TCHO CHOCOLATE ACHIEVES B CORP CERTIFICATION Berkeley-based TCHO continues to challenge the chocolate industry status quo, with ground-breaking sourcing practices and sustainable production
TCHO Chocolate is now recognized as a Certified B Corporation as a result of its sustainability efforts through the TCHO Source Program and work to improve the lives of its workers, customers, suppliers, and the local community.
The rigorous B Corp certification process brings credible, meticulous and transparent standards to TCHO’s long-standing sourcing practices, as well as providing a new way to measure the company’s social and environmental impact. On average, companies taking the assessment receive a score of 50.9, and only one in three applicants actually receives the recognition on their first attempt.This initial certification is part of TCHO’s continued goal to set higher standards for itself and the chocolate-making community.
“While many people are already aware of TCHO’s long time work with cocoa farmers, agronomists, and cocoa research institutes, this B Corp certification is tangible proof of our dedication towards all aspects of sustainability. I’m so proud of TCHO’s commitment to being a great employer and implementing sustainable practices at our Berkeley factory,” said Laura Sweitzer, Director of TCHO Source. “We will continue to challenge ourselves in the coming years to innovate and improve all facets of our business.”
Becoming a Certified B Corporation is no easy task. With a qualifying score of 82.2, this initial certification is part of TCHO’s continued goal to set higher standards for itself and the chocolate-making community. TCHO’s work in reputable sourcing and community development were among the many attributes that warranted its qualification. More information on TCHO’s notable work on all five graded B Corp categories is below:
- Governance -- As a Certified B Corporation, TCHO has signed a Declaration of Interdependence, deeming them responsible for upholding their commitment as model economic leaders in their industry and aspiring “to do no harm and benefit all.”
- Workers -- Despite the many challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020, TCHO kept every one of its employees full-time. Since the company’s founding, TCHO has had a high retention rate and many tenured employees. It does this by paying well above minimum wage and by offering an array of worker benefits.
- Community -- Many of the cacao suppliers that TCHO sources from today have been with the company since its inception, like ACOPAGRO Cooperative in Juanjui, Peru, which TCHO has been working with for over 13 years. In 2009, In 2009, TCHO installed a Flavor Lab at the coop to better support the relationship and improve production. Most suppliers are small-scale family farmers that TCHO has supported through long-standing relationships, educational opportunities, and financial assistance in exchange for world-class cocoa. To this day, each unique source of cocoa is visited directly by members of the TCHO team to keep the relationship strong and work together on innovative solutions to the cocoa industry's biggest challenges. In addition, the company donates $10,000 annually to the African Cocoa Initiative II program, a five-year initiative focused on building sustainable cocoa supply chains in West Africa.
- Environment -- TCHO Chocolate is certified Fair Trade and certified USDA Organic. As a company, it has prioritized not only sourcing individual organic ingredients but making its chocolate bars entirely organic, when possible. TCHO is also heavily involved in intercropping, reforestation, and biodiversity efforts. In addition, TCHO has used the B Corp process to initiate a tracking system to calculate its carbon footprint as a baseline for improvements in the coming years.
- Customers -- TCHO prides itself on excellent customer service, always making real people available to talk to customers in case problems arise or customers are looking to share feedback. However, the company’s work with customers extends to the culinary community as well. Through the TCHO Pro program, TCHO identifies, promotes, and invests in chef partnerships with a variety of creative minds throughout the industry. The result is a constantly growing collection of content developed to inspire the world’s chocolate enthusiasts.
About B Lab B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab's initiatives include B Corp certification, administration of the B Impact Management programs and software, and advocacy for governance structures like the benefit corporation. B Lab's vision is of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet. To date, there are over 3,000 Certified B Corporations in 150 industries and 70 countries, and over 70,000 companies use the B Impact Assessment. Visit bcorporation.net for more information.
About TCHO Founded in 2008, TCHO Chocolate crafts award-winning and imaginative chocolate by collaborating directly with cocoa farmers at flavor labs across the world to grow better, more consistent cacao beans to create authentic craft chocolate to inspire the world’s chefs, hobby bakers, and chocolate enthusiasts. Like wine or coffee, cacao’s inherent flavors vary based on the terroir where it is grown, as well as on key processes, like fermentation or roasting, that influence the development of flavor. Since not all cacao is created equal, TCHO established TCHO Source, a one-of-a-kind sourcing and educational partnership with farmers, co-operatives, and agronomists all over the world. By installing TCHO Flavor Labs in key cacao-producing locations, creating industry cacao sensory analysis standards, conducting sensory training, developing standardized fermentation and drying processes, improving infrastructure, and sharing information throughout the world of cacao, TCHO has turned its suppliers into co-creators. From there, TCHO hand-selects every ingredient used to craft its award-winning chocolates for a great experience from first glance to last bite. TCHO’s professional line is used by top chefs around the country and includes TCHO Pro couverture, drinking chocolate, cocoa powder and roasted cocoa nibs. As of 2021, TCHO improved upon its stance as an exemplary chocolate maker by officially becoming SQF certified, a rigorous globally recognized food safety standard administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute. TCHO products are produced in Berkeley, Calif. To learn more about TCHO, go to tcho.com.