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When it comes to working with dream brands, a chocolate company has got to be up there! Couple that with a chocolate company that wants to actively look after its field workers, and you’ve got a brand that we can all fall in love with.

Having recently worked with the London-based brand on a photoshoot, we were able to climb into their cocoa pod for a little while and see their values and ethos up close and personal.

Sustainable Seed-to-Bar

Founded by Wilf Marriott, Islands Chocolate’s ethos hinges on sustainability. The age old ‘bean-to-bar’ philosophy whereby cocoa beans were imported from where they are grown and turned into chocolate in the West just wasn’t enough for Wilf and his family. They wanted a much more transparent, long-term solution, and thus his seed-to-bar movement was born.

Setting up chocolate production on the farm in St Vincent where the cacao is grown, Islands Chocolate was born. Not only was this a huge benefit to the local community – who were provided with more job opportunities as well as community outreach programmes – but it actually improved the chocolate. How? Well, nothing went to waste, and through the extra control they had over the growing and manufacturing process, their chocolate naturally acquired a much richer, more chocolatey flavour which they were in entire control of.

What’s more, the seed-to-bar movement is good for the environment, too.

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The Chocolate and the Community

Islands Chocolate are big on values. Not only do they employ over 200 field workers and chocolatiers in St. Vincent, where their cacao is grown, but they also actively work towards improving the island’s infrastructure, support local schools and orphanages.

Furthermore, they think long term: they work with their farmers to support them, train them and give them the skills they need to grow cacao, as well as pay significantly higher wages than those advocated by Fairtrade. And it’s not just the farmers that see long term benefits: their sustainable farming approach means that the planet will be left in the same beautiful state as they found it, ready for future generations to enjoy.

On top of this, they reduce waste at every stage of their journey and limit the risk of landslides as much as possible. Oh, and did we mention that their chocolate is not only fair but 100% traceable, because the cacao is actually grown by Islands Chocolate, with the process controlled from start to finish, which gives it its unique, crafted flavour? Big ticks all round.

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Thinking big, shooting local

The shoot, at our in-house photographic studio in Shoreditch, consisted of 4 products and bookcase packaging, which were then retouched, cut-out and profiled for print, social media and online usage.

EMEA Account Director Lloyd Hayzer comments: “We are proud to be working with such a brand as Islands Chocolate, with its strong ethical values and ethos. The shoot went extremely smoothly and we were delighted to see the finished results being used across the client’s sales and marketing campaigns.

Wilf Marriott of Islands Chocolate adds:

"I was struggling to find a quality photographer in central London with quick turn around times so it was brilliant when I came across Rhapsody. Super easy, they get the brief and get the job done in speedy time.”

The brand is currently sold online, and stocked in numerous independent stockists - check out the list online here.

Rhapsody are proud to showcase this independent brand whose products not only taste fantastic but serve the planet well. For more about our photographic studio, and to check availability, please visit our enquiry form here.

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