Conspiracy Chocolate was begun by two humans living on planet Earth during a time where humans are concerned about our home.
This planet’s habitability to us humans and fellow animals is everybody’s concern. Still, we feel that as a business so close to nature, this topic touches close to home and we carry a further responsibility, not only to build our company’s operations sustainably but also to lead by example.
Sustainability in food supply chain is a challenge because it is often weighed not only against profit, but also against food safety on the way to and in your favourite shop and in your home.
The good news is that good people around the world are working on solutions to these issues, and therefore every day we get closer to meeting all of our sustainability goals.
In this page we will track our goals, our progress, and our challenges in making and delivering chocolate safely to both your and our planet’s health.
There are some challenges we have not yet identified a solution to which meets all of the criteria for safe and affordable chocolate products. While we do our best researching, testing, and implementing solutions, we are open to hearing yours. Every one of our goals is open to discussion. Whether you are a sustainability professional or just a smart human, we are interested to hear your ideas to meet the goals we are still working on. Please do get in contact if you would like to help, even if it’s only half an idea.
Zero organic waste in the Chocolate Lab
Food production kitchens often have huge amounts of waste. Restaurants, caterers, and food factories create problematic amounts of food waste on a daily basis.
Conspiracy’s Lab creates everything from scratch, this means we have a lot of fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs coming in fresh, daily. Some of the byproducts of processing these are organic and can turn into food with enough creativity and culinary skill. A chocolate production operation also makes a lot of (seemingly) unusable scraps of chocolate, especially in fancy chocolatier work.
Our recipes take each other’s byproducts and utilise them. Ingredients that do not have room in any other recipe go into our R&D’s “Experimental Ingredients” box. Our chefs have to begin every R&D process by utilising these ingredients before looking for new ones.
Byproducts which fail to enter either production or R&D, and don’t end up in our team’s family lunch, get shared with our creative friends in other culinary practices for their needs.
Every last scrap of chocolate from our chocolatier work gets collected and saved. These get bagged and sold in food upcycling platforms Chomp and Phenix.
Lastly, any ingredient that hasn’t been used by the above practices or already went through a second/third usage and still exists without remaining flavour/texture/nutrition ends up in our friends’ local farms’ composts.
Packaging is required to keep our products safe from the outside environment as moisture can ruin chocolate (and we are in humid Hong Kong after all…), to introduce our brand and message, and to meet sustainability requirements.
We often have the pleasure of meeting the community face-to-face in events, markets, pop-ups, and our partner shops sell our bars in our stands. These stands and decorations can stack up to a large pile annually.
This has been one of the biggest challenges for us. We have a range of products in different shapes. Most of them are in biodegradable and recyclable packaging made of paper and tin, and some are not.
Our main product, the chocolate bars are packaged in a paper envelope lined with plastic.
A chocolate bar requires an air-tight, food-safe material that blocks light and does not dramatically increase the bar’s price to the customer.
After much research and our own trials we found that most products which claim compostability do not actually break down.
We are in progress designing a new set of packaging which uses compostable vegetable-based plastic as an internal liner, keeping our chocolate safe from moisture, and an external paper casing that protects it from light.
All of our stands are made of raw untreated wood, and our decorations are always leaves, potted plants, and more wood with a backdrop of jute bags our cacao arrives in.
We do keep some information printed on other materials. This handful of signs have been with us since 2018 when we launched and are still in use today. As of 2022 we are only printing on paper.
If you have any ideas on how we can improve, please share them with us!