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Working in our community

We believe that doing business means more than making and selling our chocolate. We agree that it's vital to make our business sustainable. This for us includes a positive and ethical community and environmental contribution, as well as a strong customer and alimentary focus.

Community Contribution

Customer and Alimentary Focus

Environmental Footprint

Community Contribution

Our values in action support not-for-profit organisations and programs, especially helping people who are struggling to survive, or live safely and in good health. In doing so we also hope to encourage and inspire other businesses to do the same.

In 2008 we have been able to contribute to the following organisations and appeals:

  • A total of $770 towards ChillOut 2008:
    Chocolate Mill was proud to be a major sponsor for this 3 day event to offer support towards a positive experience for the gay community and their friends and family. ChillOut's focus this year included raising both awareness and funds to enable more primary schools to introduce the Better Buddies Framework in conjunction with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

In 2007 we contributed:

  • A total of $1400 over Christmas included:
    $400 from eleven staff members who contributed their Christmas Party allowance and $500 from Chocolate Mill management for donations to the Salvation Army for safe refuge and Oxfam Australia for school fees, food, farm animals, soccer balls, clean water, eye health, farmer training, a gardener pack, seeds, literary classes, orphan care, cattle manure and mosquito nets.
  • $200 Emergency Relief donation to the Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers www.msf.org)
  • $300 for Christmas Hampers donated to the Hepburn Community Health for 2006 Christmas Hampers
Oxfam goat

Oxfam goat

  • Breast Cancer Research Chocolate Mill was proud to support RMIT marketing students Samantha Jordan, Abbey Glassford, Ella Cooper, Grace Stripekis, Georgina De Visser and Danielle Pantaloni raise funds for Breast Cancer Research on Saturday 6th October, 2007. The students raised over $700 from selling cupcakes and sweet buns in the Hot Chocolate Cafe, as well as giving people the opportunity to sponsor a "Pink Lady". Chocolate Mill's support also included a $100 donation.
  • $1500 to the Vic Relief and Victorian Blanket Appeal. Chocolate Mill donated $500 and managed to collect $1000 from coin donations made in our shop and part proceeds from Building Articles sold this year.
  • Parent Packs Ongoing donation gift packs of chocolate to new parents at the Daylesford Hospital who will be giving and giving and giving
  • Local school we have also given a donation to assist Hepburn Kinder in their fundraising efforts.

In 2006 we contributed:

  • $1400 to sink 7 wells in Africa from staff and management. Nine of our staff were happy to contribute their Christmas Party allowance towards safe drinking water, while Chocolate Mill donated the balance of $1025 for 7 wells.
  • Doctors Without Borders for vaccinations $100 from staff. Two of our staff contributed their Christmas Party Allowance to DWB.
  • Christmas Hampers $300 donated to the Hepburn Community Health for 2006 Christmas Hampers
  • Wyuna House 18 Christmas chocolate packs to Wyuna House in Hepburn (people living in the community with disabilities)
  • Blanket Appeal $300 in June to the Salvation Army's Blanket Appeal for the Homeless in Ballarat
  • Riding for Disabled Assoc. Conference 30 Chocolate packs donated to the Riding for Disabled Assoc. Conference at Hepburn Springs for volunteers who organise the riding
  • Parent Packs Ongoing donation gift packs of chocolate to New Parents at the Daylesford Hospital who will be giving and giving and giving
  • World Vision $2.50 of every Chocolate Mill Building Contruction Article pack goes to Abused Children through World Vision
  • Local schools we have also given donations to assist local schools in their fundraising efforts: Newstead, Newlyn and Yandoit
  • Local Recreation $1000 to the ARC/ Daylesford Recreation Centre. This project is a greatly needed community building that needed funding to get the construction underway.

In the first few months of opening we contributed to the following local organisations and events:

  • Daylesford Toy Library- donated $300 towards the purchase of new toys for the library in time for Christmas
  • Daylesford Community Health Services and St Vincent De Paul- donated $300 towards Christmas food baskets
  • Meals on Wheels- donated money so that people in the Daylesford area received a free meal
  • Longest Lunch- donated 240 chocolates as part of a fundraiser for the new local recreation centre
  • ChillOut festival- Sponsored a local band and donated gift certificates for raffle prizes
  • Youth Skateboard- Donated gift certificates for volunteer workers.

Chris with Jennifer Irons, Ainsley Cant, Eilidh and Alice at the local Toy Library

Chris with Jennifer Irons, Ainsley Cant, Eilidh and Alice at the local Toy Library

Support for Cocoa Producers

Callebaut launched their Certified Fair Trade Couverture Chocolate in January 2011.

Callebaut has always been dedicated to ensuring a sustainable enterprise and have gone the further step to gain external fair trade certification for their couverture chocolate. This means we are now able to offer our customers added reassurance that we have sourced our chocolate from a fair supply chain.

We have chosen to use Callebaut chocolate because of their strong commitment to the communities growing cocoa trees:

"Barry Callebaut has been long engaged in activities and in 2006 has developed formal programs to support cocoa farmers and their communities in countries of origin. Our programs aim to create a sustainable, positive spiral in an (often) dificult economic and political environment. With access to better education and training, as well as better healthcare, farmers will be able to deliver more and better-quality cocoa beans."

Patrick De Meaeseneire, CEO Callebaut

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Customer and Alimentary Focus

Our chocolate

We have chosen to use Callebaut Belgian chocolate as a basis for all our chocolates. This is because Callebaut Belgian chocolate is manufactured with the highest European chocolate standards, without cocoa butter substitutes or artificial ingredients and under ISO 9001/2000 standards.

"Sustainability is at the heart of Barry Callebaut's endeavors. Specific attention is given to social and environmental responsibility, to quality management and to the people who are at the core of our company's success."

Patrick De Meaeseneire, CEO Callebaut

Our ingredients

The fillings made on site at Chocolate Mill contain ingredients from local, national and international producers and suppliers.
We use international products because of their superior quality and minimal or no artificial ingredients. However, if we can find equal or better products made locally we are more than happy to use them. The almonds, macadamias and quince paste we use are all Australian. The honey comes from bees that visit Yellowbox in our area and drink from our dam. Strawberries and raspberries also come from local suppliers.

What we sell in store is absolutely fresh, straight out of our kitchen on site. Our chocolates do not get a chance to lose their original freshness of flavour. We pride ourselves in making our own caramel and ganache on site, free of artificial ingredients to prolong shelf life. We make up all our fillings with natural flavours, such as essential oils and top quality natural essences, which provide strong, real tastes and smells.
All our staff are trained on our vision and values, specifically to know the ingredients in our chocolates and to assist people with specific dietary requirements for example different coeliac requirements, religious dietary requirements, nut or lactose allergy or intolerance. Our chocolates are labeled vegan friendly, alcohol %, and wheat (glucose and gluten) ingredient to assist in selection.Further information on ingredients can be found in the
Dietary Information page.

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Environmental Footprint

Our premises is a 2 storey strawbale construction physically built by the owners:

  • built with approximately 70% recycled materials
  • it is rendered in earth
  • we generate 25% of the power by solar panels (grid interactive system)
  • set on 16 acres of native forest, which we have helped to replant, along with a native garden.

Carbon Neutral

Our aim is for NO Carbon, to be better than Carbon Neutral.

In August 2007 we planted a further 10 acres of native trees for reforestation to put us ahead in the stakes and help with erosion.

In our shop:

  • we use biodegradable unbleached paper shopping bags and boxes
  • we sell cooler bags designed for reuse
  • our brochures use 100% recycled paper
  • business cards use 100% recycled paper
  • in the business all computer paper is 100% recycled
  • and we also use one ply unbleached 100% recycled toilet paper.

For our online store we use:

  • biodegradable and recyclable bubblewrap
  • recycled newspaper
  • re-used cardboard boxes

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