Ushering in a New Era of Ethical Chocolate.
Vanuatu Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar
Wellington Chocolate Factory (WCF) is ushering in a new era of ethical chocolate for New Zealand, launching its brand-new Vanuatu Dark Chocolate bar made using beans sourced through a direct partnership with Vanuatu cocoa farmers, who are paid above market price for their beans, benefiting growers and the communities they support.
The new bar - the latest edition to WCF's Single Origin Range - also carries its brand-new Grower Partner mark, denoting that the beans are sourced in direct partnership from farmers, who are paid and treated fairly.
Matt Williams, General Manager of WCF, says the bar uses Larevat beans farmed on the northwest coast of Malekula Island. The new release has been years in the making - and is an important step in the company's journey to create a better-tasting world.
"We've Always Been About Ethical Chocolate At WCF - But Now We're Going One Step Further. We're Drawing A Line In The Sand Regarding The Low Cocoa Prices That Most Chocolate Makers Pay (And What You Find On Supermarket Shelves).
"We're paying our Pacific growers a minimum of USD 4000 per tonne - more than double the African farmgate price (approximate USD 1800 per tonne), which is well below the living wage. We also ensure our Grower Partner Farmers receive all the payment. It's important for us to know the farmers who provide our beans are paid fairly, and the families and communities they support can thrive," says Matt Williams.
Sanianna Trief, Acting High Commissioner for Vanuatu, says these direct partnerships are important for the local Vanuatu economy.
"We are thrilled to see this come into fruition, bringing Vanuatu single-origin bar to the shelves. We extend our sincere congratulations to Wellington Chocolate Factory for this important milestone as an addition to their Pacific Series of single-origin chocolate bars.
"The export of cocoa beans from Vanuatu benefits many of the rural farmers who rely on the sale of their beans for their livelihoods. New Zealand remains an important market for Vanuatu, and we would like to see this partnership with WCF and the farmers in Malekula expand into the future to develop other varieties and flavours produced by WCF," says Sanianna Trief.
Six years ago, Gabe Davidson, Co-Founder of WCF, sailed to the Pacific Islands in 'The Uto Ni Yalo', a Vaka based in Fiji. He visited Vanuatu on his journey. He says the new bar has a special meaning to him and the evolution of WCF.
"As better chocolate makers than seafarers, we were honoured to be invited to join a crew of hearty sailors and traditional navigators from Fiji and The Cook Islands. They showed us the ropes and made possible our mission to sustainably transport beans from Bougainville to Wellington.