The secret ingredient to responsible chocolate

 
 
 

The melted chocolate folds like silk as it’s poured. When it’s set, each block is then dropped in a mound of cacao powder, creating a decadent dust cloud. Delicious scents stir childhood memories of Willy Wonka sashaying through his chocolate factory. Anthony Gird is a chocolatier too. But unlike the fictional character’s exploitation of bite-sized Oompa Loompas, Gird keeps it ethical.

His own little factory began as a home experiment as he merged art, science, and raw cacao. But Gird’s delight halted momentarily when he realised that even the sweet skill of chocolate-making has a dark side. The cacao industry, most notably in the Ivory Coast, is one of the largest contributors to deforestation and child slavery. While so many big companies profit off this, Gird wanted to do better. “Chocolate treats can be guilt-free if we just slow down a bit and buy responsibly,” he says. The chocolatier engages directly with farmers in Tanzania and South Africa, regularly visiting the farms and vetting processes.

With his bean-to-bar company, Honest Chocolate, Gird produces chocolate the old-fashioned way – by hand. Every step of the production line contributes to the protection of the environment. By sourcing locally, there is ethical consideration for people too. “I hope that South Africans will look at our journey and feel inspired,” Gird says. Knowing that no harm is done in the process makes the taste so much sweeter.