Press Release – Wellington Chocolate Factory
Crafting high-quality chocolate for a living already sounds like a dream job: but a Wellington business is taking it to the next level, making sure everyone involved gets a fair shake.
“Like coffee or wine, real chocolate flavour depends a lot on the source ingredients, in our case cocoa beans,” said Rochelle Harrison, co-founder of the Wellington Chocolate Factory. “Unfortunately a lot of cocoa farmers worldwide are taken advantage of. Part of building our business is to find solutions that get us the highest-quality single-origin beans while giving farmers a good deal.”
Wellington Chocolate Factory is the first New Zealand chocolate maker to sign up for the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programme for cocoa, which connects farmers with the growing number of businesses that want to buy their cocoa fairly and sustainably.
“It’s a great way to ensure the supply chain isn’t contaminated – and it actually helps us make better-tasting chocolate.” said Rochelle. “We get access to specific crops with distinct flavours, for instance when you try our Trinidad & Tobago bar you’re tasting vintage beans from the Gran Couva plantation that connect back to the 18th century. This is a crucial point of difference that helps us compete on the international stage.”
“We are delighted that the Wellington Chocolate Factory are showing their commitment to Fairtrade by sourcing their cocoa through the Fairtrade Sourcing Programme for cocoa”, said Molly Harriss Olson, CEO, Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand. “This new programme offers a major opportunity for farmers to sell more of their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, and in the first three months of the programme, international sales of Fairtrade cocoa have grown by 20%, adding an estimated €1.8m in Fairtrade Premium to support farmers and their communities. It’s great to see an innovative Kiwi company being pioneers of this initiative.”
Established in 2010, the Wellington Chocolate Factory makes a range of high-quality organic chocolates, using beans from countries including Madagascar, Dominican Republic, and Peru. Business has grown quickly on the retail and wholesale fronts, with customers attracted by distinctive flavours and the company’s commitment to Fairtrade principles.
Rochelle Harrison has a long history with ethical sourcing: in 2010 she was the first chocolatier in New Zealand to choose 100% certified organic and fair trade ingredients. The Fairtrade Sourcing Programme for cocoa, she says, lets the Chocolate Factory take this to the next level.
‘We’re very proud to have obtained the FAIRTRADE Programme Mark, and will display it on all our packaging going forward.’ says Rochelle. “For us great food brings people together: we’re excited to keep building an ethical, responsible business that supports international Fairtrade.”