Original Beans ‘Foodprint’ charts a new course for cocoa sustainability

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Since 2008, the Original Beans chocolate factory has been working quietly in remote rainforests to source the world’s rarest cocoa beans and transform the cultures of chocolate, food and luxury.

Philipp Kauffmann, the founder of Original Beans, says the “Foodprint” is like a carbon footprint, but goes even further to reveal everything the company has achieved beyond CO2 reduction, such as eliminating packaging waste thanks to the recent launch of its cover packaging during the pandemic.

Philipp Kauffmann, founder of Original Beans

Of course, our data, if you go up the supply chain, has to come from the farmers, the growers, the fields.

In the introduction to the report, Kauffmann states that, like many other foods, chocolate is grappling with the problems of the large industrial food complex, including a negative impact on the global climate, emitting some 40 million tonnes of CO2 every year and destroying valuable rainforests.

On top of that, the cocoa sector is still grappling with extreme farmer poverty, which leads to child labor involving 1.5 million children, according to the US Department of Labor.

Original Chocolate Beans is focused on a 100% regenerative future with its One Bar One Tree program – replanting 1,657,032 cocoa trees in 2021 and conserving nature (preventing deforestation to grow fast yielding produce), it protects the climate and older forests with the equivalent of 27.908 football pitches protected last year and 14,467 tonnes of CO2 removed.

The company also fights poverty by offering 5,272 farmers in 2021 a viable and sustainable agricultural option, paying them 1.78 times the Fairtrade price.

Kauffman tells ConfectioneryNews that he’s been publishing the Foodprint for a few years and there’s always a balance between what he’d like to report versus what data he’s actually able to collect.

Kauffman says that when collecting the data, Original Beans uses different methods to maintain transparency, including technology as well as handwritten organic certification, which primarily consists of paper lists compiled in the field.

original bean village
The Arhuaco tribe of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia grow cocoa for the original beans. Pic: Original Beans

Of course, our data, if you go up the supply chain, has to come from the farmers, the growers, the fields. Thus, we mainly report on wild nature reserves. It is a domain. Climate protection is another area. Poverty is a third area, health, which is important to consumers, is the fourth, and waste disposal is the fifth.

In these five categories, we come into each with two measures and this is simply expressed quantitatively. So if you go, for example, to wilderness preservation, then last year in 2021 our business with our customers and growers together was able to protect those hardened areas contracted by communities to be preserved.

Explorers and conservationists

When it comes to sustainability, Kauffmann has some history as he represents the seventh generation of a family of noted nature explorers and conservationists who claim to have coined the term “sustainability”. One of his ancestors advised as early as 1795 to preserve nature so that future generations could experience it as we experience it today.

Kauffmann left his job at the United Nations in New York to develop Original Beans as a leading brand for a “world in which we regenerate what we consume”.

  • Listen to the full interview in our latest CN Podcast by clicking the link above.
  • Read the original Beans Chocolate Foodprint here.
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