Award-Winning Cafes and Coffees



Consuming this product can expose you to cadmium and or lead, both are known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to

Some of our chocolate vendors require their suppliers to demonstrate that they monitor for certain contaminants in the products or otherwise certify the raw materials as meeting applicable requirements of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65.

Naturally occurring heavy metal elements, like cadmium and lead, are found in all plants growing in healthy soil due to their presence in the Earth's crust since its inception. As a result, all-natural agricultural products globally have some level of heavy metals. It's essential to be mindful of consuming excessive quantities of these metals, as it can have adverse effects on your health. 

Almost all cocoa products contain trace amounts of minerals and elements, including cadmium. The industry generally acknowledges that these elements enter the cocoa products through absorption at the farm level from the soil of cacao trees. As a result, the levels of these elements can differ between individual farms. Regarding minerals like heavy metals, such as cadmium, it's important to note that Prop 65 provides an exemption for chemicals considered "naturally occurring" in food.

Many of our vendors believe their chocolate products to be in compliance with current Prop 65 regulations. Going forward, we will adjust our policies as necessary to ensure continued compliance with any updates or new Prop 65 standards that may arise.

The State of California leads The United States in ensuring food safety and protecting the rights of consumers. The state law Proposition 65 is a detailed outline that sets guidelines for food safety and for foods sold in California. This law covers areas of food safety that other states and even countries do not take into account. Please find the information about this very important food ruling and information regarding heavy metals in food.

This statement is provided for general information purposes upon request of our customers. It does not constitute formal legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Customers are encouraged to seek specific advice from their own legal counsel regarding legal or regulatory matters related to this statement.

What is cadmium? 

Cadmium is a natural element (metal) in the earth’s crust. Natural occurrences, such as volcanic activities, weathering and erosion, and river transport can release it into the environment.

What have other governing bodies (outside of California) established as safe levels of daily cadmium consumption through food?

Safe levels of daily cadmium consumption through food are calculated by your body weight. For a 100 lb. person (multiply by your weight to calculate safe levels for your situation):

These governmental bodies have established the above limits based on the cumulative effects of cadmium ingestion over time. The health effects with which they are most concerned relate to kidney function and calcium metabolism (softening of bones and osteoporosis).

Additionally, EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has set maximum permitted levels of cadmium in cocoa and derived products beginning January 1, 2019. These are based on Parts Per Million (PPM) and have been finalized at 0.8 PPM for Chocolate with > 50% total dry cocoa solids.

Is it common for cadmium to be found in cacao products?
Yes. Cacao trees are known to avidly take up cadmium from the soil. Therefore, cacao nibs, cacao beans and especially cacao powder (where most of the touted health benefits of cacao are also found) commonly exceed the CA Prop 65 MADL for Cadmium. However, the addition of sugars often dilute the cadmium to acceptable levels.