Seed and Bean’s huge range of unusual flavoured dark, milk and white chocolate has become a fixture at Just Fair Trade over the last couple of years! Here they explain a little more about their organic, ethical, environmentally aware and local approach to chocolate-making!
The Organic Seed & Bean Company was founded in June 2005 by Stephen Rudkin with the idea to create a ethical range of confectionery always organic using small scale suppliers and being brave with flavours rarely tasted in confectionery.
Seed & Bean’s creations are dreamt up by Stephen, followed by endless hours mixing and pouring, smelling & tasting then if and only if he gets a “wow” does the recipe get taken to the small unit in Northamptonshire, where we start to create a “real” version.
Our production facility is small but very efficient, our batch size is just 45 litres, compared to large industrial made chocolate which makes in batches of 20-50,000 litres a batch; we really are chocolate artisans.
Steve Rudkin, Seed and Bean’s founder, says:
‘At Seed and Bean we believe in courageous chocolate. We spend hours in our kitchen mixing flavours from nature to transform the simplicity of a pure cocoa bean into what we like to call kaleidoscopic moments of pleasure; some will be easy on the palette, some will be quite unusual, others will rocket your taste buds, but whatever takes your fancy we promise that chocolate will never be a dull experience again!’
There are many reasons to choose our chocolate, here are just a few.
We know where our ingredients come from
By getting personal with our cocoa suppliers and growers we can better understand the issues and controls they have. By applying knowledge gained of 25 years of organic cocoa production we can help growers produce a far greater yield of a finer, higher quality bean.
This way we help each other: the growers have a much better income and learn how to really develop their often neglected cocoa plots using organic farming techniques. Over time this enables funding for schools and healthcare that is fully sustainable by their own growing efforts. These skills are then passed down through the generations as well as providing increased work for more families in the area.
People that really love what they do and care for their plants supply us and this is reflected by the cocoa they produce and the taste that you’ll enjoy.
We produce locally in small batches
Most UK organic and fair trade chocolate is now made thousands of miles away and shipped in chilled, temperature-controlled HGVs. Most comes in from Poland, Italy and Germany. However we produce in a very “hands-on” way in our small facility in Northamptonshire. This way we save food miles, help provide local employment and best of all we can taste and tweak every batch we make!
Seed and Bean has been “alive” since June 2005 and we have sold over 3,000,000 organic chocolates. Before that our founder worked in the organic industry for fifteen years with organic chocolate and whole foods.
Our chocolatier has over two decades of producing fine chocolate and loves the wonderful nature and results of fine organic cocoa. Working with our small team we have created some fine classic chocolates but we also like to be just a little daring with some of our more unusual bars!
We source our cocoa from three countries: Sao Tome Islands off West Africa, Ecuador and The Dominican Republic. Supporting Seed and Bean enables us to help farmers to re-new their plantations.
Organic ingredients are better for the world we live in and the people that grow them
By converting to organic as well as fair trade our producers are saving money by using less fossil fuels in fertilizers therefore reducing their carbon emissions and stopping their exposure to harmful pesticides such as lindane, which although banned in the EU for its cancer causing effects is often found to be used in cocoa production.
We do what we can to be “green” and are always willing to learn
As well as supporting organic methods we strive to do what we can to reduce our imprint on the world. Our chocolate is made in Northamptonshire and we try to deliver in multi-drop vehicles saving fuel and carbon emissions. Our “foil” wrappers are made from nature flex, fully home compostable and made from…trees!
From Seed and Bean