Specialized in fair-trade food products, the cooperative is opening a new chocolate factory in the Gers in order to relocate production in France.
The Ethiquable cooperative, pioneers in fair-trade organic foods, has inaugurated a new chocolate factory in the Gers. “It’s the first chocolate factory in Europe that is 100% dedicated to fair-trade and organic cocoas,” Christophe Eberhart, co-founder of Ethiquable, points out.
The €20-million investment marks a change in strategy for the cooperative, which was founded in 2003. Although until now, they imported their cocoa beans and had the chocolate produced in Italy, Ethiquable now handles almost the entire chocolate-production process themselves. Crushing, liquor formation, conching (putting the cocoa butter back in), tempering, developing recipes and molding the bars have all been relocated to Fleurance (in France’s Occitanie region). The factory there has a production capacity of approximately 25 million tablets a year for a volume of 2,500 tons of chocolate.
“We pay producers $4,300 a ton, which is 60% higher than the global rate (N.B.: which was at $2,700 a ton on average in April, 2021),” Christophe Eberhart explains.
- €4,300 per Ton of Chocolate –
Only the roasting of the beans is still entrusted to Peruvian producers from the Norandino cooperative, who transform the cocoa beans purchased by Ethiquable from five partner cooperatives in Peru and six other organizations in Ecuador. “We pay producers $4,300 a ton, which is 60% higher than the global rate (N.B.: which was at $2,700 a ton on average in April, 2021),” Christophe Eberhart explains. The cooperative generated €7.7 million in revenue in 2020. Their products are distributed in supermarkets and specialty stores in France, and 5% of production is exported to Spain, Belgium and Germany. While chocolate accounts for nearly 40% of the cooperative’s revenue, they have been broadening their range and now offer many other products (teas, coffees, fruit juices, jams, non-perishables and more).
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