Gnosis is 110% committed to making products in ways that bring health and well-being to our customers and to farmers, their families and communities, and to generations of their descendants. Gnosis’ processing and packaging define “eco-friendliness”, and our education, research, and outreach programs define the proactive practices and higher standards businesses must adopt to be truly responsible.
A sense of social responsibility not only pre-dated Gnosis, but was, in fact, the reason the company was created. Founder Vanessa Barg became a Certified Health Counselor to help people live and thrive in healthier bodies, families, and communities. When she began making chocolate to catalyze and support her clients’ well-being, it could not come from cocoa beans sprayed with chemicals, picked by children, bought at prices that impoverished growers, or nutrient-depleted by high temperature roasting. Instead, the chocolate had to embody purity and high standards... and it does. Gnosis was created to meet a profound need, and every aspect of its operation is a template for social responsibility.
Gnosis has responded to intensifying challenges to socially responsible practices by defining and verifying our own stringent standards rather than relying on third party certifiers who cannot know our specific industry as thoroughly as we do. Fair Trade is a great step in the right direction. But rather than work through importers with certified cooperatives that cannot confirm the proper wages are paid to farmers, we work directly with farmers and cooperatives in countries of origin to verify ethical, sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.
Gnosis purchases its cacao exclusively from two of the most highly respected sources in the organic industry: Big Tree Farms and the Grenada Chocolate Company. Vanessa has personally visited their farms and facilities to verify this integrity. Sign up for our ChocoLetter to receive monthly updates.
Since our planet’s health is the sum total of the health of each of us, a food manufacturer's primary social responsibility must be the health of its customers and the sustainability of its operation. Gnosis has embraced this responsibility. We use only the purest, most nutritious, ethically sourced ingredients: raw cacao from Bali and Grenada, low-glycemic sweeteners, and nutrient-dense superfoods and medicinal herbs sourced fastidiously from the Amazon to the Himalayas.
Furthermore, by purchasing only certified organic ingredients, Gnosis promotes sustainable farming and healthy working conditions for farmers.
ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
Gnosis’s carbon footprint is petite because our chocolates are hand-made, our packaging is 100% recycled and biodegradable, and we use vegetable based inks. Our shipping materials are reused, we don't use bubble wrap, and we use the backs of our labels for padding rather than buying packing peanuts. We believe that these and other practices affect the planet directly, so we strive to set an example for other small companies like us.
EDUCATION, RESEARCH & OUTREACH
Gnosis Chocolate’s research and reporting on current issues in social responsibility, and its work to nurture and stimulate challenged societies, is unique in the industry. The Raw Integrity Project involves research, site visits, and development of food supply chain standards and verification/certification methods. Gnosis’s Agave Report involved visiting Mexico to observe farming, harvesting, and processing of agave, and researching health claims. With our Grenada Project, we work with existing organizations to rehabilitate orphanages and cacao farms. This reduces unemployment by developing organic agriculture and creates a model for initiatives in other third world cacao-producing countries.
Through donations of goods and services, Gnosis has provided support for:
- REACH Grenada
- the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
- the American Holistic Medical Association
- Doctors Without Borders
- Housing Works
- The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Tibet House
- Urban Zen Foundation Apple Awards (2011 recipient: Bill Clinton)
- Wayuu Taya Foundation
- World Trade Center Memorial
- and many, many others.