Moo Free's Ethics
From the start we have put our own unique stamp on our company. We could have used any ingredients, but we chose to go down the organic route, as that was our preference in our own life.
Lets start with our organic cocoa. This hails from organic farms in the San Francisco de Macoris area of the tropical Dominican Republic. The cocoa beans themselves are grown on Trinitario cocoa trees which are cultivated and harvested in the cooling shade of citrus, avocado and banana trees.
The organic growing conditions of the cocoa beans helps to protect the environment from pollution and soil erosion. They also help to conserve water, and mean that the farmers are not exposed to harmful chemicals commonly used in pesticides. Labour practices are also very good in the Dominican Republic, with standards being much higher than alternative producers of cocoa, in different parts of the world.
Once grown, the organic cocoa beans are harvested and prepared by Biocafcao who work together with local farmers and are dedicated to the ethical growing and processing of cocoa. By choosing to partner with another ethical company, we are able to further ensure the cocoa in our chocolates is produced to high ethical standards.
Just 4% of cocoa beans produced in the Dominican Republic are of the Hispaniola variety: these are of a much higher quality than the Sanchez cocoa beans, which make up the other 96%.
Needing precise cultivation and exacting care, the Hispaniola beans, due to their fermentation and drying processes, are much more exclusive and develop their own intricate, fruity flavour profile. Moo Free use these beans to make their premium organic chocolate
Over the years we have had comments about the price of our chocolate, some people state they are not bothered whether it is organic or not, they just want a cheaper price. Our mission was to find a way to satisfy these demands whilst still staying true to our ethics and supporting cocoa production in the right way.
Keeping our organic chocolate for our premium range we introduced our everyday chocolate, made with UTZ/Rainforest Alliance cocoa, with a lower price point. UTZ was an organisation set up to help farmers and Rainforest Alliance was set up to protect the environment. They joined forces recently which means the farmers and the environment benefit from the cocoa we buy.
They formed in response to the critical challenges facing humanity: deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. They combined their respective strengths to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes; where farmers, workers, and communities prosper; and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm.
Using UTZ/Rainforest Alliance cocoa from Africa for our everyday chocolate, gives the chocolate a different taste from our organic premium chocolate. This means we now have two different chocolates for different palettes.
Our everyday chocolate has a creamy like flavour, but with its lower price is getting towards milk containing chocolate. We can never reach the price point of milk containing chocolate, as the alternative ingredients are far more expensive, and we do not have the buying power of a big company. But as a small family owned company who value its employees and the workers that grow and produce our cocoa, sugar and other ingredients, we promise to keep the price as low as we possibly can.
When you buy our chocolate you will not only get a great tasting chocolate, but you are helping to support our ethics, the environment and people along the journey of our cocoa.
From the start of the company we have always tried to use recycled and recyclable materials. It is quite a difficult area as for chocolate to stay fresh and tasty it needs to be sealed in an odourless material. Chocolate will absorb smells and odours very easily. If chocolate touches cardboard, it will absorb that cardboard aroma. You will end up with a cardboard tasting chocolate, which is not very nice.
We use recycled plastic for our Advents and Easter eggs, these are also recyclable. This means there is a never ending loop. Our bars are packaged into plastic sleeves, these are also recyclable. We have looked at alternatives but as yet there are no environmentally friendly alternatives. Please read our in-depth report here.
Plastic has had a bad press, but the thing to remember is the word single. There is no need for single use plastics. We do not use single use plastic at Moo Free.
At Moo Free we see people as individuals, with their own special ways. If we can accommodate them, we will. When based in Reading we worked with a charity that helps people with disabilities get into work and now we are in Devon we do the same. We keep hold of all the ones that we can and provided experience for the ones we can’t. This means we have a few people who are knowingly autistic and some that are not. Everyone deserves a chance. This to us is how it should be.
We do not care if you are male, female, black or white or have a disability, nor what sexual orientation you are or if you were born in a different country. What we care about is if you can do the job in hand and that you respect each other as individuals. The CEO and the Finance Director are both women.
We pay per the role not based on gender. The longer you are with Moo Free the more you are rewarded with extra days holidays and health care. We value commitment and have many long serving staff. We are actively working towards paying the living wage, not the minimum wage (unfortunately Covid-19 as hindered that journey).
We like the Moo Free family to get together twice a year when we hold MooFest and MooMass. MooFest being an annual festival, with bands and other entertainment for the whole family whilst MooMass is our Christmas event for workers and partners only.
We genuinely care for all our family of workers.
We like to support our local community as much as we can. We moved to Holsworthy in Devon in 2015 and work hard to be part of and support our local community. It is a wonderful town with a lovely community feel. We try to help when we can. When an appeal was made for help with providing WIFI in the town, we responded. When an appeal was made for donations for the rebuilding of the sports pavilion, we responded. We have supported the annual St Peter’s Fair since 2016, we responded to appeal for Christmas lights for 2020. We have supported the Bude woman’s team and the boys football team with new kit. We have taken chocolate to the local food bank at Christmas and Easter.
As you can imagine we get requests for donations everyday. We actually respond to quite a lot of these and to list every one we have donated chocolate to would be a never ending list. We have also provided monetary donations to the Farm Animal Sanctuary and various cancer charities that are close to our hearts.