Patagonia’s Organic Cacao and Mango Bar is packed with nutritious and sustainable ingredients that are guaranteed to be leaving a positive impact in the world. Patagonia has the environment, its customers, workers, and animals in mind when constructing their products. Their goal is not just to make profits as a business. They are committed to ensuring the health of everyone and thing involved in an item’s life cycle. From where it’s being grown to it’s afterlife implications, Patagonia makes sure there is readily available information regarding so. I value the transparency and commitment Patagonia possesses surrounding the planet and its people. It is definitely inspiring to see a business model being shaped around how to improve our environment and communities, rather than exploit it. I hope to see other businesses just as dedicated to bettering the world like Patagonia. At $27 for a pack of 12, that makes each bar $2.25. Personally, I think this is a steal for how high quality these ingredients are and the overall production process. Especially knowing what Patagonia stands for, I would not mind spending a bit more if that means I get to support a great company. However, this is definitely still pretty pricey and not accessible for many that may not have the privilege. I would highly recommend this product if you can afford to do so. (I haven’t actually tried this, but I love mango so I feel like you can’t go wrong with this.)
This snack bar is made of simple and whole ingredients: Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC)™ dried mango, organic almonds, organic cacao nibs, Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC)™ dried banana, organic apple juice concentrate, water. Patagonia focuses on the importance of sustainable and fair trade sources, which also results in a super healthy snack, free from any preservatives or added sugars. Already, this is a nutritious item with simple fruit and natural things. The dried mango and banana’s Regenerative Organic Certification is a strict standard that ensures the soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. It is one of the world’s highest organic certifications and focuses on the need to protect the the planet, workers, and animals. There is a comprehensive list of what that exactly entails, but to name a few, it means they practice conservation tillage, promotion of biodiversity, freedom of distress for animals, living wages for their workers, etc. The organic quality of the products is also great because it means there were no synthetic pesticides used to grow the crops, which can reduce green house emissions and pollution.
For packaging, Patagonia is very aware of their issue of not having a sustainable option because of its great challenge in prioritizing food quality and safety. They openly acknowledge the fact their packaging is made out of conventional plastics that are not recyclable or compostable. This means it will accumulate in a landfill or the ocean where it will take centuries to break down. However, as Patagonia is a company focusing on sustainability, they are currently working on plant based options that can still provide the strength conventional materials provide. They host competitions for college students to help solve their packaging problem by developing new innovations. They are currently testing plant based material in trials that seem promising, but do not provide a specific timeline to their progress. They also are apart of One Step Closer to Organic Sustainable Communities, which is a group dedicated to developing compostable packaging. Although this bar is wrapped in conventional plastic, like many other foods, I appreciate how Patagonia is recognizing the need to improve and making efforts to do so. Patagonia definitely has the financial means to dig into new innovations that are sustainable so, I was hoping they would be already one step ahead in the packaging game, but I understand it is difficult. What is inside the actual bar is overwhelmingly sustainable that I think it makes up for this one unsustainable aspect.
Patagonia proudly states this product is made strictly from whole foods, without any ‘refined sugars, preservatives, chemical supplements, or GMO ingredients’. This bar is also vegan, gluten free, Non GMO Project Verified, USDA Organic, Kosher, and Regenerative Organic Certified. For a little bar that I could probably finish in 2-3 bites, I was madly impressed to see such an extensive list of certifications that are not only great for the environment and the employees, but for my health. There are no chemicals, animal products, or unnecessary additives being incorporated that could harm the planet and consumer.
The mango and bananas in this bar are grown under the ROC certification which incorporates methods like agroforestry and composting. Agroforestry is when forests are imitated to farm the products being grown, like they would in nature. This is hugely beneficial because this promotes biodiversity, absorbs carbon emissions rather than emit, and protects farmers by the farm’s resilience to diseases. Composting is also another sustainable practice because it recycles organic matter which fertilizing the plants and ensures nothing is being wasted. Although Patagonia provides great detail to how their dried mangos and bananas are made, they do not provide the same for the other ingredients. It is a bit strange since they have a whole page of where they source ingredients and I could not find information about the nuts, cacao nibs, or others. It seems like they select certain ingredients to showcase, but overall it I don’t find it too concerning as the certifications of the product and organic quality of the ingredients mean they are still being strictly administered to maintain environmental and social welfare.
The mangos and bananas are grown by Sol Simple, Nicaraguan farmers that are committed to maintaining the health of the soil, workers, and animals during the production process. They promote gender equality and work toward reducing poverty by providing jobs, training, and educational opportunities, especially for women. They hire single mothers, which I really find valuable because they are not only providing employment for someone, but Patagonia does this intentionally to allow the mothers to send their children to school. Sol Simple follows Fair Trade standards, which means their workers have safe conditions, livable wages, and help preserve the environment. This guarantees that Patagonia does not use forced or child labor, have unsafe conditions, or produce other injustices employees may face. Patagonia is a Certified B Corporation, which means they are a business that ‘balances purpose and profit’. They are legally required to make decisions that incorporate the safety and wellbeing of their workers, sources, customers, and the environment. This is reassuring because I am confident that the environment and people involved are being considered when I purchase from Patagonia. This little snack bar really does wonders in being able to provide safe employment opportunities in a community while also supporting sustainable agriculture practices that you don’t find often.
Not only are they upholding the most high standard of being socially responsible, they are also a member of 1% For The Planet. ‘They donate 1% of their annual sales to grassroots environmental nonprofits’. Patagonia makes it clear that they do not just stop at sustainable farming or being socially responsible. They truly are dedicated to a sustainable future by donating to environmental organizations contributing the hands-on work, they may not be able to do.