Theo Chocolate produces premium organic and Fair Trade specialty chocolate. That means using ingredients that are grown sustainably; partnering with its growers by ensuring they earn a living wage and have access to education for their families; using green energy sources to power its factory; and using sustainable packaging and printing methods. Theo Chocolate is still the first and only organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in the country. All of its ingredients are screened to ensure they meet its standards for social and environmental responsibility.
“Organic and free trade is something we feel strongly about,” said Audrey Lawrence, Sales and Marketing Manager for Theo Chocolate. “Every step of the way, from packaging to the origin, we try to come up with solutions with tangible effects.”
Their founding principle is that the finest artisan chocolate in the world can (and should) be produced in an entirely ethical, sustainable fashion. The founder, Joseph Whinney, and its team approach chocolate as an agricultural product, not a commodity.
“Along with that, a fantastic thing we do is have a strong commitment to quality and rigorous taste-testing,” she said. “There’s also a high premium on educating our consumers.” One of Theo Chocolate’s missions is to “demystify” chocolate and help consumers understand where cacao comes from and its sensitivity to environment.
“First, it’s a fascinating food or dessert to learn about,” Lawrence says. “When you piece things together, you realize it’s a really fragile crop and grown in ecologically-sensitive areas from people who are sometimes marginalized. There’s great potential for things to go wrong and be taken advantage of as well as make choices that will only benefit short-term…If you care about things on a global level, it matters to know where it comes from.”