Chocolate that’s 99% carbon free… but costs you a packet!

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Nibbling on a bar of chocolate might be a naughty treat – but now there is at least less of a reason to feel guilty.

A new brand being stocked at the upmarket London store Fortnum & Mason claims to be the first to have virtually no adverse effect on the environment.

Sailboat Chocolate is said to be the 99 per cent free of carbon emissions – although the downside is that it costs more than £8 for a small bar.

Nibbling on a bar of chocolate might be a naughty treat – but now there is at least less of a reason to feel guilty

Nibbling on a bar of chocolate might be a naughty treat – but now there is at least less of a reason to feel guilty

The cocoa beans originate in a rainforest in Grenada in the Caribbean, where they are processed in a solar-powered factory. 

The resultant giant 350kg (55st) slabs of chocolate then cross the Atlantic in a 77-year-old 100ft brigantine – a two-masted Dutch sailing ship – called Tres Hombres.

The reason the chocolate isn’t fully carbon-free is because the vessel needs to carry a supply of fuel in case of emergency.

After a 4,000-mile journey taking up to eight weeks, the cargo eventually lands at Carlingford Lough in Ireland.

The cocoa beans originate in a rainforest in Grenada in the Caribbean, where they are processed in a solar-powered factory

The cocoa beans originate in a rainforest in Grenada in the Caribbean, where they are processed in a solar-powered factory

The reason the chocolate isn’t fully carbon-free is because the vessel needs to carry a supply of fuel in case of emergency

The reason the chocolate isn’t fully carbon-free is because the vessel needs to carry a supply of fuel in case of emergency

It is then transported by rowing boat and horse and cart to NearyNogs, the oldest chocolatiers in Ireland, where staff break up the giant slabs, put them through a further production process in another solar-powered factory and then package them in recyclable, biodegradable materials.

From there, the bars are taken by another sailboat to Bangor in North Wales and, finally, driven to Fortnum & Mason’s Piccadilly store in a fleet of electric vans.

There, the ‘Royal grocer’ is selling the chocolate at £24.95 for three 60g pouches, each with a different concentration of the Trinitario cocoa.

Sophie Young, a buyer for the shop, which was founded in 1707 by one of Queen Anne’s footmen but is now owned by an investment fund, said the chocolate was ‘showcasing our values in an innovative way’.

Shipping is responsible for about 2.5 per cent of global carbon emissions, and a 2018 study found that the UK chocolate industry produces some 2.1 million tons of greenhouse gases a year – the same as a city the size of Belfast.

Farmers who grow the cocoa beans in Grenada are also paid a reported 65 per cent above the market price, while the factory workers there are paid double the going rate.

The ‘Royal grocer’ is selling the chocolate at £24.95 for three 60g pouches, each with a different concentration of the Trinitario cocoa

The ‘Royal grocer’ is selling the chocolate at £24.95 for three 60g pouches, each with a different concentration of the Trinitario cocoa 

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