What does sustainability mean to NCOTY sponsor, Valrhona?
With us focusing on sustainability this month as part of the NCOTY competition, we caught up with sponsor, Valrhona who put sustainability at the heart of their business.
What does sustainability mean to you as a business?
It means managing our business with the triple bottom line. Not only looking at our profits but also on the impact we have on people and the planet. We recently became BCorp, the most demanding sustainability evaluation and we are fully aligned with BCorp’s philosophy: let’s not try to be the best in the world but the best for the world.
Tell us about some of the work you have done to improve sustainability.
We improved all along our value chain:
• Cocoa producers: having full traceability to our 18208 cocoa producers, paying a living income to our cocoa farmers in West Africa, Supporting the cocoa farming communities with infrastructure projects (schools, access to clean water, etc).
• Environment: we decreased our carbon emission of 57% since 2013 and we run on 69% renewable energy. We are launching a test where we’ll deliver our chocolate in reusable boxes that we will get back, wash and use again.
• Gastronomy: We push for gastronomy to be more sustainable. For example, we launched this programme called the Chef’s apprentice where we train disadvantaged young people into pastry jobs. Then we connect them with our clients so that they find a job. We also are making our recipes much lighter with less sugar.
How important do you think sustainability is to a consumer?
We think it is increasingly important. Consumers vote with their wallets. They changed their habits during COVID for more local solutions and they will keep consuming differently. They want brands to support them in consuming less and with more values.
What impact has COVID-19 had on sustainability in hospitality?
A huge impact. The hospitality industry has suffered a lot from the crisis. It also showed so much solidarity. What we see from our angle is clients coming to us and telling us that they want to have a greater impact. They want to be involved in projects to support cocoa farmers or to make gastronomy more sustainability. We think Covid-19 accelerated this quest for a change in the world.
How can you help chefs to create a more sustainable future?
It is exactly our mission and our goal. We help providing the rights products with full traceability and a positive impact but we are also launching soon some tools to support our clients in being change makers and changing their habits. We also have a Foundation where we finance impact projects in cocoa and gastronomy and clients can co-finance these projects if they wish. We have more and clients who want to link the sales of their chocolate to a project with an impact
Visit the Vahlrona website here...