Alter Eco touts their products to be completely organic (USDA certified), non-GMO, no artificial flavors, no emulsifiers, and gluten free - this may be the only chocolate that will make you healthier after eating it! Not only does your body feel good, your conscience will be at ease as well when you find out that Alter Eco produce all of their ingredients from local, small-scale farms in developing countries.
From Peru to India, most of these farms are Fair Trade certified which protect and stabilize crops at livable prices for the farmers. It should not come at a surprise for me that a global corporation is paying a fair wage for their workers, but in a neoliberal economy whose profits are at the expense of exploited labor, Alter Eco stands out in their virtuous commitment to environmental and social responsibilities.
Now you may wonder, if all the farms are scatteredly located across the world, what about the carbon emissions from transportation? It seems like the co-founders of Alter Eco have already asked themselves this very question. According to the company’s Sustainability Report in 2019, Alter Eco has been “insetting” their carbon release since 2008 via reforestation, certifying them as a carbon neutral business. Unlike carbon offsetting where trees could be planted anywhere to “offset” the greenhouse gas emission, carbon insetting means to plant trees within the local ecosystems in which a business emits via the supply chain. In other words, Alter Eco, in their partnership with PUR Projet, is planting trees in the very farms in India, Peru, Ecuador, etc. that are the sources for their transportation environmental costs. This way, the reforestation establishes a long-term carbon capture solution within the communities who may potentially endure the public health consequences of the transportation emissions. Not only does this show great social and environmental accountability from Alter Eco, it is evidential of the company’s foresighted investment in the people they work with.
But what struck me the most about Alter Eco, as if their ambitious feat so far has not been remarkable enough, is their candor. The company confesses to having small traces of heavy metal in its chocolate, inevitably from the soil in the local farms in which Alter Eco gets their crops from. To compensate for this unfortunate contamination, Alter Eco pledges to invest in researching alternatives that could resolve the metal remnants and therefore adhering more strictly to the standards of the EU, WHO, and US FDA. Alter Eco applies the same dedication to their industrial compostable candy wrapping. Although it is already impressive that their wrappers are compostable, Alter Eco wanted more: they wanted to pioneer the future of compostable packaging by researching less energy-intensive alternatives to industrial compost. I am astounded by the transparency and devotion of Alter Eco.