Planet Cocoa - Eco-Friendly Sustainable Chocolate

Planet Cocoa

VISIT WEBSITE

Location

Australia

Made In

Australia

Values

  • Circularity Circularity
  • Fair Fair
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Made Locally Made Locally
  • Vegan Vegan
There aren’t too many things in this world that are better than chocolate. Sure, we love ethical fashion, but chocolate has to be up there with one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s a big call, but we reckon you probably agree, given that Australians alone consume between $1.3-$3billion worth of chocolate a year! But you know what makes chocolate even sweeter? When its ethically-sourced and produced like the kind you find at Planet Cocoa.
Much like coffee and cotton, chocolate production often relies on crops that are grown in third world countries, which results in the exploitation of farmers and workers. This report by World Vision explains that much of the world’s cocoa is harvested in West Africa using some of the worst forms of child labour, child trafficking and other forms of labour exploitation.
Planet Cocoa wants to change this, which is why they only work with suppliers who are dedicated to sourcing and purchasing to the highest ethical standards, ranging from environmental issues to human rights. Some of these principles include:
  • Fighting against any corruption including bribery, extortion, preventing and eliminating any child exploitation/forced labour in plantations in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Guarantee fair financial treatment, reduce risk of mutual dependence, ensuring all workers are paid equal or above minimum wage
  • Management of resources such as water, energy consumption and carbon emissions to ensure resources are being used efficiently and sustainably
  • Dedicated to creating long-term relationships that are reciprocal, supporting men and women in their entrepreneurial cocoa projects
  • Fighting against deforestation and preserving natural High Conservation Value Areas and High Carbon Stock forests
The 64% dark chocolate that Planet Cocoa uses in their espresso caramel and coconut blocks (excuse us while we wipe the drool from our chin) contains Vietnamese sourced cacao from Vietcacao. This organisation works closely with planter families in the Mekong Delta, employs disabled youth and facilitates connections between planters to aid the development of the Vietnamese cacao bean industry.
But it’s not just the cocoa that makes Planet Cocoa the better choice. They have chosen to produce vegan chocolate as they believe milk isn’t necessary in creating a delicious product, which, after sampling it, we have to agree with. They also use Australian products and organic ingredients where they can, including freeze dried fruits from Tasmania, nuts and sugar from Queensland, and direct traded coffee beans roasted in Melbourne from Tanzania. Plus the coconut sourced for Planet Cocoa chocolate is sustainable, monkey-friendly and supports remote communities in the Solomon Islands.
Last but not least, Planet Cocoa ensures sustainable delivery of their chocolates by using Sendle as their shipping service and eco-friendly packaging. Now that’s a sweet package!
Just when we thought chocolate couldn’t get any better, Planet Cocoa comes along and changes our minds in the best way possible. Now the only guilt we’ll feel when eating a whole block of chocolate is that we didn’t share it with anyone else (but really, who needs to know?)

Want to know where Planet Cocoa sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Behind the Brand

“I chose to be mindful with the ingredients I use in hope it sparks awareness with consumers, much like our eco-friendly packaging. We hope it's a small drop in a ripple effect”.

Jeanette Macko

When life handed her lemons, Jeanette Macko of Planet Cocoa made chocolate.

What made you start Planet Cocoa?

The idea was just a seed for the past 2 years working full time (which means a minimum of 50 hours) as a head pastry chef but of course with limited time, never found the energy or motivation to launch. I dove head first into it once Covid shut down the whole hospitality industry, including the place I had been working for 6 years and launched Planet Cocoa for Mothers Day this year. Once I had left the place I had invested the last 6 years into, I grew to realise there was no better time to invest in myself instead of a big corporation. I had learned the hard way the time, passion and creativity I had invested there didn’t count for anything when I needed them the most. Being eco-friendly was always at the forefront, as I didn’t want to create something impacting the planet I love and the vegan aspect just made sense to me.

Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

Wake up and always check my phone – usually to see if there were any online orders that came through I can quickly pack before the courier comes haha! A double shot almond latte and sitting in the sun for at least an hour (sometimes longer…) has been my routine for the past 6 months with being in isolation in Victoria. I prioritise reading or checking in with a friend via phone call in the morning time, as it seems it’s the most intentional time of day for me, the rest of the day swarming with distractions.

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

Honestly, the first barrier I had to break was resigning from my previous workplace to launch Planet Cocoa, as we unfortunately clashed with a difference of ethics. If environmental consciousness counts for social consciousness, it has taken longer (not to mention more expensive) to find local packaging manufacturers, ethical ingredients but hope this becomes a norm and more expected of manufacturers and producers.

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Planet Cocoa, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Great question! It reminds me of when I decided to pop in handwritten cards in with every online order, someone told me I should just get them printed but I was adamant I wanted people to get a spark of consciousness that someone’s hands, somebody was behind that order. As for the ingredients we get to play with, some stand outs that immediately come to mind is our 64% cacao dark chocolate. This chocolate contains Vietnamese sourced cacao from Vietcacao, an organization that works closely with planter families in the Mekong Delta – selecting, fermenting, drying the cacao beans. Vietcacao employs disabled youth and facilitates connections between planters to aid the development of the Vietnamese cacao bean industry and recieves higher than Vietnamese average trade pricing for their produce.

Why did you pick the ingredients you have chosen to work with?

I chose to be mindful with the ingredients I use in hope it sparks awareness with consumers, much like our eco-friendly packaging. We hope it’s a small drop in a ripple effect!

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Don’t be afraid to look outside of your postcode” – Given to me by a former boss in Adelaide, South Australia when I told her I was having trouble finding a full time pastry chef position in SA. What she said really encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone, find a job in Melbourne, Victoria and move here 6 years ago.

What’s next for you and Planet Cocoa?

Currently developing a line of vegan white chocolate, which today I second guessed why I chose to make this brand vegan because it’s proving to be harder than I thought but then I reminded myself I also did this to challenge myself. Stay tuned for that as a new flavour line!

One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

Watch The Biggest Little Farm if you haven’t yet, a documentary about a little farm that I definitely shed a few tears in because it’s so beautiful seeing how nature has an answer for everything, but here we are spraying pesticides as an easy way out. Also loved the series War on Waste, but things like that need a rerun of broadcasting – people forget so easily.

Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?

Botany Florist – Plastic free florist in Melbourne who are driven to only purchase locally grown, no plastic sleeves in sight and deliver without packaging. I love that as half of the bouquet you get normally is the paper!
I follow so many great people on social media that keep me motivated to be green for this planet’s benefit so it’s hard choosing one but that one is local to me 🙂

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