Not long after getting home from my summer vacation I received a package in the mail which contained three organic chocolate bars from the Kallari Chocolate Company. One was made of 85% cocoa, another at 75%, and the last at 70%. I tore away the wrappings of the 85% cocoa bar, bit into it and let it melt on my tongue. WOW! This was my first thought as the velvety chocolate slide down the back of my throat. My second thought was, “This is the best chocolate I have ever tasted.” And this chocolate is soy free, dairy free, gluten-free, and Kosher??
Kallari chocolate is a cooperative of 850 indigenous Quichan families living in the Amazon rainforest of Equador. American biologist, Judy Logback, wanted to help these families because she recognized their importance in preserving the rainforest. If they were able to have a sustainable living from selling their cocoa beans, then they would not have to chop down trees, or sell the mining rights in order to provide food for their families. Judy helped them to cut out the middleman, and in doing so the coalition was able to double their income.
As a next step, Judy brought in Dr. Robert Steinberg, a founder of Scharffen Berger chocolate in Berkley, CA., to teach them about the process of cocoa bean fermentation. Then came Stephen McDonnell, chief executive of Applegate Farms organic food company. Stephen loaned the families $250,000 at 0% interest so they could set up a chocolate making factory, and he established the Kallari Chocolate Company in their name. Next, the team enlisted the help of Swiss Chocolatier, Tomas Keme, to make improvements in the chocolate making process. The result of all this teamwork? A sustainable chocolate bar from which 100% of the profits are returned to the farmers and their families at four times as fair as the “Fair Trade” price. And what consumers get out of this is the opportunity to buy world class organic chocolate that supports the preservation of the rainforest.
Now the Kallari Chocolate Company is in the last three days of a month long kickstarter to get them into the production of chipped chocolate. Their goal is to raise $20,000 by Thursday 22nd, and donators have currently pledged $13, 177. If you would like to learn more about this company, or make a pledge to help them get into the production of great chocolate chips, click the Kickstarter link. You can purchase the chocolate bars at Wholefoods Market. To read more about this company, see this article from FoodNutrition&Science.com.
(*Note – There is no affiliation between MyHealthyEatingHabits and the Kallari Chocolate Company)