Our Solution to the Protection of Biological Diversity?

Wait, Eating Chocolate to Protect and Restore Nature?

by Teresa Nowicki

May 2019

For many of us it is no news and yet, the latest report by the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES) has shaken the news world. It states that in the coming years and decades, one million species will be threatened with extinction if there are no fundamental changes in land use, environmental protection and mitigation of climate change. We are explaining how sustainable agricultural cultivation of rare cacao is a major solution to the protection of the threatened biological diversity.

One solution to preserve biodiversity is the sustainable cultivation of rare cocoa varieties – this is exactly the purpose Original Beans was founded on. Wait, eating chocolate to protect and restore nature? It may sound like a clever marketing strategy to you, but there is more than meets the eye! We explain to you how it works – and how we all can contribute to make it work.


Rainforest afforestation with cocoa is a win for all! And nature can benefit the most

Let’s start with the tree – as many may not know, cocoa is a fruit that grows on the tree just like apples or pears. Not on our native orchards, but in the tropical rainforest. The big advantage: The cacao tree is a shade plant and needs other trees around it to grow well.

It means good cocoa does not grow in monocultures, that often comes along with deforestation and forest degradation and has led to destruction of rainforests multiple times. In its true nature cocoa trees are meant to grow in the midst of multiple splendor. And healthy, well-bearing cocoa trees are the foundation of our Original Beans chocolate. To find the best and rarest varieties of cocoa in the world, our “Bean Team” roams the remotest corners of the world, often working on-site with indigenous tribes such as the Arhuaco in Colombia or the Zoque and Tzotsil indigenous people in Mexico abandoning the often common slash-and-burn and switching to semi-wild land use instead with mixed cocoa crops, which is much more sustainable.

To preserve the rare cocoa, a tree is planted or protected in the cocoa-growing areas for each single bar of our Single Origin Chocolates sold. It is our Corporate Social Responsibility, to ensure the habitat of endangered species and preserving the biodiversity of the eco-system. The loss of forests is of particular concern because of their importance for the climate, both at the local level and globally. Our rare cacao trees grow in the world’s most CO2-rich forest areas. Original Beans provides secure incomes and training to our cacao farmers. As a consequence, they feel empowered to better protect the surrounding forests.

Over two million trees have already been planted through our One Bar: One Tree program. Each tree can be tracked to its origin.


Original Beans as being a planet-positive social business. A what? The commitment to biodiversity goes much further for us: along our supply chain, we can find important climate protection measures. Our chocolate production is 100% renewable. And Original Beans is the only chocolate company to be climate-positive or “planet-positive.” A cost-of-climate and revenue calculation conducted by two independent expert teams (Footprints4Food and CarbonRoots) in January 2014 revealed that a panel of Original Beans Cru Virunga 70% in its value chain contributes positively to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and does so in three ways, because every tree planted in a healthy cocoa forest absorbs 274g more CO2 than the production of a chocolate bar. This means every bar gives back more to nature than it takes to produce it. Isn’t that awesome?

Become a climate activist!
Help us to prevent species extinction and protection biological diversity!

The Paris Climate Agreement has set a climate plan for the international community. But corporate and private initiatives can act faster and drive national agendas. In the end, it is up to all of us to be the change. We are proving that saving the planet can be very delicious and welcome you to try it yourself! Taste the rare and preserve it.

by Teresa Nowicki

May 2019

Silky notes of caramel, hazelnut and salt float through this chocolate from rare Arriba cacao like a cloud forest’s mist where tree frogs bask.

The daily mists and rains rising up from the Pacific to the Esmeraldas cacao forests cannot unsettle a sloth whose thickish fur grows upwards for the perfect water run-off. Your purchase of Esmeraldas 42% helps protect Ecuador’s last cloud forest and the sloth’s gentle way of life.

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