The term “Bean-to-bar” is not properly defined, as it’s more a sort of a concept or movement. It also doesn’t guarantee quality. Therefore we deemed it necessary to have a concrete definition in which transparency, quality ingredients and the willingness to “do it right” are key drivers. This Charter is the result.

This is our take on the definition “Bean-to-Bar”. Use the form at the bottom to send us your opinion.

1. Cacao Beans

Know the farmer & talk about them

Talk about their beans

Buy directly

Don’t hurt neither humans nor the environment

2. Production

Have control over the whole process

Produce artisanally and transparently

3. Ingredients

Always try to use less sugar

The fewer ingredients - the better

No sneaky short-cuts

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4. Must & Should

We transparently monitor our work and progress

5. Belgium

The unimportance of the location of production

1. Cacao Beans:

Know the farmer, talk about them, talk about their beans, buy directly, don’t hurt neither humans nor the environment

  • 1.1 We have a personal relationship with the plantations which provide us with their cacao beans. We have either visited the plantations or know the owners or managers personally.
  • 1.2 We state the name of the plantation, cooperative or post-harvest center on the packaging and on our website. It’s a matter of transparency and traceability to show where our cacao is coming from. When we make blend chocolate we list all the plantations used.
  • 1.3 The cacao plantations we are working with guarantee that they are child-labour free, that they guarantee fair pay for their workers and that the cacao plantation is in harmony with nature. The plantations should be socially and environmentally sustainable.
  • 1.4 We aim to import our cacao beans “as direct as possible”, therefore cutting out brokers and middle-men, to guarantee higher profits for the plantations and fair-pay.
  • 1.5 The choice of the type of cacao to work with is personal to every chocolate-maker. We decide following our own taste. We mention the different cacao varieties and their fermentation on our packaging and/or website.

2. Chocolate Production:

Have control over the whole process, produce artisanally and transparently

  • 2.1 We have control over the whole production process: we chose the cacao beans and we chose how to process them
  • 2.2 We are fully transparent about the ingredients used. They are listed on our packaging and website. Furthermore we are happy to share why we are using them and where we got them from.

3. Chocolate ingredients:

Always try to use less sugar, the fewer ingredients - the better, no sneaky short-cuts

  • 3.1 We always try to reduce the sugar content in our chocolate. Sugar is the ‘nicotine of the 21st century’, the less, the better.
  • 3.2 We don’t add lecithin to our chocolate.
  • 3.3 We state the percentage of cacao butter as part of the cacao percentage
  • 3.4 We don’t use vanillin in our chocolate.
  • 3.5 We don’t use palm oil in our chocolate.

4. Must & Should:

We transparently monitor our work and progress.

  • 4.1 Transparency, transparency, transparency
  • 4.2 Must & Should: our transparent peer-review system
  • 4.3 Sustainability goals: we can always get better
  • 4.4 We might use organic certification. And we talk about it.

5. Belgium:

The unimportance of the location of production

  • The prefix ‘Belgium’ in our name is temporary.
  • The place of the transformation from cacao to chocolate has no impact on the quality or taste.

Associate Members are individuals, organisations or companies wanting to support the Belgian Bean-to-Bar Charter. Send us a message below if you want to support this charter, become an associate member and maybe later join as a full member. Free of charge.

Once our Association has been legally established we will invite chocolate-makers to become full members.

The complete Charter in English

La charte complète en français

De heele charter in het Nederlands

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