Encore Toffee is proud to purchase 100% of our non-GMO chocolate from Guittard Chocolate Company. They craft their premium chocolates in Burlingame, California. Below are some of the reasons we have partnered with them to provide our chocolates. For more information on Guittard Chocolate Company, go to their webpage at https://www.guittard.com
The ﬁnest chocolate begins with cocoa beans that are sourced from around the world for their quality and sustainability. At Guittard, we select single origins for their exclusive ﬂavors and attributes and customize blends and formulas to deliver a premium chocolate experience. Guittard uses superior, shade-grown cacao because the delicate pods are protected from excessive direct sunlight during development. This practice also preserves the jungle environment surrounding the crops.
Protecting the Flavor
Guittard has been in chocolate business for five generations, and we’re committed to protecting the rich, unique, and diverse flavors of cocoa from around the world. As farmers and industry strive for higher yields and disease resistance, we play a critical role in training and empowering cocoa breeders in producing countries to recognize and protect their historic flavor profiles. It’s about a quality end product—but it’s also about income generation for cocoa farmers. We focus on improving yields without compromising flavor.
COCOA OF EXCELLENCE
The COCOA OF EXCELLENCE Program builds long-term sustainability in the cocoa supply chain by recognizing, preserving, and valuing the diversity of cocoa flavor. The program provides global recognition for the production of high-quality cocoa—a product that results from genetic diversity, healthy environmental conditions, and craftsmanship—and increases the capacity of producing countries to recognize, seek out, and preserve cocoa quality and diversity. The program also connects cocoa producers with market opportunities.
We believe that the end product is only as good as the ingredients that go into it. And by good, we mean not only flavor but also social integrity. For this reason, where we get our ingredients and the social conditions under which they are grown are central to our work—and integral to our definition of quality.
Certified Cocoa is one way we approach empowering farmers and farmer groups to instill best practices—both agricultural and social. Our Fair Trade Certified products for consumers and chefs underline our commitment to supporting farmer organizations and increasing farmer incomes.
Through our and our customer’s ongoing commitment to Fair Trade, we are able to make measurable differences through standards and programs, like the Fair Trade Community Development Premium. Farmer groups that are certified Fair Trade democratically decide how to use their premiums. Guittard’s premiums have supported these exciting projects:
Increasing yields through good agricultural practices is critical to helping cocoa farmers increase the long-term sustainability of their farms and of the cocoa-growing industry as a whole.
At Guittard, we travel regularly to cocoa producing countries to work with farmers, co-operatives, and suppliers on everything from improved planting material, crop diversification, and flavor analysis to better harvest and post-harvest handling, all of which optimize flavor, quality, and value. Through this important work, we’re empowering farmers to invest in their farms—and grow their incomes.
WHAT ELSE DOES GUITTARD DO?
DON’T MESS WITH OUR CHOCOLATE
The Don’t Mess with Our Chocolate campaign of 2007 prioritized the preservation, ﬂavor, rheology, and heritage of chocolate. This campaign, started by Gary Guittard, garnered over 30,000 signatures, convincing the FDA to keep non-cocoa vegetable fat out of its Standard of Identity for chocolate.
As a family-owned company, working closely with the communities and families from whom we purchase our beans is one of our top priorities. We’re committed to honorable sourcing throughout our supply chain and do not tolerate illegal practices, including child labor or unsafe working conditions for any member of the farming family.
We support child protection through our contributions to and active membership in the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), an organization that promotes child protection in cocoa-growing communities on the local, national, and international levels. ICI develops programs that educate and build awareness around child-labor mitigation and remediation.
Together, the cocoa industry, NGOs, local governments, the US government and nonprofit groups are developing initiatives that scale and can be integrated into commercial supply chains, reducing poverty and improving the social conditions and livelihoods within cocoa communities in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
We comply with California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB 657, auditing our suppliers regularly.
While building awareness around child labor in communities is key, building capacity for long-term solutions is imperative. One of the most important pieces of this very complex issue is education.
Education is the key to long-term success in the cocoa-growing industry—success on the farm, success in the community, and successful, empowered children, women, and families. At Guittard, we see three key areas of education as central to our work.
Access to education, classrooms, and teachers, is a crucial component to supporting children and building strong communities. Families often live far from schools, making attendance challenging. Local governments are working to address this problem, but, until those programs take hold, Guittard supports initiatives that build capacity and lead to long-lasting change, through the World Cocoa Foundation’s Cocoa Livelihoods Program and our work with ICI and Fair Trade.
Literacy is a key to opportunity. It has an impact on alleviating poverty and improving health, empowerment and leadership. Increasing literacy rates among children as well as adults is core to building strong, resilient communities. Through our work with USAID funded program, Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Education Solution (ECHOES), we supported the strengthening of cocoa-growing communities by expanding literacy opportunities for youth and young adults.
Cocoa farming is a family business. Many farmers cultivate the land their families have farmed for decades, and knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. Yet, understanding best practices is an ever-evolving process. Through field training and educational initiatives we support, such as the WCF's Cocoa Livelihoods Program and Africa Cocoa initiative, farmers continue to grow their knowledge and expertise, and can lead to higher yields, better flavor — and higher income.
ORIGIN QUALITY INNOVATIONS
At Guittard, we work with governments and local organizations in cocoa-producing countries to protect the diverse flavor profiles of cocoa. For us, it’s about raising awareness around the importance of increasing yields, while also prioritizing flavor and quality.
With the support of The World Cocoa Foundation, USAID, and the Millennium Challenge Account, we are leading comprehensive programs in Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Indonesia, working with breeders, extension agents, cooperatives and farmers to drive flavor, value, and market access.