The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!


Giving Back

It's not enough to hand off to NGOs (non-governmental organizations) the responsibility to redress issues of ethical trade. The purpose of this group is to discuss ways to improve the quality of life of farm families and farm communities worldwide.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 103
Latest Activity: Nov 30

This Group is Sponsored by the Good Food Awards

Redefining Good Food: Tasty. Authentic. Responsible.

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. We grant awards to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. We host an annual Awards Ceremony and Marketplace at the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco to honor the Good Food Award recipients who push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities.

In its third year, Good Food Awards will be given to winners in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits. Awards will be given to producers and their food communities from each of five regions of the US. The Good Food Awards seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good.

Discussion Forum

Non-GMO Sweetner sources / opinions

Started by Susie Wyshak. Last reply by beth campbell Apr 10, 2013. 1 Reply

Fair Trade

Started by Solis Lujan Apr 7, 2011. 0 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Giving Back to add comments!

Comment by Thomas Forbes on March 2, 2013 at 9:02am

Adrian,  I would also like to someday use the Grenada Chocolate Company as a partial model for what I hope to do in the Dominican Republic.  I have yet crunch the numbers, but this would be a large system if not connected to the grid.  I have worked with photovoltaics in the DR and little in Honduras and running machines and air conditioners is not easy on PV.  I hope to work with two women cooperatives who make chocolate paste and other cacao products and would love to see how you are sizing the system or plan on expanding over time. 

Comment by Adrian Sebastiani on March 2, 2013 at 2:50am

Hi all, I am currently starting a small Solar Aid Not-For-Profit in Samoa, home to some of the world's best cocoa. I am currently thinking of producing chocolate for the Australian market manufactured on site in Samoa, and using all profits to aid solar energy systems for Samoa.

I'm looking at something like the Grenada chocolate model...

I'm hoping to make this a self funding model... so to start will mould and package Fairtrade chocolate from OTHER producer; preferably made where it is grown. Any advice on where to source BULK Fairtade milk and or dark chocolate without the huge premium of the middleman?




Comment by Nat on August 9, 2011 at 1:52am

We put up a new post in the forums on our efforts to help Xoconusco cacao growers get organic certification and improved fermentation equipment via our kickstarter campaign which has only 5 days left and is 80% funded. There's also a video in this update of Don Isidro's Royal Aztec Criollo cacao farm in Huehuetan, Chiapas, where we found the best cacao in the region.


Please tweet, post on facebook and google+, and share this link with all your friends and chocophiles alike so we can get fully funded. If we don't make it to 100% funding in the next few days, we get no funding and we can't help the cacao farmers at all and many of you who've generously pledged already for great rewards like limited edition Xoconusco chocolate bars made from rare Oaxacan spices like Rosita de Cacao and Orijuelas won't get your rewards.

Comment by Nat on June 21, 2011 at 2:54am

Thanks to Clay for his support of our project in Xoconusco, Chiapas, Mexico to go beyond fair trade, and buy directly from the farmers in this ancient cacao growing region of the Aztecs and put chocolate making back in its place, in Central America where it originated.


David and I will post pictures and info as we are making our way from Oaxaca to Chiapas and back, keeping you up to date on traditional regional chocolate drinks and preparations, cacao varieties, and the CASFA Maya coop that grows this excellent cacao.


Dave is already in Oaxaca sending back great pictures of pepita alegrias (which may make it into some of our future bars)

tejate (an excellent foamed Oaxacan chocolate drink usually made with cacao, patashte or jaguar cacao, rosita de cacao, pixtle, and coyol palm)

and some of the cacao pods we'll be checking out.

Stay tuned for more updates soon, and please consider backing our kickstarter campaign to help support direct trade of cacao and the long edible history of chocolate!


Nat Bletter, PhD
Chocolate Flavormeister
Madre Chocolate

Comment by Erin on May 13, 2011 at 2:22pm
I was wondering if anyone in this group has experience and/or pointers, what to avoid and best practices they may be willing to share with me about directly buying cocoa beans from farmers.  I would like to create a sustainable chocolate company for everyone, including the farmers.  My concerns include how to set realistic expectations and what to pay for a smaller (approx 20 lbs.)  evaluation size of beans.  I want to keep the cost of beans reasonable going forward (especially since I'll be paying shipping, etc.) and really like the idea of giving back.
Comment by Gretchen Tartakoff on March 12, 2011 at 8:05pm
Once a year I have a great way to give back...founding The Chocolate Bar and creating the Bucks County Chocolate Show.  One Chocolate Company a year is Sponsored as a Vendor. Criteria:Fair Trade ideally  Rainforest Alliance Certified and connected to the community their beans are from. Last year it was Vintage Plantations Chocolates and this year it's Kallari.  Join us in supporting their efforts on April 30.
Comment by Clay Gordon on March 15, 2010 at 9:49am
Member Duffy Sheardown posted some thoughts on the 5percent4Farmers site.
Comment by Robert Stout on February 10, 2010 at 10:42am
Thought I'd share this link about buying Valentine's Day chocolate... Although, I'm sure you all know what to get anyway.
Comment by Ben Ripple on February 5, 2010 at 3:20am
Gee...Seems like a bit of a racket....Sustainable Supply chains (while Fair) dig so much deeper than FairTrade certificates and logos....Has anyone worked with IMO's Social For Life....Now that is quite an incredible certification as it creates a snapshot of an actual relationship between two parties (albeit their are social prerequisites at outset) and follows the relationship to be sure that goals and desires are being developed and realized on an ongoing basis....
Comment by Wendy Talaro on February 4, 2010 at 5:42pm
I like the fact that this group exists! I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

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