We plant a tree for each bar we sell. We remove twice as much plastic from the environment as we produce. None of that matters if we fail before we've even started. If each bar we sell does these things, but degrades the soil in which the ingredients are grown - we might as well not bother.
By using ingredients which are grown in a way that is regenerative, not depleting, we can ensure that the positive impact each bar has starts at the most basic level.
That is why we've tried so hard to use organic ingredients from co-operatives that are working to lessen their overall impact, and protect and regenerate the soil of their farms.
It also means our bars taste the best they possibly can - and are packed with higher densities of micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals, etc) than they would be if we used industrially farmed ingredients. Yes, they cost more, in monetary terms, but they cost a whole lot less in environmental terms. In the long run, that will matter more.
It also means they often come from outrageously beautiful places - in this case the Hunza valley, in Northern Pakistan.
The Hunza is most famous for apricots - the varietals grown are largely 'unimproved' - which means they are closer to a wild apricot, less sweet, more tangy, and we think the most delicious. We use the apricots, and their kernels in our Apricot & Kernel Bar.
We also get our supplies of apples, and almonds, from the same co-operative.
We work with a co-operative of farmers called the Mountain Fruits Farmers Association (MFFA). This is a network of over 6000 farmers, organised into over 110 growing groups, whose land is naturally irrigated by the glacial melt of the Karakorum and Himalayan mountains.
As well as pre-financing and making Fairtrade purchases from farmers, MFFA also train farmers in best farming and post harvest practice. MFFA also run 2 factories where they grade and further process the dried fruits and nuts.
Over the years, Fairtrade premiums have been spent by the Farmers Association on books for community schools, a new playground, water tanks, a generator, sewing machines, school fees for the poorest students and irrigation upgrades.
The human and environmental impact of industrialised farming is slowly emerging as one of the toughest challenges we will need to overcome. Working and supporting people who are already working in a regenerative and sustainable way is the obvious place to start.
It's an added bonus that this area of Northern Pakistan is stacked full of incredible climbing and amazing people.
A couple of shots from Symon Welfringer's 2019 expedition below. From bouldering in the orchards, to soaring Himalayan giants, this area is something of a paradise.