Food is sacred. Chocolate is incredible. These are things we know to be true. Loving Earth blend these truisms into their amazing products. Their organic, plant based chocolate is made from regeneratively grown cacao sourced from growers in Peru that receive above fair trade wages. Their magic is mixed together in a solar-powered factory, where the chocolate is crafted and then wrapped in compostable packaging using recycled board and vegetable inks.
How a fair trade chocolate business was built
What sets this chocolate apart from the rest is the real relationships they have with their growers around the world. In 2000, Loving Earth Founder Scott Fry was was living in India studying yoga. He was working with Adivasi rice farmers on the outskirts of Mumbai. They were selling their topsoil and cutting down their trees to make bricks. While he was sitting on a bus reading David Suzuki’s book ‘Naked Ape to Super Species’, he had an epiphany. He realised he needed to create a way to help these farmers protect their way of living with the land. Chocolate was not yet on his mind.
Six years later, after living in Mexico with Loving Earth’s Creative Director, Martha, and working with several large indigenous cooperatives, he saw that the key to supporting these communities would be to have a brand in the marketplace. He wanted to commercialise these communities’ commodities in a way that not only honoured them, but also allowed them to do what they’d been doing for thousands of years. Scott moved back to Australia, set up in the spare room of his rental house and before long couldn’t keep up with demand.
Indigenous communities around the world face the same battles
From day one, relationships with grower communities have been [word = paramount]. Loving Earth believe that indigenous communities around the world are subjected to the same cancerous process that the Adivasi rice farmers faced. These marginalised communities are often left watching outsiders come in and destroy their natural assets for minimal, if any, short term benefits, while the long-term value of those assets is completely destroyed.
By creating meaningful relationships there’s much more considered than a simple supplier/buyer dynamic. For example, Loving Earth helped the Ashaninka community in Peru, who they source their cacao from, become certified organic and set up a bank account so that they could trade their beautiful cacao. They pay them a higher than fair trade price for the heirloom Amazonico Crillo cacao whose entire harvest they buy every year. They grow this cacao in a regenerative agroforestry system supporting the Ashaninka to protect the forest that they have been guardians of for generations.
They also have connections with the Nyul Nyul community in The Kimberleys who harvest the Gubinge (kakadu plum), an Australian native super food. Their connection to the land and rich history is still carried forward today. Something Loving Earth acknowledge must be respected, trea sured, and protected.