Sweet deal: Peace by Chocolate and Trans Canada Trail partnership promotes connectivity

·3 min read

The Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and Antigonish-based chocolate makers Peace by Chocolate recently announced their new partnership — One Trail, One Love: a collection of four Trans Canada Trail–themed chocolate bars. Through this partnership one dollar from the sale of each trail-themed bar goes towards maintenance of the TCT.

The TCT is 28,000 kilometres long — a distance which includes the 45-kilometre Guysborough Nature Trail in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough — and continues to grow. According to the TCT website, it’s the longest trail network in the world, connecting “Canadians and visitors to nature and to one another, from coast to coast to coast, through accessible and inclusive outdoor activities. Through collaboration and partnerships, we build, maintain and steward Canada’s national trail, a unique system of connected urban and rural trails.”

The TCT is the perfect partner for Peace by Chocolate, company CEO Tareq Hadhad told The Journal last week, stating, “Both organizations are about spreading joy and happiness and connecting people in this country.”

Hadhad further explained that the company, founded in 2016 by the Hadhad family after they arrived in Antigonish as refugees from Syria in 2015, “established our Peace on Earth Society [an organization registered in Nova Scotia that donates funds to peace building projects around the world] back in 2017 and we were looking for organizations that really represented what peace might look like and what peace really means to Canadians. And throughout the pandemic, we really thought that when we were all stuck at home, the only place that we were really able to get out and breathe and take a walk and feel nature was throughout these trails across the country. We felt that this was really the true meaning of peace for many Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

In 2021, Peace by Chocolate started working with the TCT team to develop the One Trail, One Love concept, said Hadhad, adding, “The donation was so important for us to maintain the trails so every Canadian will get a chance to keep enjoying them.”

Hadhad said the partnership will “have a longer impact than just the sale of a chocolate bar. It’s a very meaningful collaboration that can inspire other private organizations and businesses to do more for community-oriented organizations and not-for-profit charities across Canada.”

The TCT partnership is just the latest collaboration for Peace by Chocolate, which has worked with many different organizations and programs over the years, including the Canadian Mental Health Association, Indigenous communities and refugee sponsorship organizations.

Hadhad said, “The overall goal, the theme for all these partnerships, is to connect on a deeper level to the real value of peace. I think that Trans Canada Trail’s vison and mission is certainly something that we are proud to support and to be part of … the country now is reopening after two hard years of closures and restrictions during the pandemic. And we felt that the need for this campaign was pretty significant… not only for us but also for other Canadians who are really looking forward to seeing how businesses are using their platforms for leadership and to show that it is possible for businesses to support organizations if they share the same values.”

When asked about his experience of the Trans Canada Trail, Hadhad noted that the company’s new location in Halifax, on Lower Water Street, is directly on the trail and that as he travels across Canada, his first stop in every city or town is the trail.

“I truly enjoy every trail I go to,” he said, adding that those experiences were in part the impetus behind this project, “to make sure that these trails are maintained for generations to come, to make sure they enjoy them the same way we are doing right now.”

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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