How Valrhona’s La Consigne scheme is making a positive impact on the environment

How Valrhona’s La Consigne scheme is making a positive impact on the environment

Juliana Lepan, Valrhona’s international marketing director, tackled the company’s environmentally friendly approach and its La Consigne program during Gulfood 2022 held in Dubai, UAE.

In her presentation, she stressed on the company’s mission statement. “Together, let’s use good food to make the world a better place,” conveys the strength of Valrhona’s commitments and initiatives to radically transform the company and create a positive impact on the entire cocoa and chocolate sector. The company’s efforts were rewarded in 2020, when Valrhona received B Corporation® certification.

In 2019, with several of its partners and professional customers, Valrhona launched an innovative scheme to deliver chocolate bean in bulk in washable, reusable containers. By committing to this initiative, Valrhona started a movement and reconfirmed its determination to make a positive impact on the world.

The launch of the returnable packaging scheme, initially named “ComeBac,” had to be postponed at the start of the pandemic but was reintroduced in December 2020 with seven pastry chefs and chocolatiers in and around Lyon under a new name: La Consigne by Valrhona.

La Consigne by Valrhona consists of delivering Chocolate beans in 100 percent recyclable plastic containers that are made in Europe. These containers are then collected, washed, and reused for the next deliveries. The aim behind the initial trial was to assess the concept’s logistical viability and ensure that customers are happy with receiving their goods in reusable containers. The scheme’s first participants, all based in Lyon, expressed their satisfaction and even pride at being part of the change and contributing to a practical, environmentally friendly initiative.

La Consigne by Valrhona has expanded to include seven chocolate products: four dark chocolates — Guanaja, Caraïbe, Extra-Bitter and Satilia Noire; two milk chocolates — Jivara, Bitter lacté; and one white chocolate — Ivoire.

Initially, Valrhona will organize logistics for 100 pastry chefs, chocolatiers and restaurateurs from the Lyon region. Each will have their own container that they can return to the company to be refilled. Indeed, Valrhona aims to deliver 24 tons of chocolate, saving the equivalent of one ton of packaging.

At the end of 2021, customers in Rhônes Alpes region were able to join and use the La Consigne by Valrhona returnable packaging scheme.

“It is vital that we take it step by step, as La Consigne by Valrhona will require us to make profound changes in the way we work, such as finding the right logistics partners to meet customers’ needs and guarantee the best possible experience,” said Juliana Lepan.

She enforces the fact that “even at a small scale, Valrhona representing 0,14% of the cocoa world production, 2/3 of the Michelin-starred Chefs are using Valrhona – which confirms the importance of quality, B Corp, CSR and the common effort to make a fair and sustainable Cocoa World. We welcome all actors in the Food Service sector to join Valrhona on this initiative to collectively create a bigger impact and make tomorrow a better place. ”

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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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