Next week, winds permitting, 24,000 bars of hand-pressed chocolate will arrive in the United Kingdom port of Portsmouth. Sailing on the 105 foot-long wooden brigantine Tres Hombres, the 100 gram (3.5 ounces) bars of Gru Grococo bar willretail for £12.95, or $21 in stores. But the most expensive bar on both sides of the pond will also be the world’s truly carbon neutral chocolate.
The partnership between Fairtransport, the Dutch company that owns the Tres Hombres, Rococo Chocolates and the Grenada Chocolate Company seeks to transform the shipping industry. While most industry groups and government agencies insist that transport is only one small part of a food product’s carbon footprint, Fairtransport believes that the only responsible and sustainable way to haul goods across oceans is by sail. The Tres Hombres makes several trips a year from ports in the Caribbean to New York, the Azores, United Kingdom and finally in the Netherlands. With the chocolate industry in peril, could the Gru Rococo highlight the challenges the cocoa industry faces in the very near future?