What Do Orangutans Have to Do with Chocolate And Why It Matters

People ask us why we always talk about wildlife and orangutans when we talk about chocolate.

The reason we do this is that Nuubia, first and foremost, is a mission-based company who makes chocolate to communicate our message. We hope in our own small way that when consumers meet and taste our chocolates, their curiosity will be piqued and they’ll take away some new-found knowledge of what it takes to make beautiful chocolate and how their consumer voice can help to protect what’s left of the incredible biodiversity on Earth. When I started Nuubia I started the company because I wanted to start a company with a conscience to make people aware of the link between chocolate, wildlife, and the true cost of what they were supporting if they purchased chocolates or food products with palm oil.

Chocolate now contains palm oil and critical ecosystems are being sacrificed to meet manufacturers demand for this palm oil. Millions of critically endangered and threatened species have been systematically sacrificed in the rush to grown this palm oil. In Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra, tigers, rhinos, elephants, pangolins, probiscus monkeys, langurs, the slow loris, macaques, primates, gibbons, bears, among countless other species, are being wiped from the face of the earth by the destructive practices of the palm oil industry. Nearly 150,000 Orangutans, the species that I grew up with and spent years studying, have been killed with the onslaught of palm oil.

To say this is a tragedy of epic proportions for the Earth, for climate change and for mankind, is an understatement; because it’s 100% preventable. Consumers are oblivious to what they are supporting by purchasing products that contain palm oil. How quickly things would change if people were to use their voice to demand that food companies take responsibility for their actions and change their manufacturing processes immediately. It’s unconscionable that large chocolate companies and food distribution companies knowingly continue to purchase palm oil, despite the cost to our Planet, the extinction of species, and climate change. Some have launched PR and sustainability campaigns and made broad brush promises, yet, if one were to drill down, these companies have given themselves large time swaths of time, in which extinction will most certainly occur. The Orangutans, along with the rhinos and elephants, will be gone. Time is running out.

For us at Nuubia our primary directive is to source chocolate and ingredients from partners and places where we have personal relationships, where we are working with boots-on-the-ground wildlife conservationists, and where we have first-hand knowledge that wildlife and ecosystems are not at risk. After a long & exhaustive search we found a chocolate manufacturer with an impeccable reputation in Ecuador who shares our ethos. After visiting #republicadelcacao in Ecuador, we made this choice knowing their chocolate is exceptional, ecosystems remain intact, and wildlife is not sacrificed in the process of growing cacao.


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Alexandra Saunders

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