Helping to support an environmentally responsible and socially just world through chocolate and coffee

Helping to support an environmentally responsible and socially just world through chocolate and coffee

By Madelaine Partsioglou

Helping to support an environmentally responsible and socially just world through chocolate and coffee

Environmental and Ethically Sustainable Coffee and Chocolate

As a family, we aim to minimise the impact of our business on the environment and contribute to local communities to give back to those who support us. Our family and team care deeply about the wellbeing of the planet and are therefore always striving to implement environmentally conscious systems and methods in the operation of our kitchen and stores. With chocolate being at the core of our business, it is essential for us to source our chocolate in a manner that is not only environmentally sustainable but also ethical and fairly sourced. As our speciality is not in bean to bar (i.e. conching), the best way we can ensure social equity as a business is to purchase certified Fair-Trade chocolate made by Belgian producer Callebaut. Callebaut operates in partnership with the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, an organisation that promotes the livelihood and prosperity of cocoa farmers and their communities. Concentrating their work in the Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Tanzania, Callebaut and the Cocoa Horizons Foundation work to ensure cocoa farmers receive a stable income by paying a farmer premium wage and provide training and education for farmers.

We apply our values surrounding sustainability to not only our chocolate, but our high quality, specialty coffee as well. Our coffee supplier, 5 Senses, ensures that those working at farm level are being paid the best prices possible for their work. Their direct relationship with the coffee farmers without a third party allows for this as well as transparency in the supply chain and encourages sustainable practices for production. Making up 34% of the Hi-Fidelity coffee blend used at Xocolatl, Heza Hills is produced by the Long Miles group who provide education about effective coffee production and land management to farmers that allows for the production of a higher-quality bean. This education allows the farmers to sell their product at a higher price, thus increasing their income and overall financial prosperity. Ethiopian-produced Yirgzero, a coffee making up 34% of Hi-Fidelity, is farmed by women from surrounding farms and villages, giving them the opportunity to earn an income and work in the industry.


Our Xocolatl Packaging

In keeping with our beliefs regarding the environment and climate, we aim to use the most sustainable packaging options available to us at Xocolatl. We strive to reduce single-use plastics in our packaging and use as many recyclable and biodegradable materials as possible. Made by BioPak, our BioCups used for takeaway coffees and hot chocolates are made out of plant-based materials rather than oil. Our cups and straws are biodegradable and our lids are recyclable, reducing waste and landfill. We also encourage the use of reusable cups among customers by providing a discount to those who use them. We also sell a range of Joco Cups in our stores to avoid using takeaway cups. We encourage the reuse of other packaging such as takeaway trays to further reduce waste. Furthermore, almost all of the packaging we use for our chocolate is cardboard or paper-based, making it recyclable.



Brick and Mortar Business

We encourage sustainable practices in all facets of our business, including the operation of our kitchen and our stores. We employ a rotational system with our packaging for products from the kitchen that are transported and distributed to our three stores, further reducing waste. Our waste management system in our kitchen and three stores includes thorough recycling processes including soft-plastics recycling. When dealing with our bonbon chocolates, we use reusable cotton gloves instead of single-use plastic gloves. We also use reusable moulds in the production of our chocolate bonbons.


Community Involvement and Donations

Our family and team believe in the importance of giving back to and supporting our surrounding communities and those who support our business. We regularly make donations to nearby schools and kindergartens in the form of chocolate and funds. Facilitated by World Vision, we donate all of our tips to three sponsor children in need – one for each of our stores. As a small business ourselves, we make it a priority to support other small Australian businesses when possible. We choose to source some products from small businesses such as Almond Milk Co, Minor Figures (Oat Milk), Burnham Bakery (bread), 5&Dime (bagels) and Penny for Pound (cakes).

Blog post written by Mary Collie and compiled by Kiren Sandhu