Palm, pouches and striving to make the right choices

Palm, pouches and striving to make the right choices | Russell and Atwell

It's difficult to know where to start when talking about the environment and the responsibility that we all have to look after it without sounding preachy or somehow as if we are trying to 'greenwash' our business.

So, first things first, neither Steve nor I are environmental experts. We're people with loads of experience in chocolate who want to make ridiculously tasty chocolates and who are striving to do it as sustainably as we can. 

We constantly try to do the right thing from a sustainable perspective, which for us involves making a myriad of little choices on a day-to-day basis.  We know that not everyone will agree with these choices and we know we can always do more/better. You can hear Giles talk a little more on a recent podcast and we were delighted to be named in the Times as 'Top 5 sustainable chocolate brands we rate'

So, what choices have we made so far?

On Ingredients

We have sought out delicious, local (wherever possible) & sustainable 'real food'.

- We buy the majority of our cocoa from Colombia from a family business called Luker who work directly with over 50 cocoa farmer cooperatives to train, educate and promote sustainable and profitable cocoa models that increase their income and quality of life. In 2011 they started to plant cocoa forests in regions of Colombia heavily impacted by armed conflict. 

- Probably most importantly, we resolved to make our chocolates with organic British cream from the Cotswolds instead of palm oil.

 

According to the UN, palm-oil production has increased 50 times in the last 30 years and deforestation is now one of the key drivers of climate change, not to mention having a profound impact on the habitat of many animals including the endangered Orangutang.

 

- We use honey from Wainwrights family business who were nominated as 🌿BEST BUY🌿 in the Ethical Consumer 2020 Honey Survey and got best rating for their Bee Welfare Policy.

- We use sea-salt that is hand-harvested using biomass, wind and solar to power extraction. 

On primary packaging 

We seek to make our packaging as sustainable as possible, whether through recycling or better still re-using and refilling. All our packaging has the additional challenging job of keeping our chocolates deliciously fresh in a fridge which is always cold and sometimes damp.

- Our original 90g pouches have now evolved from being Oxo-Degradable to LDPE 4 which means they can be recycled kerbside by some councils, or deposited for recycling at major supermarkets with other bags.

- Our glass jars are made from recycled glass and are recyclable and re-usable, especially with our Eco Refill system - see below:

- Our Eco Refill pouches are designed to be filled, sent and emptied into the glass jars within a few days. They are made from grease & moisture-resistant paper and are fully recyclable with paper, kerbside.

On secondary packaging

All of our secondary packaging is recyclable, most of it is recycled too.

We use recycled paper in all our boxes, which are also recyclable.

- We wrap the packs in tissue paper and insert an information card - all recyclable.

- For our glass jars, we use paper sizzle-pack and paper bubble-wrap to protect them.

 

- We seal all boxes with paper kraft tape and, for retailers, often re-purpose boxes to send orders.

And finally...

Cards on the table, we've made good progress, and are plastic-free with the majority of our packaging but we've yet to find a 90g pouch that can keep our chocolates in great shape in the fridge and be recyclable kerbside - but we won't stop looking!

Our dream is to focus on a refill model with glass jars and paper pouches, but we'll need to get a bit bigger before we can get there!

We're open to suggestions on how to improve further, don't hesitate to let us know if you have any ideas to info@russellandatwell.com

 Steve & Giles

 

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Comments

Jackie Dee

I haven’t tried your chocolates yet, but I’m very interested and have read your background all through the site.

I have bought from the Chocolate Shop, which is lovely because they produce lovely chocolate from 80% chocolate to eat just on its own, and then all chocolates designs as well.

But yours is like you’d make yourself, and I should love to try it, but it is only the dark I would like. But for the moment I am in Hospital having broken my hip, and I have had a Stroke,18yrs ago, so it takes longer to mend! I have been here two weeks and have to move to rehabilitation soon!

But I wish you well after Dragon’s Den!

Jackie

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