I've heard that the production and import of chocolate has some consequences including deforestation, excessive use of pesticides and CO2 emissions. There are also concerns about exploitation of workers. And that's all before even considering milk chocolate, where animal agriculture (especially dairy cows) is known to have its own environmental impact.

If I am going to be purchasing chocolate, how can I choose the most sustainable? Ideally I'm looking for advice on picking the best ingredient composition and understanding the relative value of different labels. My priorities (in order) are forest-effects (land use change), fair labour practices, and CO2 emissions.

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    This will be very hard to answer objectively and we also risk this post becoming a spam magnet for chocolate brands. Nevertheless I do like the question. I think answers should focus on the chocolate making processes that have the lowest environmental impact and/or highest social impact.
    – THelper
    Mar 6, 2020 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


Nestle has a new 70% dark chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit. This is not just a brand-naming but a new chocolate process that - according to CNBC - is more sustainable as it does not use added sugar:

The Swiss company's new "Cacao Fruit Chocolate" will be made wholly from cacao fruit with white cacao pulp as a natural sweetener. The cacao pulp, which was once partially used and discarded, will now be used to create a more sustainable, health-conscious option for consumers.
Nestle to sell a chocolate made without added sugar - CNBC - Accessed 18th May, 2022

And a trend has started in the industry of using most of the cocoa fruit.

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    I guess this could possibly have some sustainability angle if it incorporates what was previously a waste product to replace another input (eg cane sugar). But ... the press release says nothing about sustainability and presumably Nestle's goal is just to maximize profit, not protect rainforests, workers, or the climate. So ... is this really an answer? Mar 6, 2020 at 0:38
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    There is additional viewpoint in news articles: cnbc.com/2019/07/16/…
    – S Spring
    Mar 6, 2020 at 1:15
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    This answer could be better if it explained why being made from the cocoa fruit mattered, and how that process is different from the current standard process.
    – Nic
    Mar 6, 2020 at 5:58
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    This answer doesn't explain why this chocolate would be the most sustainable choice. Furthermore Nestle has a very bad reputation when it comes to (social) sustainability and greenwashing, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestlé#Controversy_and_criticisms
    – THelper
    Mar 6, 2020 at 8:55
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    Additionally, the links do not provide any evidence why Nestle would be better than say these guys for example who produce organic chocolate in the same location where the cocao is grown and transport their chocolate per sailboat. The articles you link to do not mention preservation of (rain)forests, being fair-trade, carbon footprint, etc. All 3 topics are of concern to the OP.
    – THelper
    Mar 6, 2020 at 12:29

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