Over the years, Haigh’s has been a proud supporter of a number of charitable organisations, community projects and environmental causes. We’ve also introduced our own initiatives which have become part of the way we do business. At Haigh’s Chocolates we believe that as a corporate citizen we have important responsibilities — to support and empower members of our community.
Sustainability & Rainforest Alliance Certification
Haigh’s Chocolates is serious about its responsibilities for sustainable farming whether we are sourcing ingredients locally or overseas. Here’s some of what we do and why:
Australia does not have a viable cocoa growing industry. Therefore we import premium priced, raw high-quality cocoa beans from cocoa growing regions around the world including South America, Africa and the Pacific, then roast and blend them locally, guaranteeing our high-quality chocolate production.
Where possible we source ingredients such as sugar, milk powder, dried fruit and nuts from within Australia in support of Australian producers.
We are Rainforest Alliance Certified
Rainforest Alliance certified (formerly UTZ) stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment. Through the Rainforest Alliance program farmers grow better crops, generate more income and create better opportunities while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth’s natural resources.
Among other things, this contributes to the financial sustainability of the farmer and their families. A premium is paid on the market price to these farmers to encourage best practice activities. We partnered with Rainforest Alliance because of their strong focus on supporting sustainable farming and their traceability system which assures that Rainforest Alliance certified products truly relate to certified sustainable sources.
Eighty percent of the beans we source from around the world now come from Rainforest Alliance certified farms. Our aim is to achieve buying 100% certified cocoa for all of our chocolate within the next two to three years.
Rainforest Alliance merged with UTZ in 2018 in response to the critical challenges facing humanity: deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. They combined their respective strengths to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes; where farmers, workers, and communities prosper; and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. They are an alliance of companies, farmers, forest communities, and consumers committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. Learn more about the Rainforest Alliance here.
Through our industry association, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) Confectionery Sector, we are also part of a global partnership with governments, non-government organisations and industry, including the International Cocoa Initiative to improve the lives of West African cocoa farmers and their families through a public certification process.
We are a direct member of the World Cocoa Foundation which works in all cocoa growing regions to help farming communities. Click here for more information on the work being done by the World Cocoa Foundation.
Giving with Heart
Since 2011 we have been putting our heart into supporting Variety, the Children’s Charity of South Australia with a major financial sponsorship and part proceeds from the sale of every 125g Large Milk Chocolate Heart being contributed to the not-for-profit organisation.
The work of Variety is truly inspirational, unique and deserves our support.
Variety strives to enrich the lives of children who are sick, disadvantaged or who have special needs because all kids deserve a fair go. An example of their very important work that we are supporting includes the Sunshine Coach Programme which provides transport for children with special needs to and from school and extra-curricular activities every day.
Variety work hard to raise much needed funds through sponsorships and various events such as the Variety Bash, Variety 4WD Adventure, Moto Run and the Variety Vintage Luncheon.
Individuals, organisations and other charities then apply to Variety for assistance. The applications are assessed by a team of medical and educational specialists to ensure the funds are distributed where they are needed most. For further information about Variety, the Children’s Charity of South Australia visit www.variety.org.au
Our company is committed to finding more ways to be environmentally friendly and to do our bit to help the environment.
Over the years, Haigh’s has introduced a number of initiatives that have become part of the way we do business, and we’re continuing to find more ways to be environmentally friendly.
Major action on packaging
Haigh’s is an original signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant, an industry and government initiative to reduce the environmental effects of packaging on the environment.
Our cardboard boxes, paper bags and gift wrapping paper are 100% recyclable. Our 200g Ballotin box tray insert is made from non-genetically modified corn starch made possible by advanced biopolymer techonology. The tray is fully biodegradable, water dispersible and home compostable. Our clear PVC boxes are made of 50% recycled materials and also fully recyclable.
We develop many keepsake, collectable and reuseable gift items from tinware to fabric bags. In this way we reduce the amount of throw-away packaging and at the same time offer a unique range of ever changing seasonal gifts.
At our warehouse, we bale up the shrink wrap and supply it to a recycled products manufacturer. All other plastic is placed into the plastic recycling bin.
The bubblewrap that protects our products is during transport is 100% recyclable and is also reused in-house. Any extra is given free of charge to neighbouring businesses to reuse for their packaging. We have also converted 30% of our packed products using 100% recycable Fillpak Paper.
Bottles, cans, newspapers
Just like you probably do at home, we recycle all of our plastic bottles, milk containers and newspapers once a fortnight through the council. Our aluminium cans are taken to a recycling depot and we utilise Scout Recycling.
At the stores
No plastic bags here – we use biodegradable cellophane bags, wrapping paper and paper bags. And when handling chocolate, our staff use cloth gloves rather than plastic.
Back to base
If no recycling is available locally, our stores, wherever possible, return all their packaging to our head office for appropriate recycling.
We’ve had a close look at the packaging we receive from our suppliers, and where appropriate have suggested new methods to reduce the amount of waste. In some instances, we return packaging to the supplier for recycling.
Our staff are very involved with our Waste Committee to welcome suggestions on how we can continue to improve our workplace and work practices to benefit the environment.
The bilby is a very cute little marsupial animal, native to Australia.
This small burrowing bandicoot used to be found in its millions, living across 70% of our country. Sadly, over the past 200 years, settlement and clearing, plus the introduction of rabbits, foxes and feral cats, pushed this animal almost to extinction.
It was back in 1991 that the Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia (RFA) first created the Easter Bilby as a symbol of native fauna and flora conservation. This was to draw public attention to the damage caused to the Australian environment by rabbit populations and to the plight of the bilby.
The bilby and its struggle for survival is symbolic of many of our small native animals whose habitat has been adversely affected by wild rabbits.
The first Chocolate Easter Bilby
The idea for the Haigh’s Easter Bilby came from a park ranger of the Bundaleer Forest Reserve located close to Jamestown South Australia in 1992. He approached us to create a chocolate Bilby to replace the Easter Bunny in support of the goals of the RFA.
It was hoped that a chocolate Easter Bilby would draw attention to the RFA’s cause and to the native Australian Bilby, a cute little marsupial animal on the verge of extinction due to damage to their habitat in-part by wild rabbits.
The first chocolate Easter Bilbies we created in 1993 were an instant hit with our customers and by 1995 we phased out chocolate bunnies and became entirely ‘rabbit free’. Since then we have made and sold over 1,000,000 chocolate Easter Bilbies.
Donation and Sponsorship
Part proceeds from the sales of Haigh’s chocolate Easter Bilbies is donated to the RFA and their work to protect the environment for both indigenous biodiversity and food production.
Thanks to increased awareness and lots of hard work by a number of organisations and government departments around the country, the bilby is starting to make a comeback but continues to be listed as an endangered species.
How you can help
Every Easter make sure you buy a Haigh’s chocolate Easter Bilby. Every time you do, you’ll be helping to save this precious little Australian marsupial. And if you’d like to find out more about all the good work being done to save the bilby’s habitat, please visit the Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia