Go loco for cocoa and save a rainforest

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers

Wednesday 23 January 2019

It’s not often that your guilty pleasures can help protect a rainforest – but the RSPB’s chocolate bar does just that!

Gola Rainforest Chocolate is the ultimate nature-friendly chocolate bar, made from forest-friendly cocoa beans grown in the depths of the Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone.

Like palm oil, large areas of tropical forest are cleared to make way for commodities such as cocoa to meet demand across the world. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Cocoa grows best when surrounded by the shade of the other trees, the rainforest itself protecting the cocoa from the harsh sun and providing nutrients through the soil.

Gola Forest is a biodiversity hotspot and home to many endangered species including pygmy hippos, forest elephants and chimpanzees – as well as more than 300 bird and 600 butterfly species. The farmers live outside the park and grow the cocoa amongst native forest trees, on land which they also manage in harmony with the wildlife. Selling these beans help them to build a profitable business without the need to encroach on the rainforest.

Because the beans are high quality and forest-friendly, the farmers can sell them for a premium as a reward for their role in protecting the rainforest and its unique biodiversity. The harvested beans are then sent to Cornish chocolate maker Chocolarder where they are slow roasted to create both a delicious dark and milk bar, with naturally rich and fudgy flavours.

The milk chocolate contains only three ingredients (cocoa beans, unrefined sugar and whole milk powder) whilst the 70% dark chocolate is vegan and boasts just cocoa beans and unrefined sugar. Both are organic and palm-oil free.

All profits from the sales of these chocolate bars will be reinvested into the Gola Rainforest Cocoa Forest and continue to protect Sierra Leone’s threatened wildlife and support local communities.

Gola Rainforest Chocolate can be bought from the RSPB online shop or from RSPB reserve shops.

Additional info:

2 varieties:

  • 70% dark (cocoa beans and unrefined cane sugar). VEGAN
  • 60% milk (cocoa beans, unrefined cane sugar, organic milk)
  • Retail Price: £3.49 - 70g
  • Fair to farmers
  • Forest-friendly
  • Organically grown
  • Palm-oil, gluten and nut free (made in a nut-free environment by Chocolarder in Cornwall)

Last Updated: Tuesday 5 February 2019

Tagged with: Country: UK Topic: About the RSPB