Puratos: Empowering Communities and Preserving Heritage through Responsible Bakery, Patisserie, and Chocolate Ingredients

30 May 2023

Discover how Puratos, a leading bakery, patisserie, and chocolate ingredients supplier, is committed to making a positive impact on communities and preserving the rich heritage of baking and chocolate-making traditions. With a focus on education, social development, and sustainability, Puratos is revolutionizing the industry by empowering individuals and safeguarding the authenticity and flavors that have captivated generations.

Commitment to Communities: Bakery Schools

We believe that investing in education is a powerful way to empower individuals and create a better future. That's why, in 2014, we established the Bakery School Foundation and now operate Bakery Schools in nine countries. 

These schools provide quality education to young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, in the bakery, patisserie, and chocolate sectors.

Through our Bakery Schools, we offer access to high-quality training and world-class faculty, ensuring that students graduate with the skills they need to thrive in the industry. In 2022 alone, 58 students graduated from our Bakery Schools, while over 300 students graduated since the project inception. We are also proud to have opened new schools in the USA and Lebanon in 2022. Our long-term objective is to have 1,000 students in the program on a permanent basis by 2030, with the continuous establishment of new Bakery Schools each year.

We strive to create life-changing opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them unlock their full potential and achieve success. By creating a pipeline of skilled professionals, we not only support the growth and development of the industry but also enhance the lives of individuals and their communities.

Commitment to Communities: Cacao-Trace Program

Our Cacao-Trace program sets a new standard in sustainable cocoa sourcing, focusing on superior taste and benefiting cocoa farmers and their communities. Unlike traditional certification programs that prioritize quantity and yield increase, Cacao-Trace goes beyond, placing taste improvement and the livelihoods of farmers at the forefront.

Through Cacao-Trace, we provide essential elements such as farmer field training, fair pricing, and diversification of farmers' production and revenues. But we go even further with two unique features:

  • Fermentation in Post-Harvest Centers: We maintain fermentation experts in post-harvest centers near cocoa farmers. This ensures the highest quality fermentation process, resulting in consistently superior taste experiences for chocolate lovers while generating increased income for farmers.
  • Chocolate Bonus: In addition to training and premium pricing, we introduced the Chocolate Bonus initiative. For every kilo of chocolate sold, €0.10 is reinvested directly into the cocoa farming communities. We apply complete transparency to this process, ensuring that every euro collected is distributed accordingly. In 2022, we paid out a record-breaking Chocolate Bonus of €2 million, further enhancing the program's positive impact.

Through Cacao-Trace, we are proud to positively impact 10,784 farmers across seven countries, including the Philippines, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Cameroon, Vietnam, and Mexico. We continue to reinforce our commitment to sustainability and the well-being of cocoa farmers and their communities.

Preserving Heritage: Sourdough Library and Cocoa Gardens

We are dedicated to preserving the heritage of bread-making and Belgian chocolate, cherishing the traditional methods and incomparable tastes associated with these cherished products.

Our Sourdough Library plays a pivotal role in the preservation and renewal of natural fermentation techniques. With the goal of registering 3,500 sourdoughs in our digital library by 2023, we aim to better understand the worldwide biodiversity of sourdough. This project ensures that traditional bread-making methods continue to thrive, offering unique tastes from various regions, and honoring the diversity of this time-honored practice. As of today, 139 sourdoughs from 27 countries are stored in our physical library in St. Vith, Belgium and over 2,700 sourdoughs from more than 2,000 cities around the world have been registered in our digital library since September 2016.

Additionally, we are establishing a cocoa garden at our Belcolade plantation in Chunca, Mexico. This initiative aims to preserve the five native Mexican cocoa varieties, ensuring their continuity and availability for future generations. By safeguarding these varieties, we pay homage to the rich heritage of cocoa and its integral role in the world of chocolate. 

Puratos is more than just a bakery, patisserie, and chocolate ingredients supplier. We are a responsible company committed to making a positive impact on the communities where we operate. Through our initiatives such as the Bakery Schools and Cacao-Trace program, we are investing in education, empowering young people, and supporting cocoa farmers to create a better future. We are dedicated to preserving heritage and traditions while embracing innovation to provide our customers and consumers with an authentic and unique food experience. With a focus on sustainability, quality, and social development, we strive to create value for society and address issues of inequality. By choosing Puratos, you are not only choosing exceptional bakery, patisserie and chocolate solutions, but also contributing to a better world.

Join us on this journey as we continue to make a difference, one delicious bite at a time.