Staffordshire-based bean-to-bar maker Seed Chocolate has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to help it switch to zero waste packaging.
Seed Chocolate produces award-winning ethical craft chocolate in its micro factory in Stoke-on-Trent. It sources cacao from small farms and cooperatives around the equator, paying a premium to farmers in some of the world's poorest regions. If you aren't sure why this matters, check out my write-up on Rotten's Bitter Chocolate episode on Netflix.
In inclusion bars, it uses sustainable ingredients sourced in and around the UK, and its recipes are free from soy and palm oil.
As you can see from my recent review of their Hibiscus vegan chocolate, their packaging can best be described as 'minimal'. From an environmental perspective, minimal packaging is far better than over-the-top wasteful packaging (yes, Easter Eggs and half-filled Christmas chocolate tubs, I'm looking at you). However, the look and feel of the film wrapper was the only aspect I found disappointing in my tasting experience. It felt unbefitting for a chocolate bar that truly is a labour of love.
Step in Seed Chocolate's Indiegogo campaign. James Walter has sourced beautiful new packaging, but these eye-catching boxes have a twist - they're part of 100% zero-waste packaging.
The outer box is made of recycled cardboard and is printed with plant-based inks. It's glue-free by design too. The pouch inside will also be compostable. Pair this with Seed Chocolate's novel use of popcorn to replace bubble wrap in its parcels and you've got yourself wonderfully sustainable (and creative) solution.
Seed Chocolate cites the impact of coronavirus is its motivation for launching this crowdfunding campaign, hosted on the Indiegogo platform. The small business hopes to raise £8,000 for this worthy venture.
If the crowdfunding campaign raises more than £8,000, James plans to invest the surplus in new chocolate making equipment and machinery, product development, and expanding his product range. He also has dreams of opening a chocolate café by day and bar by night in Staffordshire. It's perhaps the ideal place to stock sister-brand Chocao Gin Liqueur.
As is usual, this crowdfunding campaign has incentives available. At the time of writing there were a whopping 23 reward tiers available, with some perks limited to just 40 or 50 backers.
In the key tiers, a backing of £5 gets your name in a raffle for a chocolate hamper or a chocolate experience.
£20 gets a trio of dark chocolate bars while £35 gets you either the Christmas chocolate collection or the classic chocolate collection.
A backing of £50 gets you premium chocolate for a friend, while £70 nets you a luxury craft chocolate hamper. Donate £195 and you'll get a chocolate and gin experience day for one, or up that to £295 to get the experience for two people. My favourite bands are at £120 and £240, which secures you six-months or a year's supply of craft chocolate respectively.
You can, of course, make a contribution without receiving a perk, should you wish.
The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is available for the next 60 days, closing on Tuesday 17th November 2020.
Support Seed Chocolate's crowdfunding campaign