Sustainability and chocolate.

The ingredients we use in our cakes and treats has always been very important to us. Free range eggs from Stratford and Callebaut chocolate. I have worked with Callebaut since my days at Claridges and continue to use it years later. I like their brand ethics and the work they do in cocoa producing countries.

At Sweet As we use Callebaut chocolate in all our chocolaty recipes, we thought we’d share with you why we love it!

Callebaut is a well known Belgian chocolate brand that is popular with chefs and restaurants all around the country. It’s highly used for it’s great taste and for it’s growing great chocolate programme, which gives chocolate growers a fair price for their cocoa.

Growing Great Chocolate Programme

It has 3 main values that it follows:

                  1. Growing cocoa quality
                  2. Growing farmer income
                  3. Growing quality of life
  • This programme started in 2012 and has developed greatly since it started.
  • It makes the growing of cocoa into a sustainable income for West African growers.
  • It covers the cocoa used for the entire range of finest Belgium chocolate.
  • It gives a direct connection between the cocoa growers and the chefs.

Here’s a look at what they’ve achieved over the past few years…

  • They’ve created training and guiding for farmers so they can grow more and better cocoa crops.
  • The better crop yields generate higher farmer income.
  • They had 600 farmer find schools training around 26,500 farmers in good agricultural practices and social practices.
  • 1.655 children of farmers in 18 different cooperatives received free school kits.
  • They provided 10 new water wells which provided clean water to 1050 children in schools and farming communities.
  • 4,663 mosquito nets have been provided in 54 cooperatives.
  • 3,389 farmers and their families members were given vaccinations.
  • 10 primary schools were built in cocoa farming villages in the Ivory Cost providing education to 1800 children.

Once the chocolate gets harvested theres a big process before it’s ready to be packaged! Here’s a little insight into how they make their chocolate…

  • Once the cocoa is harvested its cracked open and the seeds of the cocoa fruit are scooped out and covered in banana leaves to ferment.
  • Another great thing about Callebaut is they blend and roast their cocoa beans in house.
  • First the master blender makes a selection of varieties of cocoa to put together that develops the body of the chocolate.
  • Then they’re roasted in their shells to preserve the most delicate flavours and aromas, each one requires a different roasting time to develop its full potential.
  • They’re then finely ground into cocoa mass ready to go through conching.
  • Coaching is the careful kneading of the chocolate dough for hours at a high heat.
  • It’s then finished with cocoa butter and natural vanilla to round it off and give a balanced taste.
  • It’s then packaged and ready to send off to be used and enjoyed by all of us!

Hopefully this has given you a bit of an insight into the world of chocolate and how it goes from bean to chocolate, for any more information follow this link!

http://www.callebaut.com/uken/from-bean-to-chocolate

All information taken from www.callebaut.com