What Is The True Cost of Chocolate?


Fair at what price?

The modern chocolate industry has a long history marred by slavery and deforestation. From the birth of the industry with the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs to the modern industry centered in West Africa the problems have remained constant. Organic, fair trade chocolate has become more prevalent over the past couple of years, but one company has taken their commitment to creating an ecologically and socially sustainable product to the next level.

Pioneering chocolate company Original Beans has based their business model on true cost pricing, including often overlooked ecological and social costs. “The mental inspiration comes from the challenge of building a business that results in more than zero sum, and actually gives back more to the Earth than it takes,” says company co-founder Philipp Kauffmann.With a marketplace used to cheap food, pricing a product based on what it actually costs to maintain a sustainable industry can seem outrageous. A 3.5oz bar from Original Beans costs the consumer $13. I’ll admit sticker shock when I first heard that price as well, but once Kauffmann explained what goes on behind the scenes at Original Beans I was sold on paying the true environmental and social cost for my chocolate.

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