SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Roasters, the nut and roastery division at Food Lover’s Market in South Africa, has partnered with Cocoa Horizons to launch their very own chocolate division of sustainably sourced chocolate-coated products such as peanuts, nuts, raisins, and shortcakes.
Starting as the supplier to Food Lover’s Market of bulk nuts from all over the world (raw nuts, roasting, and packing it all themselves), Cape Roasters is now packing over 200 lines stocked at Food Lover’s Market stores nationwide.
Over the last five years, they have expanded into dried fruit, various trail mixes, seeds, and most recently confectionery, reports Bizcommunity.
With the addition of a chocolate division, Cape Roasters have also created 40 full-time jobs, and by bringing the production in-house, they have been able to keep a closer hand on the quality of products and create more value for customers through economies of scale.
“Cape Roasters has chosen to use chocolate made from sustainably sourced cocoa beans to create the delicious, premium Nuggles chocolate range.
“We have partnered with a third-party organisation, Cocoa Horizons, which implements activities that drive meaningful change in cocoa farming communities,” explains Clarence Davies, Food Lover’s Market, general manager: production
“These activities enable farmers to lift themselves out of poverty, eradicate child labour, and result in a deforestation-free cocoa supply chain,” adds Davies.
Despite many countries signing the Harkin-Engel Protocol in 2002, which promised to address child labour in the chocolate industry, an estimated 20 million children are still working on cocoa farms in West Africa alone.
Cocoa farming is back-breaking labour and involves toxic chemicals and working with machetes, making children susceptible to grave injury if they work in the cocoa industry.
Deforestation is also a massive issue in Africa. Between 2001 and 2014, more than 200, 000 hectares of forest were removed to plant cocoa trees – roughly 40% of the chocolate coign from the Ivory Coast comes from these areas that are meant to be protected.
“Food Lover’s Market values include being able to put good, affordable food on your table for generations to come, while also uplifting communities and embracing our responsibility to the environment and climate change,” says Davies.
“Cocoa Horizons is the perfect partner in our chocolate business as they deliver an impact-driven programme, focused on cocoa farmer prosperity and helping to build self-sustaining farming communities that protect nature and children.
“They tick the boxes that are important to us – ensuring farmers prosper, that there is no deforestation and zero child labour,” Davies explains.
Cape Roasters opened at Food Lover’s Market Head Office in October 2016, and in 2021 it reopened at its new premises.