Chocolate and energy company launch world’s first 100% customer financed rainforest conservation-project

Original Beans partners with Vandebron to preserve the one of the earth’s most threatened rainforests

Amsterdam, 29 April 2016 

Today, pure origins chocolate company Original Beans and Dutch renewable energy startup Vandebron announce their partnership to launch the world’s first 100% customer financed rainforest conservation-project. The cooperation is one of the most innovative rainforest protection schemes yet, giving consumers the power to contribute measurably and directly through their energy supplier and their chocolate brand of choice.  

On the companies and the project:

Vandebron (Dutch for 'from the source') allows consumers to buy their 100% renewable electricity directly from independent producers, such as farmers with wind turbines in their fields.


Original Beans sources the world’s rarest chocolates in remote rainforest areas. To provide Dutch energy consumers with full carbon neutrality, Vandebron now taps into Original Beans supply chain, offering customers the option to offset remaining CO2 emissions from their gas usage with climate certificates bought from local Original Beans cacao farmers. These payments go directly to the project.

As a thank you from Ecuadorian cacao farmers to Dutch green energy customer, the latter receive a deliciously silky (and of course climate positive) Original Beans Esmeraldas Milk chocolate, made from Mache Chindul cacao. And so the cycle closes.

The project:

Ecuadorian farmers have committed themselves to preserving one of the most threatened rainforests in the world, the cloud forests of Mache Chindul in Esmeraldas province of Northwestern Ecuador. It’s one of the last refuges for the endangered black-headed spider monkey and one of the origins of the world-renowned Arriba cacao. The people in Mache Chindul have long lived in accordance with the land but low cacao prices and illegal logging have been threatening their existence.


The project pays for local cacao infrastructure and trainings for remote local Ecuadorian communities which have won long-term cacao purchase contracts from Original Beans. In this way, the company supports the farmers to keep on with their traditions and maintain their ecosystems.


“We believe that it is possible to replenish what we consume. For this purpose, suppliers have to create pioneering product chains and offer them to their customers as very simple products. Green energy and the world’s best chocolate directly from the farmers – conservation has never been that simple”, comments Philipp Kauffmann, founder and CEO of Original Beans. And he adds: “Usually projects like this are financed by government or foundations. In our case, the consumer takes the lead.”


Additional info on Original Beans:

Original Beans brings the taste of the earth's rarest places to organic food lovers and the world's leading restaurants and hotels with its pure origin chocolates. The company has become an leader in both the chocolate and the conservation industry. Through Original Beans 'One Bar : One Tree' program, millions of trees have been planted and preserved in the world's most precious rainforest regions to sustain local wildlife, improve farmer incomes, and protect the climate.

Additional info on Vandebron: 

Vandebron is an online peer-to-peer energy marketplace, on which anyone who generates renewable energy can sell their yield directly to consumers. Utilities are never part of the transaction. Suppliers get a better price for their energy, allowing them to make further investments. And without a middleman, consumers will get renewable energy for a better price as well. And since they can select their own supplier, they know exactly where their money is going, and where their energy is coming from. This way, Vandebron wants to accelerate a transition to renewable energy.

Additional information (not for publication):

For an interview with Original Beans, contact Vera Hofman at, or +31(0)657185733. For an interview with Vandebron, contact Jaap Grolleman at, or +31(0)625437941.





About Vandebron

Vandebron is in 2014 opgericht en gevestigd in Amsterdam. Het bedrijf werkt toe naar een missie: zo snel mogelijk naar 100% duurzame energie. Vandebron is een energieplatform dat consumenten verbindt met Nederlandse producenten van duurzame energie. Klanten kiezen zelf bij welke producent ze energie afnemen en weten zo precies waar hun goeie energie vandaan komt en waar hun geld naartoe gaat. Vandebron wil klanten stimuleren minder energie te verbruiken en maakt daarom geen winst op hun verbruik. Zo kunnen lokale bronnen hun energie voor een eerlijke prijs verkopen en krijgen zij kans om te investeren in nog meer duurzame oplossingen. Inmiddels zijn ruim 300 energiebronnen en 180.000 klanten aangesloten op het platform. Sinds 2017 biedt Vandebron tevens elektrisch rijden diensten aan. Sinds januari 2020 is Vandebron onderdeel van Essent. Voor meer informatie zie