Theyo-Tacheles: Bean-to-Bar Chocolate and Women Empowerment

Kakaobohnen für Bean-to-bar Schokolade
We love really good chocolate! For us, “good” doesn’t just mean tasty, but above all produced in a socially-ecological way. You have already found out what that means in the last Theyo Tacheles articles on the subject of child slavery and ' Fairstainability '. In this article you can find out why the bean-to-bar approach can be an indicator of good chocolate and what the disadvantages of women in the cocoa industry are.

Bean-to-bar chocolate

Bean-to-bar primarily describes a trading model: the chocolate manufacturer accompanies the entire process from the bean to the bar. He buys the beans directly from the farmer and roasts, refines and packs them himself. For us, bean-to-bar goes hand in hand with 'direct trade', a trading route that does not take any detours through middlemen. In addition, bean-to-bar is not a protected term. And most importantly: Bean-to-bar basically says nothing about the quality of the chocolate.

Bean-to-bar chocolate is not only delicious but also fair Bean-to-bar chocolate is not only delicious but also fair ©Raaka Chocolate

Reason enough to define the term for us: the cocoa beans are purchased directly from farm cooperatives or the farmers themselves. Everything from processing to packaging takes place in one place. The bean-to-bar movement began in the USA and creates the opportunity to produce transparently and to be able to influence the quality of the chocolate at every step. In our opinion, fair working conditions are also more likely to be guaranteed if the entire process takes place in one company. For us, bean-to-bar is not an advertising word. But part of our mission to strengthen the sustainable chocolate industry and produce really good chocolate.

Made by women

Sure, there are women in the cocoa industry, quite a few in fact. But even though women play a huge role in the chocolate supply chain, they have little influence. They usually work under harsh conditions, receive lower pay than their male colleagues and are more vulnerable to injustice and violence. Most cocoa farms are also owned by men. In some countries, women even have no right to own land. We at Theyo want to take action against this inequality. Our products with the '100% made by Women' label are in female hands from the plantation to the processing. Conscious, secured and fairly paid.

Cocoa bean cultivation in the Philippines ©Auro Cocoa bean cultivation in the Philippines ©Auro

We also source our cool beans from cocoa cooperatives that have a high proportion of female-run farms. And when it comes to chocolate manufacturers, we also try to ensure a good balance of manufacturers. For example, Auro , Svenska Kakaobolaget , Macao Movement , the Bernstein Room and Krakakoa are at least 50% run by women. Why is this important to us? To strengthen the visibility and appreciation of women's work and to show that this work must secure livelihoods and feed families. Female empowerment, yay! By the way, you can find out more about the topic here .

Of course, you can get really good bean-to-bar chocolate here .

Header photo by Kristiana Pinne on Unsplash

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