I will answer your questions quickly and you can find more detail below.
Do we know where Huel’s cocoa comes from exactly? Yeap mainly West Africa.
Is it better to buy Fair Trade cocoa or not to buy cocoa at all? It depends on the company and what you mean by “better”.
Our supplier sources the majority of their cocoa beans from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, the cocoa powder is then produced in the Netherlands.
It is great to see that you share our concerns about the problems in the chocolate industry. These sustainability concerns were a fundamental driver in our supplier choice for cocoa powder. We are proud to say that our supplier has been instrumental in facing into the challenges of the industry and establishing new programs and targets to turn things around. With over 1000 dedicated staff members who are embedded in the business driving sustainability targets, they deliver multiple programs which are all leading them towards their 2025 sustainability goals.
Their sustainability framework is split into three segments, ‘prosperous farmers and food systems’, ‘thriving communities’ and ‘regeneration of the living world’. The framework encompasses programs that include investing in local farming communities through providing funding for educational and health facilities, replanting trees, working with farmers to better their efficiencies in order to enhance productivity and yield and reducing waste. They are also working really hard to lobby the rest of the chocolate industry to follow suit.
Like you say labels such as ‘Fair Trade’ are only indicative of the guidelines that suppliers follow. At Huel we prefer to assess suppliers individually alongside noting any certificates to ensure that we are comfortable and happy that they are a good sustainable supplier.
Our Supplier is also a member of SEDEX which is a body that focuses on Sustainable and Ethical trading. They assess all manner of things from environmental impact to employees working hours, facilities etc. Nobody is completely perfect, but these guys are genuinely working hard to make a difference.