The terms organic, sustainable and fair trade are lightly and too frequently used these days, but rarely do the brands who use them embody their intrinsic meaning. It’s called ‘greenwashing’, and these loosely-phrased terms are used as an advertising tool to persuade and evade.
Determined to prove their authenticity and cut the crap in the chocolate industry, Chow Cacao use direct and honest terminology to describe their range of handcrafted chocolate bars, and they live by their claims too.
Chow Cacao chocolate bars are vegan, dairy free, gluten free, GMO-free, organic, sustainable, fair trade and delicious, and there are a few extra secret ingredients (aka good values) mixed in that make this chocolate so damn good too.
We recently partnered with Chow Cacao to offer our guests a few sweets treats at our 2019 IDENTITY runway, and their ethically-sourced chocolate bars were snapped up by eager hands. Hand made in Byron Bay, each recipe is inspired by 70s surf culture, and hand wrapped in Willy Wonka-esque thick golden foil for a nostalgic finish, reminiscent of the good old days when chocolate was pre-plastic-wrapped and preservative-packed.
Chocolate connoisseur, co-founder and director, Trudy Cockcroft stepped away from the tasting table to talk to us about all things sweet and sustainability...
How do you ensure your ingredients are organic?
We make sure all of our organic ingredients come from certified organic growers and producers. Eating organically is possibly the best thing we can do too. Nowadays, the quality of soil in which our food grows is depleting at a huge rate because of pesticides and chemicals. Farming organically is the only way to improve the soil quality and to get the same nutrients from our foods as we used to. That's why we try to use organic ingredients where we can.
How do you embrace sustainability through your chocolate?
This starts for us by using as many organic ingredients as possible in our chocolates. By avoiding GMO’s, pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, we are helping to protect the balance of our ecosystems. Organic agriculture supports biodiversity and promotes sustainable food production by looking after our planet's natural resources. Our packaging is also sustainable, as we use recyclable materials which are printed with vegetable inks. We’re aiming to use compostable packaging in the near future too, and we’re continuing to progress and improve all the time in any way to look after our planet’s natural resources. It’s a big part of our mission and ethics at Chow Cacao!
What is the difference between refined sugar and the sugar you use?
We use organic coconut sugar from Indonesia. Coconut sugar is less processed, and you can already see this in the colour of the sugar. Refined sugar is usually a bright white, while coconut sugar has a beautiful natural bronze colour. When these sugars are consumed within our bodies, coconut sugar has a lower G.I index (35) compared to regular white sugar (60-65), which means it doesn’t spike your blood glucose or insulin in the way that regular sugar does. And coconut sugar just tastes better!
Why is being Fairtrade important to you?
An equal exchange just makes sense for us. Why shouldn’t we all purchase Fairtrade ingredients? A big thing many people may not realise is that the cacao used in Fairtrade chocolate is not harvested by children, and this is super important as most chocolate is harvested by children who work in very harsh conditions. These children usually don’t get the opportunity to go to school either, and this needs to change, so buying Fairtrade is the first step, and it helps to empower farmers and their families.
What’s your favourite chocolate flavour? Are there any new flavours on the way?
This changes most days for me, ha! It depends on how I’m feeling. Generally, I prefer the darker range of our chocolates, like the 80% smooth dark or the crunchy mint. And yes! New flavours are on the way and a few new products too, keep your eyes peeled!
Support local and sustainable businesses and shop Chow Cacao’s Fairtrade and ethical range of GMO-free chocolate at chowcacao.com.au.
The Fashion Advocate x