A revolution in chocolate
Most of the world’s 6 million smallholder cocoa farmers live at society’s margins, trapped in poverty and lacking the possibility to take decisions to shape their own future. Their income depends strongly on commodity prices and on a few powerful industry players, which encourages them to follow environmentally harmful farming practices. Although smallholders are essential contributors to chocolate production, many of their children and grandchildren see no future in this unprofitable form of agriculture and move to cities in search of a better life.
A manufacturer and vendor of premium chocolate, Choba Choba aims to harness the potential of social business to empower cocoa farmers in the heart of the upper Amazon of Peru to lead prosperous, self-determined lives. Farmers who produce cocoa for Choba Choba are shareholders of the company, receive training in leadership and management, chocolate entrepreneurship, environmental conservation and access to a high-value market.
The approach is designed to tackle some of the biggest challenges that cocoa farmers face:
- By taking advantage of Choba Choba’s bottom-up pricing mechanism, farmers can set a fair price for their cocoa.
- By strengthening their entrepreneurial skills, farmers gain insights into the international cocoa value chain and grow from raw material suppliers into chocolate entrepreneurs.
- By developing forest conservation and cocoa biodiversity projects, farmers raise their environmental awareness.
- By becoming Choba Choba shareholders, farmers gain decision-making and negotiating power, improve their self-esteem and share in the company’s profits. They have representatives on the board and a voice in the company’s product development, communication and marketing strategy.
GOALS AND EXPECTED IMPACT
The key objective is to turn the chocolate industry upside down by empowering cocoa farmers in Alto Huayabamba Valley to become chocolate entrepreneurs in harmony with their environment. In this project specifically, Choba Choba will offer the following:
- Classroom-based capacity-building sessions in 10 field schools for farmers
- 216 individual on-farm coaching sessions with local cocoa experts
- Bottom-up pricing workshops for farmers in order to set a fair price for their cocoa