Endangered Species Chocolate

10% of our net profits are donated annually to current 10% GiveBack Partners; each is guaranteed a minimum annual donation of ,000 and is free to use the funds on projects they deem most important.

Monday 12 June 2017, by Ian Wymond

4 inspired

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) was founded in 1994 by Jon Stocking. When he was working on a fishing boat in the early 1980’s to raise enough money to eventually attend culinary school, Stocking saw something that inspired him. Along with the tuna that his fishing boat was trying to catch, the net also captured sea-turtles, dolphins, sharks and other sea creatures. Stocking would jump into the water to rescue the animals accidently caught in the trap, but many wild animals are not as lucky as this.
This experience inspired the founding and creation of Endangered Species Chocolate which aims to protect endangered animals and help save natural ecosystems around the world. Jon’s choice to produce chocolate was to allow people to “satisfy their tastebuds and conscience.”
ESC produces all natural, Kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, fair trade chocolates. The company now offers the first American produced chocolate bars that are made from Fairtrade certified West African cocoa beans that are fully traceable from the farm to shelf. They offer various flavors and sizes of naturally shade-grown chocolate, such as dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel dark chocolate with blackberry sage.
But all of these labels and unique flavors are not what make their chocolates especially sweet. 10% of ESC’s Annual income is donated to their 10% GiveBack partners. Each current partner is promised to receive $10,000 or 10% of ESC’s net yearly profits, whichever is larger. ESC is currently partnered with the Rainforest Trust and Wildlife Conservation Network, but have had many other partners throughout the years. When donating the money each year, ESC allows their partners to pick and choose where to allocate the money. Each partner chooses which aspect of environmental protection is most important at the moment, and uses the funding to directly aid their conservation efforts.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

ESC is actively fighting against many ethical challenges in our society. The company’s main focus is preventing animal extinction and environmental endangerment through contributions to wildlife advocates around the globe. Since ESC’s founding, they have been committed to furthering these initiatives and, over the past three years, the company has donated over $1.3 million to their give-back partners.
Additionally, ESC prides itself on pursuing ethical business practices. All of the company’s products are grown using environmentally sustainable methods. ESC is also the first American-made chocolate company using fully traceable fair-trade cocoa beans from West Africa. The company ensures that the workers who provide their chocolate receive fair wages and working conditions, and the non-use of child labor is strictly enforced. ESC’s goal is to empower local family farmers in impoverished areas such as West Africa.
The intense 10% GiveBack partner selection process also proves how committed ESC is to long term sustainability and conservation. After gauging potential partners, a selection is made based on the aggressive and clear mission each organization has in order to promote habitat conservation and species preservation. ESC is currently working directly with the Rainforest Trust and Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), who have proven themselves as top conservation organizations.
Since the Rainforest Trust was founded in 1988, it has helped save over 16 million acres of threatened rainforest habitat across 26 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. 100% of all contributions made to the Rainforest Trust are put directly into conservation action, and not used for political activities or special interests. On the other hand, WCN funds exactly the sort of people that Jon Stocking started out as. WCN was built on the premise that an individual can make a difference, and for that reason they provide funding to independent conservationists. WCN currently funds projects in 24 different countries. Projects such as MarAlliance, which aims to conserve sharks and rays throughout the Americas through fishery management and conservation, have made WCN stand out as a prominent conservation organisation in the eyes of ESC. The added support that ESC is giving to both of these organisations shows how truly invested the company is in protecting wildlife and natural habitats.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

ESC was founded with an ethical vision in mind. Jon Stocking created the company for the sole reason to create a positive environmental impact and prevent natural ecosystems from being destroyed. In addition to helping nature, Stocking wanted to help people who are economically disadvantaged. ESC was born not out of a desire for profits, but rather because of an inner drive to benefit the world.
It is clear to see that ESC is actively involved in many campaigns to help our global environment. They have a track record of working with organizations that are highly significant for environmental conservation around the world. ESC is an integral part of a larger network of pro-environment organizations and non-profits. The chocolate sales that they make drive a larger global campaign to save ecosystems around the world. The company’s activities and contributions are visibly published on their website, ensuring their commitment to these issues.
Additionally, ESC has many legal certifications that guarantee their promises. ESC is FairTrade Certified by Fair Trade USA, Non-GMO certified by the Non-GMO Project, and Vegan certified by Vegan Action. Along with this they are RSPO certified; meaning they use certified palm oil that is harvested in a sustainable way. Palm oil production has become one of the largest growing environmental hazards, with many companies using the cheapest methods to fulfill their needs. The company’s business model only allows for an ethical line of production.
Along with proving that they have been using Fairtrade products and helping small, local economies progress, ESC has shown through their selection process of partners that they donate directly to organizations that have actively proven themselves in improving habitats, and saving species. The $1.3 million that ESC has given to organizations such as the African Wildlife Foundation, Xerces Society and Chimp Haven have helped protect endangered rhinos, chimps and lions, ban harmful insecticides that kill thousands of bumblebees each year, and provide lifetime care for chimps that have been used in shows or as medical research.
All of these reason prove to us how much the company truly cares about more than just being successful in business. Their commitment to building a sustainable world and protected environments is truly inspiring to all of us.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

As an ethical business in a very competitive environment, ESC has many potential challenges to face. The most concerning challenges to focus on deal with competition, costs, legitimacy, and partnerships.
One issue that ESC must be wary of is competition from companies that benefit from the exploitation of unprotected environments. These companies could take action to impede ESC’s efforts to save the environment and try to push them out of the market. Some business practices perpetuate an unsafe environment so ESC must fight against big businesses to ensure that the prevention of endangering species and environments remains their main focus.
ESC must also keep in mind that the cost of producing chocolate with higher quality, natural ingredients, and ethical work conditions is more costly than for companies working to solely improve profits at low financial costs (but usually high environmental costs). Cost is a factor everyone takes into consideration, so competition from larger chocolate companies with more financial resources and cheaper production processes can overtake the market. Higher cost means higher selling price which may deter potential buyers from supporting ESC.
ESC needs to focus on ensuring consumers that their products are truly fair trade and made ethically. A lot of companies will act like they are doing something good, but it is more for a PR stunt. There are many skeptics out there, so they need to be able to prove what they are doing is ethical.
ESC must continue to keep efforts to finding good organizations to partner with. They need to make sure the companies they partner with have a similar mission statement to save the environment. There are many unethical organizations in the world, so they need to ensure their money is actually going to help save the environment.
Although ESC is a business, its main goal is to have a positive impact on the environment. They are doing wonderful things in terms of business practices and nature, but there is always room for improvement. One course of action is to expand to other countries besides the United States.
Another way of improving is to use cocoa beans from fair trade farmers in other parts of the world besides West Africa. This would help to stimulate better working conditions for workers on a more global scale and could inspire other companies to follow in the footsteps of using fair trade practices.
Finally, ESC can figure out a financial strategy where they would be able to donate more than 10% of their income (perhaps 15 or 20) to partners protecting wildlife and still be successful and profitable. ESC and their partners would be able to have a greater impact and be able to reach more lands and animals that are in great need to assitance.



Location: Indianapolis (USA)

Official website: http://www.chocolatebar.com

Key figures:

Jon Stocking

Nbr. visits: 4810

Nbr. inspires: 4