To our community,
We are incredibly excited to share that TCHO Chocolate is officially recognized as a Certified B Corporationhttps™! We were able to obtain this honorable certificate because of our ongoing sustainability efforts through our TCHO Source Program and work to improve the lives of our partners, employees, customers, suppliers, and our local community.
You're probably wondering why one more certification? As a company with a long track record of direct work in our supply chain, and a long history of managing numerous certifications (Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, SQF), you might be wondering why TCHO chose to pursue another certification. Most certifications focus on a very narrow aspect of business (Food Safety, Ingredient Quality, sourcing of a single ingredient), B Corp™ truly casts a wide lens looking at every intersectional aspect of doing business. We pay attention to every detail; how ingredients are sourced, how products are packaged, how workers at every stage are treated, how the environment is impacted and more. We are up to the challenge of reckoning with improving all aspects of our business with public accountability and B Corp™ is the only certification evaluating impact on this level.
After an extensive application process, this certification was awarded to us on our first attempt. On average, companies taking the assessment receive a score of 50.9, so it’s safe to say achieving B Lab’s 80 point threshold score for certification is no easy task. B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab's initiatives include B Corp Certification™, administration of the B Impact Management programs and software, and advocacy for governance structures like the benefit corporation. B Lab's vision is for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.
Some actions that stood out to our certifier were that we’ve installed 10 TCHO Flavor Labs all over the world to improve the cocoa supply chain and that we’ve maintained long-term relationships with the same cacao farmers, co-ops, and agronomists since TCHO was founded in 2008. Not only does the B Corp™ Certification hold us accountable for every action we take moving forward, we are also joining a movement to be more inclusive and more equitable, as well as continuing to support a regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.
Examples of TCHO’s notable work on all five B Corp™ categories evaluated:
- Governance -- As a Certified B Corp™, we have signed a Declaration of Interdependence, to consider us responsible for upholding their commitment as model economic leaders in the industry and aspiring “to do no harm and benefit all.”
- Workers -- Despite the many challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020, we have been able to keep every one of our workers employed full-time. Since TCHO was founded in 2008, our team has held a high retention rate and kept many tenured employees. And we are able to pay well above minimum wage and offer an array of worker benefits.
- Community -- Many of the international suppliers that we source cacao from today have been working with us since we started making chocolate in 2008. For example, our sourcing team has been working with Oro Verde Cooperative in Lamas, Peru, since 2008. Oro Verde cacao was in some of our very first chocolate bars and is still used in our chocolate today. Most of our suppliers are small-scale family farmers that we've partnered with through long-standing relationships, educational opportunities, and financial assistance. To this day, each unique source of cocoa is visited directly by members of the TCHO team to ensure that our partners have the resources they need to make the best cacao, so we can make the best chocolate.
In addition, we have donated $10,000 annually to the African Cocoa Initiative II, a project focused on improving West African cocoa supply chains.
- Environment -- Our chocolate is certified Fair Trade and certified USDA Organic. As a company, we’ve prioritized not only sourcing individual organic ingredients, but have certified our chocolate bars organic whenever possible.
We’ve been involved in intercropping, reforestation, and biodiversity efforts. And now that we’ve achieved this certificate, we are able to initiate a tracking system to start sharing our carbon calculations with the public as a part of our transparency reports. Reducing our carbon footprint is a top priority goal in the coming years.
- Customers -- We’ve always been proud of our customer service, making real people available to talk to customers in case problems arise or as customers are looking to share feedback. Our work with customers extends to the culinary community through our TCHO Pro Initiative, as well. We’ve identified, promoted, and invested in chef partnerships with a variety of creative minds throughout the food industry. The result is a constantly growing collection of content developed to inspire the world’s chocolate enthusiasts.
We couldn’t have done this without all of our suppliers, vendors, and partners helping us achieve this milestone, it took many people and organizations to help us get here. We are thrilled to be joining the ranks of companies such as Ben and Jerry’s, Miyoko’s, Amy’s Kitchen, and Patagonia, along with 3,000+ Certified B Corporations™ across different industries, all over the world. We look forward to using the B Corp™ assessment as a framework to publicly track TCHO’s year over year impact on the environment, our local community, and all people involved in the creation and enjoyment of TCHO chocolate.
To visit our public profile, please visit, https://bcorporation.net/directory/t-c-h-o-ventures-inc
Stay tuned for more to come!