PCC Farmland Trust and Theo Chocolate: A delicious new partnership

by Kristin Vogel, PCC Farmland Trust Communications Manager

This article was originally published in November 2011

Theo Chocolate bar

We are thrilled to present, in partnership with Theo Chocolate, our PCC Farmland Trust Organic Fair Trade Cherry & Chili Dark Chocolate Bar!

This 70-percent dark chocolate bar is a culmination of organic goodness — full of Washington state organic cherries and organic guajilo and ancho chilies locally grown by Alvarez Organic Farms in the Yakima Valley.

The organic cacao beans come from Ecuador, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Fifty cents from the sale of each bar purchased at PCC will be donated to the trust. Never has chocolate tasted so good while doing so much good for local farmers.

This partnership makes a lot of sense, as both PCC Farmland Trust and Theo Chocolate are organic pioneers, with sustainability and the well-being of farmers at the heart of everything we do.

You may already know that PCC Farmland Trust is the only exclusively organic farmland trust in the nation, but did you know that prior to Theo Chocolate opening in Seattle in 2006, organic chocolate was only manufactured in Europe and imported into the U.S. market? Since then, Theo has continued to be an innovative leader, with very high standards for the social and environmental responsibility of its products.

“The opportunity to do something special in partnership with PCC Farmland Trust was an obvious choice for Theo. Not only was PCC Theo Chocolate’s first customer ever, but preserving organic ecosystems here and abroad is essential to our mission. It’s energizing to be in a position to support the vital work of PCC Farmland Trust here in Washington,” says Theo vice president Deb Music.

Theo Chocolate is the only organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the United States, and is IMO Fair for Life certified. That means at every step of the sourcing, manufacturing, printing and distribution process, Theo makes a high-quality, award-winning chocolate that’s delicious, eco-friendly, and supportive of workers and growers — both locally and abroad.

The Theo Chocolate factory offers a public tour where you can see for yourself the fascinating history, farming, ecology and politics of chocolate. Visit theochocolate.com for more information.

PCC Farmland Trust offers seasonal farm tours where you can see for yourself the hard work, creativity and sustainable practices of farms and farmers. We also offer periodic work and restoration parties, where you can get your hands dirty and help a local farmer with a conservation project or other onsite project. Visit pccfarmlandtrust.org for more information.

With this new partnership with Theo, we’ve secured quite the tasty trifecta, as PCC Farmland Trust is also lucky enough to benefit from very generous donations from Powers Winery. Powers, a Kennewick, Washington-based winery, has created two special wine blends — a PCC Farmland Trust Chardonnay and a PCC Farmland Trust Cabernet (learn more about the two wines). For each bottle of these wines purchased at PCC Natural Markets, Powers donates $2 to the trust. Since 2007, that donation amount has sailed past $70,000!

You can also crack open a beer in support of farms when you purchase a Skagit River Brewery Farm to Market Ale — 25 cents from each bottle sold also benefits organic farmland preservation.

It’s our pleasure to keep providing multiple ways of enjoying antioxidant-rich, organic foods that help save local organic farmland with each sip and bite!

We also benefit from the support of other generous vendor donors who sell their healthy products at PCC and make donations to the trust, such as Choice Teas, Odwalla, Columbia Gorge Organics, Stiebrs Farms, Clif Bar, Lifeway Kefir, Helios, Organic Valley, Acure Organics, and Organically Grown Company.

Any way you look at it, we are lucky to have such a wealth of delicious support from responsible and sustainable local companies who appreciate the importance of saving local organic farmland forever.

Also in this issue

Soil & Sea: reports from our producers

November's report is on navel oranges, Wash. apple growers, organic avocados, walnut growers, Calif. almonds, the Asian pear crop, Alaskan salmon and certification of new fisheries in the Americas by the Marine Stewardship Council.

30-year study: organic superior

The Rodale Institute has completed 30 years of its Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical agriculture, and the results are in: organic rules!

Small local producers

The relationships we’re building are allowing both PCC and our farmers and artisans to thrive — and making it possible to bring more delicious local, sustainable food to our tables.