Anybody that knows me knows I’m a foodie. In addition to that, though, I’m a sucker for sweets – especially chocolates. I’m always looking for new styles, new recipes, and new takes on an age old delicacy. Alter Eco, a company devoted to supplying its customers with fair trade, ethical products, has approached chocolate with both a vision of quality and moral substance.
A Company with a Sweet Mission and an Even Sweeter Product
Seconds after my first bite of Alter Eco chocolate (I tried the Dark Quinoa Chocolate to start), I could tell that whatever they’re doing at Alter Eco, they’re doing it right. This particular bar carried a nice blend of real cocoa, Quinoa, and organic cane sugar, giving it a delicate balance of sweetness and bitterness (with an added crunch). To me, this was one of those chocolate bars to keep on the desk, maybe sneak a few squares throughout the day (I’ve already devoured my bar, so I’ll have to order more).
The next bar that pleased my palette was the Blackout Bar. This bar really lived up to its name – being, at minimum, 85 percent cocoa. That’s intense, but don’t let that scare you away. Actually, our founder, Jameson, considered this chocolate to be “welcoming.” I agree, and I think that’s a fantastic way of describing it. With robust, full bodied flavor, the Blackout bar is able to carry the fullness of traditional dark chocolate without the harshness or poignancy of what I usually consider a normalcy in such blends. Simply put, if you like dark chocolate, this bar is for you.
Unfortunately, my journey of sweetness ended with the third bar – the Dark Velvet (it’s unfortunate because we all wanted more!). This bar was definitely milder than the Blackout, but it still carried that rich, chocolatey taste. With at minimum 46 percent cocoa, this bar offers a more ‘traditional’ approach to the chocolate bar. If you think you like those Hershey’s bars, I suggest trying the Dark Velvet at least once – the quality is noticeably higher.
Growing Sustainability, Providing Opportunity
Alter Eco isn’t just a chocolate company at heart, though. Rather, they offer excellent lines of Quinoa, rice, sugar, and chocolates. All their products are rooted in a deep commitment to social responsibility, ecological awareness, and future planning for future generations. In fact, along with operating under tenets of fair trade, the company also tries to use organic ingredients as much as possible in addition to working at reforesting different parts of the world.
For example, in Peru, Alter Eco works with the Acopagro cooperative to reforest Amazonian areas. Working with the 300 farmers cultivating Fair Trade and Organic certified cocoa in the area, Alter Eco has been able to reign in 12 tons of CO2/ per acre/ per year, a notable feat against the effects of increased CO2 emissions (not to mention the growing problems of biodiversity in the area). Check out their certification!
Alter Eco has also been working with Pure Planet, an extension of the company. Pure Planet works in tandem with other reforestation projects to further offset carbon emissions, mostly in South America (but projects are soon to begin in Thailand). Farmers in both locations are enthused about the change, as better farming practices means healthier soil, and in extension, higher yields.
While I could go on and on, I urge you to check out Alter Eco and their products for yourself. It’s hard to find large companies that are so committed to tenets of social and ecological responsibility. Becoming a loyal customers to Alter Eco means getting both quality products and helping the world! Together, we can pull it off (and with delicious treats along the way!).