Reflecting on 2023: A Year of Climate Action and Sustainable Chocolate at Alter Eco

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As we wind down 2023, the hottest year on record, I look back and think about how far we’ve come in taking steps to address climate change. Yes, we had record heat across the globe, record rainfall in some areas, record drought in other areas, record greenhouse gas emissions, and unprecedented melting of the polar ice caps.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. In February, the UN passed the High Seas Treaty to help protect oceans 200 miles from shorelines around the globe. This will help protect approximately 30% of all marine life. In Spain, solar and wind energy outpaced fossil fuels. Spain’s generation and consumption of renewable energy surpassed 50% in June and is on pace to provide approximately 60% for the year. And one of the most significant achievements for the food, and specifically the cocoa industry, is the European Union regulation on deforestation. Beginning in 2025, the EU will no longer accept importation of products that have come from recently deforested land. This regulation is expected to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. This is significant for the cocoa industry and aligns very well with Alter Eco.

At Alter Eco, over 50% of our cocoa comes from farms that practice regenerative agriculture. We have assisted farmers in the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Ecuador to recover over 1,500 acres of land from traditional farming methods of clear-cutting or deforestation to utilizing regenerative methods, including agroforestry. And by supporting farmers utilizing these techniques, we have helped to protect over 1,000,000 acres of trees. Our goal at Alter Eco is to source 100% of our cocoa from regenerative and agroforestry projects, and we are well on our way to achieving this goal. In addition to focusing on the farming techniques, we want to make sure our farmer partners are treated fairly. All of our cocoa is Fair Trade certified. This means the farmers are receiving a good and fair wage and that the coops that we work with have implemented good social, environmental, and economic practices.

But it’s not just about the sourcing of our raw materials; it’s also about the production and packaging of our products. Our chocolate production is 100% carbon neutral, and we utilize over 95% renewable energy in our production process. To complement this, our packaging for our chocolate bars and truffles is 100% compostable. In fact, our truffle wrappers are backyard compostable, and based on our sales, that means we have saved over 18 million wrappers from entering landfills in 2023.

All of our efforts at Alter Eco revolve around two things. First, we want to bring you, the consumer, the highest quality, best-tasting products available in the market. But that’s not enough. I have said often throughout my career in the food and beverage industry that “taste is the price of admission.” Our second objective is to provide you a product that helps to do good in the world. We do this by supporting regenerative farming and agroforestry. We do this by producing our products using clean energy and carbon-neutral production. We do this by packaging our products in compostable packaging. And we do this by supporting our partners to provide you the best, most sustainable products available. We are truly “The Cleanest Greenest Chocolate” TM on the planet.

Thank you for all your support of Alter Eco and our mission, and we wish you a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous 2024!
Keith Bearden
CEO of Alter Eco Foods

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