There are many things that Goupie feels should be a given with any employer. Sadly, this is not always the case!
Simple things, such as paying staff above the living wage to reward them for all the time that they give to your business, being flexible about working hours to understand that employees have a life outside of work, or providing a safe and enjoyable working environment so that the time they do have to spend there is as pleasant as possible.
Sounds obvious if you ask us, but it seems that some businesses still need reminding.
Of course, our staff also get the added benefits of all they can eat chocolate and the natural eau de chocolat that comes from working at Goupie!
Sourcing Our Ingredients
We’ve searched high and wide to find the best quality ingredients for our products. Where possible, we source locally. For example, the lavender in our white and dark lavender flavours, comes from the Hop Shop (Faversham), our coffee in Espresso comes from Micro Roastary (Canterbury), the cider in our Boozy Christmas, from Biddenden Vineyards and the salt flakes on our Salted Sticky Toffee from Maldon.
Where we can’t source locally, we always look to source quality and as sustainably as possible (for example our cocoa is fairtrade and our coffee is triple certified (Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade & Social Association). We also tend to use local distributors to reduce the miles put on the products, but also to support those businesses. It can be slightly more expensive, but we feel it's important to build those relationships. Hopefully one day we'll be in the position where we can go straight to the source to have full control of our supply chain!
Chocolate is obviously one of the most important ingredients in our supply chain. We've always been determined to use the best quality, that tastes delicious (taste testing chocolate really is a horrible job, but someone's got to do it). We've made sure to contact our supplier's directly to make sure that they are doing everything they can to not only eradicate child slavery from their supply chain, but actively pursue change in the industry. We think it's important to acknowledge that it isn't always an easy fix of simply not doing something, but that there are usually underlying issues at the core of these symptoms which should be tackled.
Our palm oil is another ingredient which is victim to this. We looked high and low to find a more sustainable solution to the fat element of our product. In the end, we returned to palm oil. Though this is fairly controversial, we hope to at least explain our rationale here, for you to make up your own mind. Firstly, it's important to note that we do not just use any palm oil, but an RSPO certified palm oil which is sourced from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. This means that, not only can we pinpoint where every batch came from to ensure that no deforestation has occurred, but also that they won't be anywhere near those lovely Orangutans!
Secondly, palm oil has one of the highest yields per square kilometre, beating all other edible oils. This makes it a much more viable option for sustainable growth than say coconut, or sunflower (in our opinion). We're of the mind that if everyone stops using palm oil, and switches to these alternative oils, we're going to have the same (if not worse) issues later down the line. It makes much more sense to us, that we support accreditation systems which look to protect the environment and local populations and help to build upon these.
All of our packaging is 100% recyclable. We use a card carton, which is folded into place so no adhesive is required. We then use either a sticker to hold the box in place, ensure it's tamper-proof and to give you all the flavour details! Our pieces are held in a PP bag. This is to ensure that they are kept fresh and are free from contamination. Pieces are all kept in one pack to reduce the amount of plastic required to package our products. We are looking for an alternative solution for this to assist with portion control and be even more sustainable, so we'll keep you posted on that progress!
It's not just our chocolates which need packaging, but also the packs themselves to get from us to retailer. We also use 100% recyclable and FSC card for these packs so that the retailers are not having to throw away tons of additional waste. We deliver in reused ingredients boxes, or biodegradable bags to reuse our own waste and, again, not leave our retailers with tons of plastic and other nasty waste.
Of course, ingredients and other products required to make our devilishly moreish chocs require their own packaging. We reuse the bags of our stickers in the form of shred, along with any used paperwork or leftover packaging runs. As mentioned, we also reuse the containers our ingredients come into make deliveries, and in the case of our golden syrup tubs, we give them to the local community for their home-brews and gardening!