An Original Beans chocolate links you straight to the cradle of life, our miraculous rainforests. True to our motto “One bar : One tree”, Original Beans enables local farmers in the origins to plant a cacao or shade tree directly into the thicket for every bar sold. The new trees improve the livelihood of farmer families, the integrity of threatened bio-diversity hotspots and consequently our world’s climate.
Let’s replant together – bite by bite!
All people involved with Original Beans - from the local cacao producer to you, our customer - are united by the belief that we must replenish, what we consume. Click through the cycle above to learn how this works.
Active replanting is the best way to buffer and protect primary rainforests. Original Beans establishes with local partners tree nurseries, creates conservation training programs, and helps planting buffer zones around rainforest reserves. New cacao trees generate income for farmers after three years; the other diverse plantings secure future food and firewood. Each Original Beans bar contains a tracking code which designates the planting area. We track the provision of tree seedlings to each remote nursery where the attendant signs off the lots.
When you think “chocolate”, think of the poorest people: subsistence farmers in the tropics. They are the producers of fine flavour cacao. Trading it directly with Original Beans avoids money lost to middlemen and doubles their incomes to thousand dollars per year - allowing them to send another child to school or to visit a doctor. Original Beans obligates itself to pay the farmers more than the sixfold of the official fair-trade premium in exchange for high quality and ecological commitment. This way we can convince smallholder famers to refrain from slash-and-burn pratices - the number one climate killer - and instead convert to a more sustainable semi-wild cultivation of mixed crops.
Rainforests cover only 6 percent of the Earth's surface but yet contain as much as 3/4 of all plant and animal species. They are the genetic library, freshwater reservoir and lungs of our planet. But our oldest living ecosystems are severly under threat - with shocking consequences. Annual rainforest destruction releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than all global transport combined; and the expansion of human habitat has caused an extinction rate of biological diversity, comparable to that of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It is high time that we as consumers actively respond to nature's wake-up call with conscious shopping choices.
Cacao originated in the rainforests of Latin America. Early on, people discovered that the bitter seeds of the cacao tree can be turned into something very tasty. Picked ripe, thoroughly fermented and dried, and finely ground, cacao carries the flavours of its original fruit and terroir. As the ancient American cultures - the Aztecs, Inkas and Mayas- revered the cacao tree and its seeds, each community propagated its own local cacao. However, in times hybrid and monoculture-cacao, many of these origin cacaos are nearly extinct. Original Beans' mission is to seek and preserve unique bean varieties, recovering their distinct aromas in each of our chocolates.
Few products offer consumers the opportunity for participation in the conservation of nature and the betterment of poor peoples' lives than chocolate. All we as chocolate lovers have to do is to enjoy (much) more and pay (little) more. Good cacao requires hardly add-on ingredients to become finest chocolate. It deserves to be appreciated like a top wine. As a rule of thumb, a small subsistence farmer usually earns about 10% of your chocolate's purchase price. Pay more and s/he earns more. Most importantly: you will taste more!