Published on 12/8/22

Valrhona chocolate crosses the Atlantic on board a cargo sailboat

On November 10th, a pallet of Valrhona chocolate left Dunkirk for New York aboard the Grain de Sail, a 78 feet commercial sailboat powered by green energy: the wind.
With this expedition, the French chocolate manufacturer that is celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year and has been a B Corporation since 2020 is excited to explore a new, cleaner way of transatlantic transportation for its chocolates.

Voilier cargo Grain de Sail

Decarbonated transport: Valrhona joins the Grain de Sail adventure

Valrhona’s mission is to encourage a collective movement that brings together all the players in the cocoa, chocolate and gastronomy industries to move the lines towards a fair and sustainable cocoa industry. It is this strong conviction and the desire to promote more virtuous modes of transport that led Valrhona to embark on a full-scale test of carbon-free maritime transport with its colleague: Grain de Sail.

The Grain de Sail adventure was born in 2010 with the objective of sourcing raw materials from Latin America with low carbon emissions, thanks to a unique means of transport: the commercial sailboat. Two years after the launch of its first commercial ship, the company has opened its holds to external clients and is expanding its offer with a low-carbon freight service. Its ambition is to deploy a fleet of "clean" ships connecting the continents. The shipment of their pallet of chocolate beans to New York is a great opportunity to test this new means of transport on a small scale before implementing it on a long-term basis.

Aware of the environmental, social and economic challenges of their activity, Valrhona has been committed for many years to reducing its environmental impact. By 2025, they aim to reduce their footprint by 60%. This ambitious objective pushes them to better control resources and energy consumption and to create a virtuous ecosystem of partners and stakeholders.

chargement de la palette valrhona voilier cargo

Loading of the Valrhona pallet

A virtuous transportation model that is part of a global eco-responsible approach

Among the actions taken to limit their ecological footprint, they are committed to the energy transition of their entire supply chain. Throughout its supply chain and more broadly, Valrhona works daily to reduce the environmental impact of its activities The supply chain covers the various stages from the customer's order to its delivery. It integrates functions related to planning, inventory management, logistics, transport management and customer service. From the purchase of raw materials to the delivery of the order to the customer, the supply chain occupies a strategic place in the value creation chain of their company.

The Supply Chain at Valrhona integrates customers and CSR at the heart of its strategy. Following the example of the commercial ship, Valrhona uses various alternative modes of transport: maritime transport, use of biofuels between their headquarters and Saint-Etienne, Paris and Spain, transport by train to China... In major cities, they are currently testing last-mile delivery by bicycle. This test has been underway in Paris for three months and will soon be deployed in other cities in France.

Grain de sail opération transport

Throughout its supply chain and more widely, Valrhona works daily to reduce the environmental impact of its activities.