Chocolatier Vandenbulcke signs Beyond Chocolate Charter and is launching award-winning 'Cabosse' praline in retail
24 October 2022
Kortrijk (Belgium), 25 October 2022 – Sustainability is the order of the day at Chocolatier Vandenbulcke. The family-run SME has just signed the Beyond Chocolate Charter, a chocolate industry sustainability programme supported by the Belgian government. Vandenbulcke's highly sustainable 'Cabosse' praline won gold as a top innovation at ISM Cologne earlier this year and is available in supermarkets from today.
Beyond Chocolate Charter
"Chocolate is a delicious product, but we feel it is our moral duty to produce chocolate in a responsible and sustainable way," Chocolatier Vandenbulcke CEO Jelle Vandenbulcke says. "Cocoa farmers must get a fair price for their produce, we need to stop deforestation, and our production processes should waste as few raw materials as possible. The Beyond Chocolate Charter is committed to all three of these issues, which are also very close to our hearts. Signing this charter therefore strengthens our sustainable ambitions further."
Charles Snoeck, Senior Program Manager Beyond Chocolate : "To address the complex challenges cocoa presents and to create a positive market transformation towards sustainability, the entire chocolate sector needs to work together. We are happy to welcome Vandenbulcke as an ambitious new signatory to the Beyond Chocolate Charter. As a traditionally Belgian brand with an innovative sustainability mindset, we are convinced Vandenbulcke will make a valuable contribution to our mission to ensure Belgian chocolate benefits cocoa farmers and their environment."
Minimum-waste 'Cabosse' praline now also available in the supermarket
And we bring even more good news: as of today, Chocolatier Vandenbulcke's highly sustainable 'Cabosse' praline is available to the general public in Belgian supermarkets.
"The Cabosse praline has a minimum-waste filling of cocoa pod pulp. This white pulp around the cocoa beans tends to be discarded when the cocoa bean is processed," Jelle Vandenbulcke explains. "We use the pulp as part of the filling, which reduces our cocoa pod waste by 70%. Belgian supermarkets became very interested in our Cabosse praline when it won gold in the Best Product category at the ISM confectionery fair in Cologne, was nominated at SIAL in Paris and attracted a lot of attention at the Horecabeurs trade fair in Belgium. This is a unique opportunity for us to introduce even more people to the refined taste of our Cabosse praline."
"Of the 14 million tonnes of cocoa pods that are harvested each year, 10 million tonnes end up as waste. Reducing food waste is one of the most efficient ways to combat global warming," Cabosse Naturals Managing Director Herwig Bernaert says. "Using more of the cocoa pod can reduce CO2 by as much as 3.5 billion trees can each year. This makes it the most impactful fruit in the world. Cabosse Naturals is the first organisation to process the cocoa pod's dried skin and flesh into minimum-waste certified ingredients for products such as Chocolatier Vandenbulcke's Cabosse praline. We hope that a lot of chocolatiers will follow this example to make the chocolate industry even more sustainable."
Sustainability and growth go hand in hand
"In recent years, we have invested about EUR 6 million in an energy-efficient new building and new production lines with 1,400 solar panels generating half of our electricity. However, we are also improving our sustainability through product innovation, primarily with Petit Melo, a unique melopraline made of 100% Belgian chocolate and speculoos which also immediately won awards. Sustainability and growth can go hand in hand. The new products and production lines have resulted in a 40% headcount growth and a 25% increase in turnover over the past five years. After just two years, our recent product innovations are already generating 15% of that turnover," Vandenbulcke said.
"In the coming years, we are planning to increase our sustainability by investing in even more sustainable packaging, energy-efficient packaging lines and additional renewable energy to power our production. The future of chocolate starts with ourselves. That is why signing the Beyond Chocolate Charter is so important. We also donate between €150,000 and €200,000 to sustainability projects supporting the cocoa industry each year. We will certainly keep on doing that in the future," Vandenbulcke concludes.
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