Alshair Fiyaz’s Simply Chocolate Goes Green - Elite Luxury News

Alshair Fiyaz’s Simply Chocolate Goes Green

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With the heightened desire for healthier alternatives in the chocolate industry and the increasing pressure to go green, it was only a matter of time before the two initiatives collided. At the brink of both ingenuities, Alshair Fiyaz’s Simply Chocolate prevails.

The chocolate industry faces major transformation in the consumer market as most companies shift towards healthier products. Simply Chocolate is based in Copenhagen and prides itself on its chocolatiers who go to extreme measures to find the most natural ingredients. They even offer a selection of gluten free, dairy free chocolate as they believe everyone should be able to enjoy chocolate. They do not want a lab with powders and liquids no one can pronounce. Even their caramel is made with honey, sugar and butter – that’s it.
“We are definitely seeing greater demand for vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free products,” says Niels Østenkær, CEO of Copenhagen-based brand Simply Chocolate. “Brands are adjusting to the ‘free-from’ culture. Those high-end chocolate makers able to stay on top of this demand – with a clear message, values and focus on quality – will be the winners of tomorrow.”
In addition to the importance of healthy, natural ingredients, Simply Chocolate strives for sustainability in the chocolate sector.
“No serious chocolate maker can comprehend a future for the industry without greater sustainability,” argues Østenkær. “Consumers demand it. Investors are increasingly doing so – in fact, our own owner, Alshair Fiyaz, absolutely insists on sustainability.”
In the industry at large, however, there remains much to do to go green. Many certification programmes exist which promise greater equity and better conditions for commodity farmers. But the International Cocoa Association, a trade body, has found that the proportion of cocoa sold worldwide under the Fair Trade label remains as little as 0.5 per cent. The warning comes amid wider fears of “greenwashing” – the danger that of the multitude of labels and certifications on the market today, some may not require the most stringent of standards, and instead be used as a marketing gimmick.

Østenkær believes the solution lies in taking a holistic approach: “We need a guarantee of sustainability across the board. That is why at Simply Chocolate we only use chocolate certified by Cocoa Horizons, a programme which supports the livelihoods of farmers, promotes workable, entrepreneurial farming methods, helps them boost productivity, and contributes to the economic development of their communities – all the while protecting the natural environment.”

Of course, making the chocolate industry sustainable goes far beyond the ingredients themselves. Østenkær explains: “Chocolate depends on an intricate global supply chain – from the grower, all the way to the factory and distribution. We need to ensure compliance at all stages of that supply chain. So work at the local level is critical. That is why we produce all of our chocolate by hand at our factory in eco-friendly Copenhagen, ensuring that we know exactly what goes into our bars. We’re even installing solar panels on the roof to reduce our carbon footprint!”

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