How to Protect Biological Diversity? The Answer is Chocolate!

How to Protect Biological Diversity? The Answer is Chocolate!

28 June, 2019

How to Protect Biological Diversity? The Answer is Chocolate!

Published by Original Beans 

Wait! Eating chocolate to protect and restore nature?

For many of us it is no news and yet, the latest report by the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES) has shaken the news world. It states that in the coming years and decades, one million species will be threatened with extinction if there are no fundamental changes in land use, environmental protection and mitigation of climate change. We are explaining how sustainable agricultural cultivation of rare cacao is a major solution to the protection of the threatened biological diversity.

One solution to preserve biodiversity is the sustainable cultivation of rare cocoa varieties – this is exactly the purpose Original Beans was founded on. Wait, eating chocolate to protect and restore nature? It may sound like a clever marketing strategy to you, but there is more than meets the eye! We explain to you how it works – and how we all can contribute to make it work.

Rainforest afforestation with cocoa is a win for all! And nature can benefit the most

Let’s start with the tree – as many may not know, cocoa is a fruit that grows on the tree just like apples or pears. Not on our native orchards, but in the tropical rainforest. The big advantage: The cacao tree is a shade plant and needs other trees around it to grow well.

It means good cocoa does not grow in monocultures, that often comes along with deforestation and forest degradation and has led to destruction of rainforests multiple times. In its true nature cocoa trees are meant to grow in the midst of multiple splendour. And healthy, well-bearing cocoa trees are the foundation of Original Beans chocolate. To find the best and rarest varieties of cocoa in the world, brand's “Bean Team” roams the remotest corners of the world, often working on-site with indigenous tribes such as the Arhuaco in Colombia or the Zoque and Tzotsil indigenous people in Mexico abandoning the often common slash-and-burn and switching to semi-wild land use instead with mixed cocoa crops, which is much more sustainable.

To preserve the rare cocoa, a tree is planted or protected in the cocoa-growing areas for each single bar of Original Bean's Single Origin Chocolates sold. It is our Corporate Social Responsibility, to ensure the habitat of endangered species and preserving the biodiversity of the eco-system. The loss of forests is of particular concern because of their importance for the climate, both at the local level and globally. Original Beans' rare cacao trees grow in the world’s most CO2-rich forest areas. The maker provides secure incomes and training to cacao farmers. As a consequence, they feel empowered to better protect the surrounding forests.

Over two million trees have already been planted through One Bar: One Tree program. Each tree can be tracked to its origin.

A bar of Original Beans Cru Virunga 70% in its value chain contributes positively to reducing greenhouse gas emissions - and does so in three ways, because every tree planted in healthy cocoa forest absorbs 274g more CO2 than the production of one chocolate bar.

This means every bar gives back more to nature than it takes to produce it.

Craft chocolate as being a planet-positive social business

The commitment to biodiversity goes much further for Original Beans: along their supply chain, they can find important climate protection measures. The company's chocolate production is 100% renewable. And Original Beans is one of the many craft chocolate companies that are climate-positive or “planet-positive.” But they are also one of the pioneers of the movement. Their cost-of-climate and revenue calculation conducted by two independent expert teams (Footprints4Food and CarbonRoots) in January 2014 revealed that a panel of Original Beans Cru Virunga 70% in its value chain contributes positively to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and does so in three ways, because every tree planted in a healthy cocoa forest absorbs 274g more CO2 than the production of a chocolate bar. This means every bar gives back more to nature than it takes to produce it. Isn’t that awesome?

Become a climate activist!

Help us to prevent species extinction and protection biological diversity!

The Paris Climate Agreement has set a climate plan for the international community. But corporate and private initiatives can act faster and drive national agendas. In the end, it is up to all of us to be the change. We are proving that saving the planet can be very delicious and welcome you to try it yourself! Taste the rare and preserve it!

True Taste of Zero Waste

This is also due to Original Beans' consistent zero-waste strategy. In 2012, brand's founder Philipp Kauffmann developed the first bio-compostable packaging for the chocolate industry. It consists of FSC-certified wood cellulose and contains a very thin metallic layer (0.02%) that prevents moisture, odour and UV radiation.

Buried in soil or on compost, the film and paper decompose within three months. Even our mini-boards are all paper-wrapped and Original Benas chocolate rondos are delivered in biodegradable bags.

For pure enjoyment with a clear conscience!

Climate Positive Doesn't Need to Be Restrictive

It can be joyful: the taste of these exclusive beans makes Original Benas' chocolate so pure that it has been awarded the world’s most important chocolate awards (Great Taste, Academy of Chocolates, US Master of Chocolate, International Chocolate Awards) and by some of the best chefs in the world, such as Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana Modena), Jordi Rocas (Celler de Can Roca) or Virgilio Martinez (Central Lima Peru).

The Original Beans Collection

Read more

Pralus: Happy Chocolate from Healthy People

Pralus: Happy Chocolate from  Healthy People

In Roanne (France), Pralus' employees benefit from a permaculture garden staying healthy and making happy.


On the production site of the Pralus Manufacture in Roanne where our beloved chocolate and pralines are produced, a former wasteland wedged between the concrete walls and factory chimneys has been transformed into a permaculture garden.

The idea that came into the head of Hugo Pralus three years ago is simple. Grow fruits and vegetables for every employee to benefit. Everyone has the freedom to participate...or not. Gardening requires passion and skills.

When he talks about the garden and permaculture, Hugo Pralus' eyes light up. "In the beginning, the idea seemed absurd, and today it is more and more seducing." Graduate of a business school, the eldest son of the master chocolatier from Roanne, François Pralus has a passion for nature, ecology and sustainable agriculture.

"Originally, my grandfather had bought this abandoned land to have more space on the production site. But for many years the field and the wasteland was untapped," says Hugo.

Shop Pralus Chocolate

Sold out

Sold out

Sold out

Sold out

1 hectare of land and 2500 m2 of vegetable garden

"Lated I announced the idea of creating a shared permaculture garden. The idea was based on the voluntary effort of Pralus' employees. Each employee could start, if he wished, cultivating the garden taking part of the production", continues Hugo Pralus, himself a pastry chef in the family business.

Thus, over a 1 hectare area, fruit trees sit side by side with vegetable plans, aromatic herbs grow near the henhouse and the greenhouse even houses a cocoa tree. Here, equitable approach and biodiversity are scrupulously respected.

François Pralus brought cocoa pods from one of his tropical trips and Hugo took care of germinating and pampering them them for two years. Some forty seeds have been developed, protected by mini-greenhouses made with glass jars on top of the pots that were located behind the windows in warm and cozy environment. Two seedlings from this "urban nursery" were planted in mid-June 2019, under a greenhouse built in the garden. Originated from Indonesia and Madagascar, the two cocoa trees grow in the shade of umbrellas, waiting for the bougainvillea to bring them the shade necessary for their survival. In this artificial hot and humid atmosphere of the greenhouse flowers are expected to pop up in two-three years with a good chances to see pods after. In their natural habitat, cocoa trees start producing pods as early as in 5 years and average cocoa tree can reach 6 meters in height.

Read more