Unwrap a bar of...

Chocolate

Fine cacao and chocolate products have proliferated in recent years, and at the same time concerned consumers have sought more education and transparency in relation to the food they eat. The development of meaningful and widespread standards for social and environmental responsibility is ongoing in the chocolate industry, and the Good Food Guild chocolate category recognizes those bean-to-bar makers who are leading the way, creating truly quality bars in every sense.

About

The Good Food Guild relies on the expertise of the chocolate community to develop, revise and set standards for the category. As cacao farms and chocolatiers evolve, so do our standards. Read on to learn what those standards are and meet the chocolate crafters of the Good Food Guild.

Standards

In order to join the Good Food Guild, chocolate companies must meet the following standards for at least 50% of their product line:

  • Made by the entrant from bean to bar in the USA or US territories.
  • Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Free of genetically modified ingredients.
  • All ingredients are grown with minimal or no use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.
  • Adherent to the FDA standards of identity for chocolate.
  • Available for retail sale in the 2021 calendar year, prior to September.
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,* as exemplified through integrating these practices:
    • Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
    • Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
    • For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.*

Cacao must be sourced in compliance with the following standards:

  • The origin of beans must be traceable, ordinarily to a particular growing region of a country and ideally to a processing facility, farm or cooperative.
  • Bean sourcers must ensure that price premiums meet or exceed Fair Trade minimums relative to the world commodity price, either through direct trade or through publicly stated policies and in-place processes.
  • Sourced with price transparency throughout the supply chain.
  • Wherever possible, sourced from farms or cooperatives where transparent, documented practices ensure fair and humane work standards for all laborers.
  • Sourced from farms or cooperatives with a transparent, documented emphasis on sustainable farming practices including: water conservation and minimizing or eliminating use of synthetic inputs.

Other ingredients (cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla, milk powder, flavorings, inclusions, etc.) must be sourced in compliance with the following standards:

  • Traceable.
  • Wherever possible, sourced from farms or cooperatives where transparent, documented practices ensure fair and humane work standards for all laborers.
  • All dairy and other animal-derived products should be sourced in compliance with the GAP guidelines that define “good animal husbandry.”**
  • Sugar must be organic or Fair Trade certified.***

*Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
**For ingredients that cannot be traced for animal welfare, such as milk powder, organic certification will be accepted.
***Sugar traceable to the farm level will be evaluated on a case by case basis

Meet the chocolatiers of the Good Food Guild and apply to join.