Zero waste & emission free
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Frequently asked questions
Our ideals & practices
What does 'a fully sustainable cocoa chain' mean?
There are very few companies that actually make chocolate, let alone control the entire chain. We can say that because our work starts with cooperating with farmers and farmer cooperatives in Congo, Peru, Nicaragua and Colombia. We make sure that people and nature are treated with respect in our origins, that transport is as emission-free as possible (sometimes even completely emission free), and that once the cocoa arrives in Amsterdam, it is processed in our solar powered factory; emission free and plastic free.
Is everything 100% organic at Chocolatemakers?
Yes. Our whole cocoa chain is organic and also the ingredients we add to our chocolate are always organic. That is non-negotiable us, we will never change this.
What are you doing for nature conservation and biodiversity?
This section of the website will keep changing because we are always looking for more ways to do even better for the planet. For example, by paying farmers in Congo a fair price, we are actively combating deforestation. The forests where mountain gorillas live and are highly endangered. Because they have a good income the farmers do not have to choose deforestation and the cocoa trees provide a nice protection for the gorilla's habitat. In Peru, we worked with the local people to build a chocolate factory to ensure that the farmers there can make their own chocolate. They can now be part of the cocoa chain through the new factory. The Awajun tribe in Peru that we work with live off slash-and-burn agriculture and control large areas of rainforest. Due to population growth, pressure on the rainforest is increasing and other sources of income are important for the survival of their way of life. Cocoa is a perfect alternative here, it requires shade trees and can be planted in combination with other crops. It reduces the need for "slash and burn" agriculture which can prevent the deforestation of the rainforest.
Does your cocoa come all the way to Amsterdam on wind power?
We are indeed trying to get as much cocoa as possible to travel with the sailing ship, the Tres Hombres. Completely on wind power, there is no engine on board. That costs more money and takes 4-6 months per crossing. But we wouldn't want to exchange it for a container ship. The bars with a sailing ship on the packaging and our sails are all made from 'sailboat cocoa'. We also choose the most sustainable transport for our other origins, and hopefully, in the future, we will be able to have all our cocoa come by sailboat.
Do you only work with solar energy in Amsterdam?
That's right, all the way! And we even have some power left over that we feed back into the grid. It is possible, even if you need a lot of machines, like we do.
Is your chocolate slave-free?
We can say "yes" to this. But the answer is more complex than that and very important to know. We hope you read on because every consumer should understand this better in order to make the right choice in the store. A good answer starts with explaining the word slave-free. Used a lot these days, but what is it about and when can a company really call it that? What it is about in the context of chocolate is forced child labor, the modern form of slavery. This is still very common in many parts of the world, and it is true that as a chocolate producer you have a direct impact on this. Know this: there are no guarantees, but child labor, especially its worst forms, can be largely eliminated by taking 4 key steps. 1. Own the chain itself. Bean-to-bar, if done right, means that the chocolate producer is involved in the process from the moment the bean is harvested from the tree. This is the only way to directly and positively influence the working and living conditions of the farmers. Through careful agreements on working methods, safety and transport. But also: by setting clear rules for age limits for the workers on the plantations. Most chocolate in the stores is purchased from large chocolate producers and only further processed in Europe or America. That makes it almost impossible to trace the chain back and prevent child labor on plantations. We control the entire chain from tree to bar and keep personal contact with our farmer cooperatives. 2. Paying a living income.The root cause of child labor worldwide is poverty. To prevent farmers from putting their children to work, damaging the natural areas in which they produce, or shortening the time it takes delicious cocoa to reach its optimal taste in the country of origin, farmers must be paid better. Better? Yes, they should be paid a living income. There are official barometers for that, to set these rates by region. We pay our farmers 50% more than the Fairtrade minimum average, thus ensuring that they do not have to put their children to work and can maintain better working conditions and working hours themselves. We are constantly examining whether our prices in the various regions still reflect the situation of the world and our farmers. 3. Avoiding certain areas.Unfortunately, even full chain and better income cannot prevent child labor in some countries. The western regions of Africa, especially the Ivory Coast and Ghana, are known for child labor. Indeed, this is dangerous child labor. Children between 5 and 17 are employed to spray pesticides, which are enormously dangerous chemicals that are very harmful to children. Unfortunately, child labor is still increasing in these areas. We source our cocoa exclusively from Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua and Congo, where we can guarantee that the pesticide is not used, where the political climate protects the children and we can make good agreements with the farmers and farmer cooperatives. 4. Bio, bio, bio!Again, this is mainly about dangerous forms of child labor, the spraying of pesticides. This is not allowed on organic products. There are strict guidelines to be certified organic. Dangerous pesticides are certainly not allowed to be used. Not only important for the chocolate eater and his body, but especially for the children and farmers in the origin. With an organic purchase you not only protect yourself and nature, you also protect the people at the beginning of the chain. Non-organic certified chocolate is one of the greatest dangers for children in cocoa regions. Every cacao import from all origins is tested at Chocolatemakers in an independent lab for 450 pesticides used worldwide. Our chocolate is so delicious because we think about a lot of steps. We want to spoil our customers. But we would love it even more if you enjoy it and pass it on so that everyone can make more conscious choices at the supermarket.
Taste & Production
What is real chocolate to you?
We believe that real chocolate should be made with great care: artisanal, 100% organic, Fairtrade, zero waste and sustainable. All ingredients are top quality. And we prefer to add as little as possible to the cocoa: the taste of the bean must come into its own. Cocoa - like coffee and wine - is a natural product. The region and the conditions under which cocoa beans grow are reflected in the chocolate. That is called terroir. That's also why our real chocolate has different flavor tones, sometimes you think you taste raspberry, other times banana or caramel. As with wine and coffee, the flavors have to do with the origins and the whole process from picking to roasting.
How do sustainable and social choices affect taste?
In addition to working entirely organically, we also ensure that we pay our farmers a fair price in all origins. We pay 50% more per tonne of cocoa than the fair trade average. And that is what you taste. Because our farmers get paid well, they are not forced to rush in the process. This means that the beans are allowed to ripen, dry and ferment for a long time. Just until they are perfect for the journey to the Netherlands and further processing in our factory in Amsterdam.
Are your bars gluten-free?
That's right! We work exclusively with gluten-free products for our original & pure range.
Are your bars nut-free?
We have recently started to process nuts in our factory. Therefore, all our bars now read "may contain traces of nuts", even though there are no nuts in the bar. However, we know how nice it is for people with a nut allergy to be able to eat delicious chocolate without worry. That is why we make hand-poured chocolate bars in a separate room that are guaranteed nut-free. You can order these via our nut-free subscription.
Are your bars lactose-free?
The dark chocolate bars may contain traces of lactose! All bars are poured through one machine. This machine is always cleaned, but when changing from milk to dark, a small amount may remain. This amount is very small, but it does contain traces of lactose.
Are your bars vegan?
Our dark chocolate bars are vegan and are bought by vegan shops and consumers. However, on the packaging you will read 'may contain traces of milk and lactose'. We are legally obliged to provide this information as all bars are poured through the same machine and, despite cleaning, traces of milk may remain.
Ordering and shipping
How does the chocolate subscription work?
- Choose one choco box in our shop.
- You can take out a subscription to all our packages, including the pick & mix
- You pay no shipping costs!
- If you don't like it, you can always stop your subscription after 6 months.
- From now on, you will get your favourite chocolate delivered to your home every month. Through the letterbox, that's easy.
Do you also do sponsoring?
No, we deliberately do not do sponsoring or goodie-bags. If we give away many products for free, we would have to increase the price of our bars and we don't want to do that. The quality of the chocolate, fair prices for the people who grow the cocoa and sustainability come before marketing for us.
Do you ship in the summer?
We ship when the outside temperature is below 22 degrees. This is the only way we can guarantee that the chocolate reaches you in perfect condition. If you order during a very hot week, you may have to wait a while for the chocolate to arrive.
I placed an order online 24 hours ago but have not received anything yet
That can indeed happen. We have a small team and cannot offer the speed of bol.com (we don't make slow food for nothing). We try to send orders within 3 to 4 days. Furthermore, we do not send the chocolate when it is hotter than 22 degrees outside, because then the chocolate could melt in the PostNL van. For environmental reasons, we do not use refrigerated transport. But I am sure you expected that from us. It is therefore possible that the bars will be delivered a little later.
Where can I buy your chocolate?
You can order all our bars here on the website. You can also find us in many shops throughout the Netherlands and in most organic supermarkets.
How do I best store the chocolate bars?
Store them cool (around 18 degrees) and dry, but never in the fridge. Moisture condenses on the bar and affects the quality of the bars. Water and the fat of the cocoa butter are not compatible.
Still have questions?
Is your question not listed here? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.