Sustainable Spring: Hunted + Gathered and Zorzal Cacao

When it comes to delicious things of all shapes and sizes (wine, beer, spirits, snacks) – packaging and then flavour are often the first things that resonate. When you dig a bit deeper, however, the provenance of any delicious thing is of an equal importance, and that’s an element that we’re endeavouring to put a special focus on throughout Sustainable Spring.

The chocolate used in our Hunted + Gathered collaborative chai-inspired bar comes from Zorzal Cacao in the Dominican Republic. Zorzal Cacao (named after the rare migratory songbird by the name of ‘Bicknell’s Thrush’) sits within a 1,019 acre bird sanctuary in the northern mountain range of the country.

At Zorzal Cacao, they focus on organic agriculture, biodiversity, land regeneration, and wildlife conversation. Seventy percent of the land on their bird sanctuary – Reserva Zorzal – is set aside to remain uncultivated, and to continue on as an endangered wildlife habitat. Their cacao trees are planted in the shade of hardwood and fruit tree species – this assists in fixing nitrogen into the soil, alongside encouraging biodiversity.

As a part of their mission, they’ve teamed up with thirteen neighbouring landowners who are also committed to reducing climate change through reforestation. Reforestation assists in offsetting carbon emissions produced by chocolate makers and partners around the world, as well regenerating and supporting the land on which the cacao is grown.

This carbon offset project is third-party verified by Plan Vivo, an organisation which has ‘created a set of requirements for smallholders and communities wishing to manage their land and natural resources more sustainably’. They do this by issuing environmental service certificates – these assist in making carbon finance more effective and readily available to those trying to implement long-term sustainable land-use activities.

Alongside all these positive steps when it comes to reforestation, biodiversity, and sustainable agriculture – the people at Zorzal Cacao produce flavourful cacao which makes the long journey into the hands of the folks at Hunted + Gathered, where it’s then crafted into delicious chocolate.

At Hunted + Gathered, they make sure to source all of their cacao beans from traceable producers around the world, as well as supporting other small local businesses where possible – with additional inclusion ingredients coming from like-minded organic producers within Australia.

In our minds, all of this hard work – from growing the raw ingredients to crafting the finished chocolate bar – pays off immensely, and we’re incredibly proud to be able to collaborate with companies like Hunted + Gathered, and assist in supporting sustainably-minded producers like Zorzal Cacao.

If you haven’t tried the Blackhearts x Hunted + Gathered chocolate yet – what are you waiting for?! The 70% Dominican Republic from Zorzal Cacao is paired with roasted coconut, cardamom, clove, and pepper to create a delicious, textural, and spicy treat.

Available all stores, $7.50