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Frequently Asked Questions

Click each question below for the answer. Don't see your question here? Ask us through our Contact page.

about alter eco
What is the story behind Alter Eco?
What does it mean to be Fairtrade certified?

To be Fairtrade certified means the producers have been paid a price that ensures sustainable production and living conditions, along with a premium to support the growth and advancement of the cooperatives and their communities. Learn more! 

What kind of relationships do you have with the farmers?

Alter Eco has a close working relationship with our co-op farmers, which helps us to support the needs of their communities and grow our business. Meet our co-ops!

Where are your products made?

We work with farmers in Peru, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia to produce our products. Our chocolate is manufactured in Switzerland and our Coconut Clusters are manufactured in Boulder, Colorado. 

Where can I find your products?

You can find our products in independent retailers, pharmacies and health food stores across Australia and New Zealand.  For a complete list of stockists click here or purchase online here. We also sell our products in the United States and Canada.

How do you determine the price point of your products?

We try our best to keep prices low for our customers. Because we are committed to our fairtrade practices to ensure farmers a living wage and a sustainable supply chain, prices can be higher than conventional chocolate.

What makes Alter Eco an eco-friendly company?

Alter Eco operates on four pillars of sustainability: sourcing using Fair Trade

principles, producing only organic and non-GMO foods, creating minimal

waste by working towards 100 percent compostable packaging and in-setting

carbon emissions by means of large-scale reforestation programs in the

cooperatives that produce its crops. As part of its effort to become a carbon

negative company, Alter Eco works in tandem with PUR Projet, a reforestation

program started by Alter Eco France founder, Tristan Lecomte, to plant trees

and offset the amount of CO2 produced.

Who distributes your products?

Find our complete list of distributors here

Product Information
Why aren't all of your products 100% certified fairtrade?

All ingredients that can be certified Fairtrade, are. There is currently no International fairtrade standard regarding milk, and a few other ingredients that we source. In this case, we work closely with our chocolatiers to ensure the ingredients used in some of our products are sourced from sustainable suppliers.

Are your truffle wrappers really compostable?

Yes! Our truffle wrappers and are commercially compostable! They are mostly derived from eucalyptus and birch. Our packaging is not suitable for backyard composting at this time.

Is all of your packaging compostable or recyclable?

While our ultimate goal is 100% either recyclable or compostable packaging, we’re not quite there yet. Our cluster pouches are not currently recyclable or compostable. Alter Eco remains committed to sustainable packaging and is working hard to develop sustainable packaging alternatives. Learn more about our packaging journey here.

Did you change your brand look?

We recently debuted a fresh, new look for Alter Eco. Rest assured, our ingredients, flavours, and packaging (aside from the appearance) has all remained unchanged.

nutritional information
Where can I find your nutrition facts?

 You can find the nutritional panel link on the individual product pages. The ingredients are listed to the right of the image. Underneath the ingredient list is a grey box that says “nutrition facts”. Click on the box and it will bring up the panel.

Are your products vegan?

Some of our chocolate bars and truffles contain dairy: Dark Coconut Toffee, Dark Brown Butter, Dark Salt & Malt and Dark Burnt Caramel chocolate bars as well as the Silk Velvet, Black, Sea Salt, Mint Crème and Salted Caramel Truffles.

Our chocolatier produces our chocolate on equipment shared with tree nuts, milk, and soy. Equipment is carefully cleaned between every production run.

Here is our complete list of vegan products: Dark Sea Salt, Dark Salted Almonds, Dark Blackout, Dark Super Blackout, Dark Mint, Dark Quinoa, Original Coconut Clusters, Cherry + Almond Butter Coconut Clusters, and Seeds + Salt Coconut Clusters.

Why is there dairy in your truffles? Why aren’t they vegan?

Currently, the milk powder in our truffles  is a key ingredient for the creamy filling.

What are the natural flavours found in some of your chocolates made of?

Our natural flavours are made with plant extracts, which contain no regulated allergens, GMOs, or artificial flavours. The natural flavour is extracted from spices, fruits, fruit juices, vegetables, vegetable juices, herb, bark, buds, roots or leaves.

All of your bars say ‘dark’ chocolate, but some of them have milk or butter. What are the industry standards?

The bars we sell containing milk are our Dark Coconut Toffee, Dark Brown Butter, Dark Salt & Malt and Dark Burnt Caramel. All five of our Truffle flavors also contain milk.

An understandable misperception is that “Dark” means “no milk”. Dark chocolate will generally have a higher percentage of cocoa and can range from 30% to 80% in cocoa make-up. Because we follow the Swiss regulation when it comes to naming conventions, those bars are indeed Dark Chocolate, not “milk chocolate”, which is why we say Dark with a Touch of Milk.

Do any of your products contain soy?

We do not use soy ingredients in our products, including soy protein and soy lecithin. However, our chocolatier produces our chocolate on equipment shared with soy, tree nuts, and milk. Equipment is carefully cleaned between every production run.

Are your products paleo?

Our Coconut Clusters, Dark Super Blackout Bar and Dark Blackout Bar are all paleo-friendly.

Are your products gluten free? What about cross contamination?

All of our chocolate bars (except Dark Salt & Malt), truffles, and clusters are endorsed by Coeliac Australia, which means that they have been tested and contain less than 10 ppm of gluten. 

 

Our 70% Dark Salt & Malt bar does contain gluten. If you are interested in viewing our verification you may contact the Gluten Free Certification Organization directly and request a report. http://www.gfco.org/

To address cross contamination, we have a strict sanitation policy accompanied by product surface testing to ensure there are no residual allergens present. The lines are thoroughly cleaned between each production run and the allergens are separately handled in the facility to avoid cross contamination. In addition, the facility is audited against the British Retail Consortiums “Global Food Standard” and consistently certified as a Grade A (the highest level attainable). However, we cannot guarantee the total absence of allergens in the chocolate.

 

 

Do any of your products contain nuts?

Currently, all of our products are made in a peanut free facility and there is no possible cross-contamination with peanuts. We do use some tree nuts in our products, such as almonds.

Do you produce your chocolate using the Dutch process?

Our chocolate bar process does not require alkali (the Dutch process). We use the traditional Swiss method. 

What is the percentage of caffeine in your chocolate?

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains a small quantity of caffeine and also theobromine, another stimulant. The darker the bar, the more caffeine and theobromine it contains.

We estimate that our chocolate contains between 15 and 50mg of caffeine per serving of chocolate (40g). As a comparison, drip coffee contains between 140 and 190mg of caffeine per serving (1 cup).

Cacao beans also contain theobromine, which is very close to caffeine in term of chemical structure.  Theobromine is considered less stimulating than caffeine.

We currently don’t process our chocolate to remove caffeine or theobromine as this would affect the quality of our product.

Does your chocolate contain heavy metals?

Cadmium and lead are elements that are present naturally in the environment, and when absorbed by crops, can be found in food products. Trace levels can be found in chocolate as well as other agricultural products like legumes, seed pods, grains, and some leafy vegetables. These elements (in addition to other beneficial minerals) are absorbed naturally from the soil by the roots of cocoa trees, and are thus a natural constituent of pods, beans, and eventually the finished product. Volcanic soils have higher levels of cadmium than other soils, and volcanic soil is more common in the regions where we source our cocoa beans from.

Alter Eco is attentive to and compliant with standards applicable to its products in various markets. Because of the types of products we sell, Alter Eco is regulated in the United States by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which has not established limits or provided guidance on the topic of heavy metals in food at this time. Because of this, we have invested a lot of time and energy to research other points of reference used around the world by, for example, the European Union and the World Health Organization, and our products are meeting these standards.

We at Alter Eco stand strongly behind the quality and safety of our products, and we consume our own products frequently! We work very hard, along with our suppliers, manufacturers and distributors, to ensure that all food safety management systems, like ISO 22000 and Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP), are implemented and carefully followed.

For more information, click here.

 

Are GMO’s really that big of a problem?
Why is there white sheen on my bar?

What you are seeing is called “bloom”. Because we do not use any emulsifiers, the bars are much more sensitive to temperature changes. When the chocolate is exposed to a change in temperature it can appear to have a white exterior. While it remains entirely edible, problems with the sheen are purely aesthetic. We recommend storing all bars at 15-18° C and at 40-65% humidity. Our chocolates need to be stored in a dry, odorless environment protected from heat sources and sunlight. It is very important to avoid any dramatic temperature variation. Neither low to high or high to low.

Contact us here if you haven't found your answer.