Chocolate is a delight we all love to indulge in. From birthday gifts to romantic tokens of affection or simply an evening treat, it brings so much joy. However, not all chocolate is made equal — nor is it all made sustainably.
Fortunately, sustainability is at the heart of the Love Cocoa ethos. We recognise that the chocolate industry has a huge impact on the environment. To grow cocoa beans, the central ingredient of chocolate, you need plenty of land. And to make room, this usually results in heavy deforestation which, in turn, contributes to habitat loss and climate change. Something needs to change. So, in a bid to combat the ecological effect of making chocolate, we’ve set up our Plant A Tree Project.
Read on to learn more about how the project works, how you can get involved, and why it’s so important to take action now.
What is the Love Cocoa Plant A Tree Project?
The premise of our Plant A Tree project is very simple — for every chocolate project we sell, we plant a tree. So far, we’ve planted over one million trees to help combat climate change, and we continue to increase that number year after year.
We’re working with Eden Reforestation Projects, an NGO, to help restore natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation. This incredible organisation works with communities around the world to help restore forests on a huge scale. As well as protecting ecosystems and mitigating the effects of climate change, the work carried out Eden Reforestation Projects helps create jobs for local people.
How does cocoa production cause deforestation?
To produce chocolate, we need to harvest cocoa. The best way to do so is on small, sustainable farms. Big industrial players, however, are cultivating vast amounts, destroying millions of native trees to make space for the cocoa trees. Not only does this reduce biodiversity by introducing a single type of crop, but it also leads to higher carbon emissions and destroys habitats — countless species are being driven to extinction.
Known as ‘monocropping’, this agricultural practice disrupts entire ecosystems — from organisms in the soil to wildlife and local residents. Sadly, experts predict that around 28,000 plant and animal species will become extinct in the next 25 years due to deforestation.
To minimise the destruction, we need to start at the source. And, fortunately, there are ways to grow cocoa in a more gentle, sustainable, and biodiverse way.
Cocoa is grown in many parts of the world, but West African countries are being particularly impacted by deforestation. In fact, this region is facing an average loss of 40,000 square kilometres per year. As the top producers of cocoa (West African countries grow about 70% of the world’s cocoa beans), deforestation in locations such as Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Ghana is happening four times faster than the global rate.
That’s why we partnered with Trees for the Future in 2020 — we worked with eight communities in Cameroon to plant thousands of saplings.
Our partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects has also helped us support cocoa farmers in other parts of Africa, too, including Kenya. As well as replenishing the trees that cocoa production cuts into, we want to support local farming communities. Our suppliers work closely with cocoa-growing communities to establish sustainable farming practices and improve the industry for future generations.
How can you help tackle cocoa-related deforestation?
Are you wondering how you can support our Plant A Tree Project? It couldn’t be easier! All you need to do is purchase any of our chocolate products. For each chocolate bar, box of truffles, or hot chocolate pack you buy, we’re committed to planting a tree in a region impacted by cocoa production.
Climate-positive chocolate from Love Cocoa
We know that, with the right measures in place, chocolate can be produced in a sustainable way. By focusing on the source, and improving the way cocoa beans are grown around the world, we can promote a greener, fairer mode of production.We don’t want to just be carbon-neutral — our Plant A Tree Project helps us produce carbon-negative treats that are good for you, our cocoa farmers, and the planet. Explore our full chocolate collection for delicious nibbles and gifts.