Food & Drink Awards 2019 Page 33 From the company’s humble beginnings in 2014, through to their absorption into The Belgian Chocolate Factory in 2017, and their recent move to a new chocolate-making workshop in Wetteren in 2018, the emphasis on healthy chocolate has never been lost. Working together with certified chocolate sommelier Kevin Lühmann, Magic Chocolates have managed to keep in touch with the trends worldwide thanks to his invaluable experience. By being one of the few chocolate suppliers that produce their own chocolate, this company can guarantee their exceptionally high standards of quality. Using non-refined ingredients and absolutely no additives , the result is a delightfully pure chocolate. One of the core ingredients that Magic Chocolates often work with is coconut blossom sugar , a slow sugar that lowers the amount of fluctuations in the glycaemic blood index and makes it edible for people with type-2 diabetes. Not only organic and healthy, the products made by Magic Chocolates are also completely vegan -friendly. There are no products of animal origin within the production process, with the company instead opting for fully-vegetarian options to maximise their user group. On top of the healthiness of the chocolate and vegan-friendly content, Magic Chocolates also commit 100% to sustainable practices . Only using cocoa from organic plantations, the company buy fair trade wherever possible to support local farmers. Packaging has also been chosen to respect the environment with a 100% eco-cardboard sleeve that is completely biodegradable. Green pioneers in the chocolate industry, the firm’s ecological footprint is kept to a minimum. As with any rapidly evolving industry or business, technology is fast becoming an integral part of the process. Despite most of the chocolate being crafted by hand, the company do want to guarantee a consistent, high quality in their production. By setting key parameters and monitoring machines closely, technology is integrated alongside authentic methods to enable mass production without losing the tradition. Just this year, the integration of the two has worked so well that the firm received the label “ Handmade in Belgium ”, a label of authenticity that offers guarantee on the genuine nature of the making process. In the whole culinary world, there is nothing quite like the marvellous taste of chocolate, and authentic Belgian chocolate is truly unmatched. Bringing that incredible taste of Belgian chocolate into the healthy foods industry, Magic Chocolates have crafted something truly special that should be savoured by everyone to be truly understood. Company: The Belgian Chocolate Factory Contact: Helga De Ridder WEBSITE: Working at their own chocolate-making workshop in Wetteren, Magic Chocolates place great emphasis on ensuring rigorous quality, hygiene and safety standards. It makes sense therefore, that they are currently in the process of fine-tuning the necessary measures and organisational structure in pursuit of the IFS certification. The same standards apply to the suppliers who work with the company, ensuring that they only work with those who have certification to ensure that high-quality raw materials are produced. Because Magic Chocolates is a family business, there may be a more limited staffing, but there is more attention to detail and care that goes into the chocolate- crafting process. Everyone is totally engaged and driven to see the company evolve, doing everything with passion and motivation. With such a small team, everyone has a clear reverence for chocolate and its ancient roots. During a visit to a plantation in Peru, the team have seen for themselves how the farmers cultivate their organic cocoa there and now firmly believe that is the only way to do it correctly.