Eco & Social

2004 Zotter gets his whole product range in line with fair trade principles.

2006 The entire product range goes ORGANIC.

2006 Zotter gets involved with the "Quality not Poverty" development aid project and starts actively supporting three Nicaragua cooperatives.

2007 Zotter builds his own steam power plant. Biomass and cocoa shell waste provide the basis to produce heat.

2008 A free organic food menu for employees is introduced.

2009 "Bad Blumauer Manifest" – for a sustainable operation is initiated by Josef Zotter, Robert Rogner jun. (Spa Therme Blumau) and Johannes Gutmann (Sonnentor).

2010 Zotter initiates the "Cocoa not Cocaine" project in Colombia, which focuses on development aid based on economic partnerships. The project is stopped in August 2010 due to life-threatening circumstances and a lack of networks.

2010 "A Piece of Forest" – the environmentally friendly chocolate. Zotter plants one tree in the rainforest per chocolate bar sold. At this point, there are more than 202.374 trees growing in Laos.

2011 Zotter opens the Edible Zoo as an open-air extension to his Chocolate Theatre and Shop. There are a total of 72 hectares of organic farmland, 27 of which have been turned into an organic adventure farm and are accessible to visitors. At the Öko-Essbar restaurant, visitors can enjoy organic food directly from Zotter’s own pastures and gardens, all 100% organic, from herbal lemonades to vegetarian and meat dishes as well as desserts. Zotter’s DelikatEssen from the Edible Zoo offer organic meats and sausages from his own organic farm.

2011 A solar power system is installed, covering the power requirements of the Edible Zoo, making it completely energy-independent, a spring is developed to provide a steady water supply; Zotter starts to expand his fleet of electric vehicles and an e-power station is built. All in all, Zotter is now working on being completely self-sufficient on all levels.

2012 Josef Zotter and his family visit Burmese child refugees at Thai camps he supports with his "Yummy" meals for Schools" project. 1 chocolate = 1 school meal. One Burmese refugee child gets one school lunch for each “Chocolate fills you up” bar sold. The project aims to show that each purchase has an effect at the other end of the globe.

2014 Zotter gets the coveted ISO 14001 and EMAS certificates and now counts among the role models in environmental protection. After turning organic and yielding to fair-trade principles, all measures of environmental protection all across the company have been analysed, evaluated and judged to be exemplary.

2015/2016 Zotter releases the "Helping + Nibbling" chocolate bar and creates a relief fund to lend quick and unbureaucratic assistance in disaster emergencies, joining the children’s emergency relief project “School gardens” in Bolivia, the project “School lunches for Roma children” in Hostice (Slovakia) and school lunches for 50 Peruvian children at the “El Huambrillo” Caritas centre he has been financing.

2017/2018 Zotter creates the “Chocolate Banana – Chocolate for School” charity chocolate. Every 50 cent of each chocolate sold go to the Chocolate for School” children’s emergency relief project, so Peruvian children, who would normally have to work hard in quarries and brickyards from an early age, can go to school. This project will continue to receive our support all throughout the 2018/19 season.

2018 Zotter wins the Energy Globe Styria Award, awarded by the Austrian federal province of Styria and the Energie Steiermark AG. Just a few weeks later, Zotter is selected as the overall national winner of the world’s most prestigious environmental award – the Energy Globe Austria Award, beating over 2.000 projects submitted from 182 countries, for the company’s overall concept of sustainability and environmental protection, ranging from 100% organic ingredients to fair trade practices to green power to having turned their corporate real estate into a transparent adventure park.

2018 Zotter renounces the Fairtrade seal and creates a new Fair “hand sign” as his logo. The company is taking this step in order to distance themselves from the mass balance practices used in the Fairtrade system. Instead, Zotter will still keep its commitment to 100% fair-trade practices by making his raw materials entirely physically traceable. Zotter becomes a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). The WFTO then go on to examine the company as a whole according to their fair-trade guidelines.