Shopping sustainably is just one way we can take action to help protect our planet and biodiversity.

What goes into the products we buy and how they are sourced is important to consider if we want to reduce our individual impact on the environment and to live more sustainably.

One way of doing this is by checking packaging for certification logos like Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and certified Organic. Avoid products with unidentified vegetable oil or uncertified palm oil or soy ingredients (look for RSPO certified). Though not all sustainable products carry certification marks this can be a quick way to confirm the standards of a brand.

Many brands also leave out where and how their ingredients are produced and may not include it on their packaging. Look for alternatives that proudly describe the origin of their ingredients and don’t be afraid to contact brands or search for their sustainability policies online.

When trying to get your chocolate fix, consider spending a little bit more. There are a growing number of fantastic and unique craft chocolatiers producing single-origin and sustainably sourced chocolate products from all over the world, paying higher prices for sustainable cocoa and produced artisan chocolate for consumers.

With this growing market in mind, we have created our own single-origin chocolate bar to show that sustainable chocolate sourced from the Gola Rainforest project is both possible and tastes great.

The forest-edge communities of the Gola Rainforest National Park are working to make a living from the protection of the landscape through sustainable cocoa farming. Expansion of cocoa agricultural including cocoa farming poses a threat to the protected forest landscapes of West Africa. Find out more about how these farmers work to support themselves and protect the Gola Rainforest National park in this video and help us by purchasing Gola Rainforest Chocolate to support our work.

We are proudly working with partners, particularly Gola Rainforest Conservation in Sierra Leone, to protect the Gola Rainforest National Park. We support cocoa farmers around the park to help them improve their yields, whilst ensuring the cocoa is grown sustainably and protects the fantastic wildlife found there – from Critically Endangered Western chimpanzee to the endangered rufous fishing-owl. These Forest-Friendly Gola cocoa beans are being used in Europe, the USA and even as far away as New Zealand – and is now valuable from the RSPB shop. This is lovingly created in the UK by Cornish craft chocolatiers, Chocolarder and we have been producing these bars since 2019 as part of our program of work to help support cocoa farmers and protect the Gola Rainforest National Park.

With only two ingredients (cocoa beans, unrefined cane sugar), this rainforest chocolate is also free from soya, oil-palm and comes in a nifty recyclable packet.

Our cocoa work is part of our efforts to ensure the reduction of deforestation in the forest around the Gola Rainforest National Park. This work forms part of the REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) project managed by Gola Rainforest Conservation and is the first REDD+ project in West Africa. The Gola Rainforest National Park helps to reduce global emissions by 700,000 tons of Co2 annually and you can support Gola with a verified Carbon credit purchase.

RSPB

RSPB is largest nature conservation charity in the UK, consistently delivering successful conservation, forging powerful new partnerships with other organisations and inspiring others to stand up and give nature the home it deserves. Our conservation efforts aren’t just confined to the UK, they extend to many countries overseas. The RSPB is part of BirdLife International, a network of passionate organisations, working together to save nature across the world.

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