I source all ingredients from partners who share my beliefs in fair pay for producers and in sustainable agriculture.
Certifications like Fair Trade and Organic are helpful places to start, but the story is bigger than that. I believe in supporting the "specialty" model of cacao production, where producers invest in and strive for quality and are rewarded for it with higher prices that reflect production costs. This model is different from the traditional "commodity" system, where prices are the same regardless of quality and don't always cover production costs.
Starting in 2020, I began sourcing all ingredients from as close to home as possible to reduce supply chain miles and support the regional economy. I also began requiring organic certification for all ingredients. For cacao and cane sugar, this means focusing sourcing on the Caribbean region. Other ingredients include sea salt harvested off the California coast, and coffee grown in Mexico and roasted here in Madison, WI.
William Marx, owner & chocolate maker, winnowing cracked cacao beans.
Packaging is complicated and ever-changing. Sustainability and protecting the chocolate are the key considerations, and my goal is to continually improve. In 2020, I began transitioning from plastic-lined boxes to lightweight flexible packages for the chocolate bars. These flexible packages have many advantages: they use fewer raw materials, are lighter to ship, better protect the chocolate, and are produced locally. For now, the film used to make them is not recyclable or compostable, but its small size minimizes landfill waste. I am confident that non-landfill end-of-life options are coming soon as these films evolve, and look forward to implementing them as soon as possible.
I use all-electric production equipment, powered by 100% renewable wind- and solar-derived electricity through MGE's Green Power Tomorrow (GPT) program.
Caring about the planet and its people should not stop at the chocolate bar. From using sustainable shipping materials to striving for energy-efficient production techniques, I am on an ongoing quest to lighten my chocolate's footprint. If you have questions or suggestions related to sustainability, please submit them via my contact page.