City Business Library – Under One Roof with guest speaker Jo Fairley of Green & Black’s chocolate.

Wednesday 1 November 2007

Jo_FairleyWhat an inspiration Jo Fairley is. Not only did her partner found the Whole Earth but when he refused to sell chocolate because “it contains added sugar”, she set up Green & Black’s the worlds first organic chocolate.

Here is a snippet of their ground-breaking story:

It all started back in 1991 when Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth – the pioneering organic food company – was sent a sample of dark 70% chocolate made from organic cocoa beans. His wife, environment columnist for The Times and confirmed chocoholic, Josephine Fairley, found the half eaten bar on Craig’s desk and sampled some for herself. The intense flavour was unique and unlike anything she had tasted before. Jo was convinced other chocolate lovers would appreciate it in the same way she had and they set about making the world’s first organic chocolate. The final product was a high-quality, bitter-sweet dark chocolate bar, packed with 70% cocoa solids – enough to make chocolate fans sit up and take notice..

FairTrade_logoAs the brand began to gain a loyal following, Maya Gold was added to the range in 1994 – the product of a holiday Jo & Craig made to where they discovered cocoa farmers were being penalised, as some larger confectionery companies tried to drive cocoa prices down. They agreed to pay the farmers a fair price for their crops and created the flavour of Maya Gold to capture the taste of the rainforests where the cocoa is grown. This way of doing business didn’t seem different to them – it was what came naturally but it subsequently earned them the UK’s first Fairtrade mark.


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