If you’re a baker, confectioner, or a sweet-toothed gourmand, you’re bound to have heard of Valrhona. This legendary French chocolate manufacturer was recently awarded B Corp status, marking it out as a top performer in terms of environmental and social responsibility. Read on to find out more about Valrhona, and why B Corp certification is such a big deal.
Luxury and tradition
Pastry chef Albéric de Guironnet founded Valrhona in 1922 in the little town of Tain-l’Hermitage, among the vineyards of the Rhône Valley. His mission was to supply chefs and gourmets alike with high-quality, distinctive artisanal chocolate, and he succeeded in style. Today Valrhona is one of France’s best-known luxury brands. It’s also a cocoa producer, with plantations in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. And it runs four prestigious schools for chocolatiers and pastry chefs, in Tain-l’Hermitage, Paris, Tokyo and Brooklyn.
But Valrhona isn’t only committed to quality. It’s also extremely serious about sustainability, both in its own production and manufacturing chain and in its partnerships with other producers. Valrhona’s Live Long strategy rests on four pillars:
- Fair and sustainable cocoa production
- Global preservation and carbon neutrality
- A just and positive food culture
- Collectivity and human connection
B Corp certification is an important part of this strategy, and it’s just one expression of Valrhona’s ethos.
If you regularly buy chocolate, coffee or tea, then you’ll be familiar with the Fair Trade symbol, which proclaims that the product you’re buying has been made in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. B Corp certification is like Fair Trade, but for entire companies rather than specific products, and you’ll often see the two mentioned together.
To be awarded B Corp status, a company must undergo a rigorous evaluation, amend its constitution to reflect the balance between profit and purpose, and sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence. B Corp certification is voluntary and must be renewed every three years. For corporations, it’s a commitment to do good in the world.
Valrhona achieved B Corp status in 2019. Achieving carbon neutrality, reducing the environmental impact of the supply chain, and working towards minimal, recyclable packaging are all important action points for living up to this very public promise. Valrhona also supports agroforestry. This is a way of ensuring biodiversity while also allowing cocoa producers to cultivate different crops – making their income more stable all year round.
Our Valrhona range
BonneBouffe brings you the best French food online, and Valrhona is no exception. For passionate confectioners, we carry a range of Valrhona’s unique couvertures, including its Yuzu, Raspberry and Passionfruit variants. We also offer their neutral glaze, cocoa powder, and a selection of dark, milk, white and Dulcey (“blond”) chocolate fèves. If you just want to snack, you’ll find bars to delight your palate and satisfy your cravings, all while supporting fair and sustainable chocolate production.