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Bennetto Natural Food Co. is a small company in the big world of chocolate – but it is part of what makes them special.

It was founded in 2010 by Lucy Bennetto who is a lover of real food and strives to imbue her company with values of care and consideration for every step of the process of making chocolate.

Lucy travelled to the Dominican Republic fuelled by a desire to see firsthand how cacao beans were grown. This was the moment she saw how ethical sourcing from an organic and Fairtrade cocoa supply was imperative to her values of making chocolate and how these practices not only improve lives but also the quality and flavour of cocoa.

From her kitchen bench top, Lucy then started refining chocolate using an Indian spice grinder. Many experiments later Lucy continues to develop new chocolate recipes.  The majority of Bennetto chocolate products are handmade by Lucy and her team in Christchurch, and recently she has partnered with a Swiss manufacturer to co-produce the 100g bars.

The journey of Bennetto's chocolate starts with a farmer's cooperative called ‘Acopagro’. This Peruvian Fairtrade cooperative, made up of 2000 small-scale farmers, is based in the Amazon jungle. This long-standing cooperative supports education, opportunities for women and reforestation in the Amazon – while perfect growing conditions produce vibrant and a naturally fruity organic cocoa. This is where the majority of Bennetto's cocoa comes from.

In addition to cocoa, these farmers also plant timber trees to increase the cocoa farmers’ long-term income. At the same time, this planting will offset all carbon emissions produced during the chocolate manufacturing process. To be precise, 1 new tree is planted for every 1000 bars produced.

Lucy and her team love to innovate with new ideas, original flavours and ways to enjoy all things natural and edible without adding anything that really shouldn’t be there. Natural-creative-deliciousness always takes high priority at Bennetto.

While crafting delicious chocolate, Lucy and her team are always looking for ways to minimise their footprint on the Earth. They truly believe in taking time to understand our own impact on the world.

They’ve always aimed to do more than simply produce great chocolate. They also inspire people everywhere, to be thoughtful in every aspect of their lives and business – not just because it’s nice, but because it’s vital to the continued well-being of the people and the world we live in.

During September the Bennetto Chocolates are on special - so there has never been a better time to treat yourself! (I mean share something sweet with family and friends!)