We get many questions here at Kerstin’s Chocolates, and we like to answer as many as we can.
Please send any questions you may have on our Contact page.
Q1: Where does the chocolate you use in your Chocophilia bars come from?
A1: We use chocolate that is processed by one of the world’s smaller chocolate manufacturers.
It is roasted and refined in a factory in Switzerland. The beans are grown in specific cacao producing regions (Ecuador, Venezuela and Madagascar), blending beans only from that region. The beans are all Criollo type beans, except for the Ecuadorian chocolate, which is a Forastero type called “Nacional”. We purchase this chocolate in bulk and use it to make all of our products. We use only two manufacturers as sources for our chocolate: Felchlin (Switzerland) and Valrhona (France). These are two of the best chocolate makers in the world, and their attention to detail and artistry allow us to create the best chocolates possible.
Q2: Is the chocolate in Chocophilia bars certified Organic?
A2: Our chocolate is not certified Organic, but in general, cacao trees are one of the lowest users of synthetic pesticides/herbicides and inorganic fertilizers. Cocoa trees are actually very finicky and produce more and better beans on smaller plantations that leave the trees in their original environment. We have been searching for certified organic chocolate that meets our requirements for flavor and texture, but have yet to find any.
Q3: Is your chocolate certified Fair Trade?
A3: Short answer: No. Long answer: We sell and work with high quality, mostly single origin chocolate from world-renowned chocolate makers. To obtain such a high quality, these companies either own the cocoa plantations that provide the beans for their chocolate, or they work with small farmers on a direct trade system. This way, they can control the conditions under which the cocoa beans grow, as well as rely on the expertise of the cocoa farmers. So we are almost 100% sure that none of the chocolate we work with or sell in our shop comes from large plantations that sell on the open market and have highly questionable labour conditions.
Often, products labeled “Fair Trade” come from fair trade initiatives. While this system is fantastic, the people in these initiatives are not necessarily trained in how to make high quality chocolate. There are a few high-end chocolate makers who have gone through the “Fair Trade” certification process. However, that has made the price of their chocolate extremely high and we think that it would be hard to find people willing to pay that much.
We are still keeping our eyes open to find high-quality fair trade chocolate. Meanwhile we have the assurance of our suppliers that they tread their farmers as ethically as possible.
Please contact us or leave a comment if you have any other questions that you would like to see on this FAQ.