When Finlay founded Chocolates of Glenshiel in 2016, it was vital to him that his new business would act as a force for good. He wanted his chocolates to bring people together, support his local area and showcase the wonderful Scottish produce which was inspiring his creations. Additionally, however, when living in a place as picturesque as Glenshiel, conservation is always at the forefront of your mind. It was vital to Finlay that his chocolates were the product of sustainable and ethical practices that wouldn’t cause harm to the environment.
At Chocolates of Glenshiel, we are not oblivious to the issues surrounding the cocoa industry and we work hard to ensure our chocolate is sourced in ways we are happy to support. Our chocolate supplier is covered by the Forever Chocolate and Cocoa Horizons initiatives which are working hard to eradicate child labour and poverty from cocoa production as well as being forest and carbon positive, all whilst sourcing only 100% sustainable cocoa.
Of course, we can’t just rely on our cocoa supplier to keep us sustainable – we need to make sure we’re playing our part too. Firstly, we choose our ingredients with meticulous care. They need to taste sensational – that’s a given – but they must also come from people and places that share our commitment to keeping things sustainable and environmentally friendly. For example, the heather honey we use comes from Heather Hills farm in Blairgowrie – a company striving to maintain and conserve both the honeybee and its natural habitat. They’re also very protective of the welfare of their bees, prioritising it highly over financial efficiency. They offer customers the opportunity to support their efforts through their bee adoption scheme, which is very cool. You can find out more here if you fancy it.
Wherever possible, we use ingredients we have on our doorstep – not only because Highland ingredients are of such high quality, but because it keeps transport emissions down. Our elderflower is foraged from just over the Mam Ratagan pass in Glenelg, less than 10 miles from our kitchen. Our tablet is made by a small company in Skye just up the road. Our coffee beans are roasted in Inverness. We’re very fortunate to have such a wealth of quality ingredients so close to home to feature in our chocolatey creations.
Then, we had to consider what packaging we were going to use for our chocolates. Given that chocolates are so easily damaged, this posed a wee bit of a challenge. With lots of hard work, we have managed to find a packaging solution that is 100% plastic free and fully recyclable which keeps our chocolates beautiful and safe. Even better – we’ve sourced it locally! Some of our paper is even produced in Aberdeen and it's printed in Scotland, keeping our transport carbon footprint to a minimum.
We’re continuously monitoring our environmental impact and thinking of new ways to keep it at a minimum. If you have any questions about our practices or suggestions on how we could be doing better then please do get it touch!