The Indulgent Gift Box That Restores the Rainforest
* Repost from Chinhookbook.com
This holiday season, one chocolate company is working to put more trees back in the ground than in their living rooms.
Alter Eco is a certified B Corp, chocolate-centric company that is giving back through its gift boxes this year. With each gift box sold, a tree will be planted in the Amazon in partnership with the company’s co-op farmers in Peru. In addition to the reforestation initiative, Alter Eco is 100% organic and non-GMO while also providing Fair Trade Certified products that enable our farmer partners to sustain fair, living wages.
A History of Reforestation
This is not new territory for Alter Eco. The company has been breaking ground with 27,484 trees planted since 2008 as part of a carbon neutral initiative. Each year Alter Eco calculates its own carbon emissions – from employee commutes to global transportation costs. Based on those calculations, the company plants trees with partner cacao farmers of the ACOPAGRO Cooperative in the San Martin region of Peru. Through these projects the company offsets more carbon than it produces, and be part of the undoubtable change needed to address existing changing climate issues.
This work is done in partnership with PUR Projet, a company focused on regenerating the earth with the private sector by working with companies to add integrative sustainability practices to their supply chains. They have coined this process ‘carbon insetting,’ meaning it is performed directly within the supply chain of the companies they work with. PUR Projet was founded in 2008 by one Alter Eco France’s founder, Tristan Lecomte.
The Importance of Agroforestry
The trees from the program are also integrated into the cacao fields to support agroforestry practices. Agroforestry is a more dynamic and integrated way of farming that places trees throughout the farms. This type of integrated system allows for improved soil quality, pest and disease reduction, and long term crop sustainability through a higher diversity of plants. For cacao, these trees also maintain the rainy microclimate needed for perfect chocolate sourcing.
The agroforestry projects that PUR Projet and Alter Eco have been leading have been particularly life changing for the people of ACOPAGRO Cooperative. The San Martin region saw severe deforestation in the 1980s when it became a red zone for coca leaf production. Since then, the area has transitioned from coca to cocoa, and has been slowly rebuilding both land and local communities. Many of the trees in the carbon insetting program are used to restore what was once degraded forest, and are used for timber income by the farmers after a few decades.
Alter Eco’s Full Circle Sustainability
Alter Eco’s mission is to pioneer a full circle approach to eating, farming and doing business, and to inspire others to do the same. The company started in 2004 and has been committed to Full Circle Sustainability since. Along with fair trade and carbon insetting, this strategy includes certified organic and non GMO ingredients, compostable packaging, and working with other like-minded suppliers and partners.
Along with supporting its farmers and conservation, Alter Eco hopes this project and its company can continue to be a leader for food companies making good on their climate commitments. Alter Eco is a founding member of the Climate Collaborative, a nonprofit group of companies dedicated to acting on a changing climate.
The company’s enlightened indulgence motto comes from its sustainability and also the decadence of its products. Across its line of products the company has woven its clean sourcing of the best ingredients into every bite. The company has a line of ten chocolate bar flavors, including its Super Blackout dark chocolate, a 90% cacao bar. There are five flavors of chocolate truffles that use a more nourishing and responsible coconut oil instead of the palm oil that is traditionally used in chocolate truffles. There is also a new line of addictive dark chocolate coconut clusters that come in three flavors—Original, Cherry & Almond Butter, and Seeds & Salt.
Adding More Green To The Holidays
While Alter Eco participates in these projects regularly each year, they wanted to take it up a notch for the holidays when consumerism and waste is at a high. This season, every gift box sold will also add another tree to support reforestation and agroforestry projects with these farmers. From a carbon perspective, three trees offset one ton of carbon emissions. That would offset about three months of driving, your meat eating habits for a year, or a one way cross country flight.
Alter Eco hopes to add a couple hundred additional trees back to the earth this holiday season! The gift boxes are available for $25, $50 and $75 and are filled with a range of the company’s delicious chocolates and chocolate snacks. At a time of year filled with gifts and other consumption, these holiday boxes allow people to give back while also indulging in their sweet tooth.