AKA Kakadu plum), renowned for its high vitamin C content), and ‘Jillungin’, a soothing herb used by the Nyul Nyul community to make traditional ‘Dreaming Tea’. “It has a gentle mellowing effect when you drink it and is great before bed,” Martha says.
Loving Earth’s efforts to support indigenous communities extend to Peru. There, in a remote forest that’s home to the Amazon River, the Ashaninka community grow Loving Earth’s essential ingredient, the cacao bean, in the very place it originates. When Loving Earth co-founder Scott met with the Ashaninka community in 2016, he was struck not only by their connection as a group, but their connection to, and respect for nature.
Martha believes that the skills, organisation and leadership underpinning the Ashaninka community’s cacao enterprise has helped them stay COVID-free, “whereas Peru itself, and other indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon such as Iquitos and Pucallpa, have suffered badly [from COVID-19].”
One of the only plant-based chocolates made from the cacao bean itself, Loving Earth has just received its first container of cacao beans from this year’s harvest. “This is a huge testament to the stability our joint enterprise has created for the community, and our commitment to buy their [the Ashaninka community’s] entire harvest at above fair trade prices.”
Why organic is their other non-negotiable
Martha says that choosing organic ingredients is “the very least we can do in this period of environmental need….If we want to regenerate the planet, it’s the soil we need to focus on. Diverse plants in healthy soil are key to turning the tide environmentally…it’s the solution we’ve been waiting for.” She highly recommends watching 'Kiss The Ground' on Netflix, the newly-released doco narrated by Woody Harrelson that explores the regenerative movement.
Did we mention they’re super sustainable?
On top of being manufactured in a solar-powered factory (“a no-brainer,” says Martha), Loving Earth chocolate comes packaged in vegetable ink-printed non-coated board that’s recyclable, and also the prettiest we’ve seen (we repurpose it to make birthday cards). Compostable film made from sustainably sourced plant fibre is used for the chocolate wrappers. “That means you can eat the chocolate, throw the packaging in the compost and it vanishes, just like magic.”