Melbourne-based Australian producer of premium quality, raw organic chocolate Loving Earth takes pride in supplying what it describes as “fairly-traded, single origin” organic chocolates. Loving Earth is now sourcing its organic cacao from a co-operative in Satipo, Peru and managing director Scott Fry says his company has always paid a fair trade premium, while not certifying with FLO.“I don’t think you can compare the two systems – organic and Fairtrade – as they are so different,” he says. Loving Earth’s products are certified with Australian Certified Organic.

Mr Fry’s view is that the grower's co-operatives he deals with in Peru are small and cannot afford to obtain FLO certification. Instead they belong to the non-audited group the US Fairtrade Foundation. “Apart from health benefits, consumers are looking for more than organic,” he says. “We guarantee that we pay more than 15% above the Fairtrade price for products such as beans, nibs, powder and butter. This ensures the exceptional quality of our cacao and that money is reinvested in the local community.”

Loving Earth states on its website that its producers and workers are paid not only a fair price, but also are empowered with the skills and infrastructure to add as much value to the raw products as possible. “This creates healthy environments in which producers and their families live and work and they re-invest in community infrastructure such as education, health and other essential services”.

“A key part of our mission at Loving Earth is to source products from the Indigenous communities where they originated. This supports them in maintaining their cultural integrity. Most of the functional foods that we source have played a central role in the cultural heritage of the indigenous communities that have cultivated and/or harvested them from the wild ecosystems in which they live.”

Loving Earth imports and manufacturers a large range of cocoa and chocolate products such as a single origin, certified organic raw cacao from Satipo Peru (73% raw cacao) and has added superfoods to the chocolate such as purple corn, maca and camu camu. Other products include organic agave and yacon syrup, snack foods, raw butters, raw olives, and other South America and Australian superfoods.

Newly launched in August this year at the Organic Expo, Sydney were three Raw Dark Organic Chocolates - three 100gm chocolates in 73% organic raw cacao (organic raw dark chocolate, organic mild chilli, and organic orange and gubinge (an Australian superfood), sweetened with organic coconut nectar.

Loving Earth was the first chocolate company in Australia to use raw organic agave syrups and yacon syrups to sweeten its chocolate and sells a range of six organic chocolate bars sweetened with agave syrup. It cites agave as a natural, low-GI sweetener that releases energy slowly into the blood stream and is suitable for diabetics and those suffering from hypoglycemia.