We are expanding our chocolate range to include products from five pioneers. These five companies are actively fighting injustices in the cocoa trade while producing and trading for the benefit of farming families and the environment.
The environmental and social problems of cocoa farming have been known for years: Illegal deforestation, underpaid farming families and child labour. And for years, the industry has been promising to solve these problems. But these promises have not been fulfilled, and the market remains largely unchanged. We are adding chocolate from Choba Choba, fairafric, laflor, Original Beans and SCHÖKI to our range to show that things can be done differently.
Here are the concepts behind them.
At Bern-based company Choba Choba, farming families are shareholders in the company from the beginning. As such, families can share in the success of the company and have a say in important decisions. Instead of acting solely as suppliers of raw materials, they are partners who earn two to three times the price per kilo of cocoa beans and profit from the value growth of the company as well as any dividends.
Choba Choba currently counts 40 families from the districts of Pucallpillo, Santa Rosa and Pizarro in the Alto Huayabamba valley in Peru among its shareholders. These families produce all of the cocoa for Choba Choba that Felchlin transforms into chocolate in Switzerland.
Order chocolate from Choba Choba with cocoa from Peru now.
More information on Choba Choba at: www.chobachoba.com
German company fairafric has set itself the goal of revolutionising the chocolate world and produces its chocolate entirely in Ghana. The sugar comes from Mozambique, the salt from South Africa and the tiger nuts from Niger. The only ingredient fairafric sources from outside of Africa is milk powder, which is supplied by Schrozberger Milchbauern, a cooperative in Baden-Württemberg, Germany certified according to Demeter standards.
In autumn 2020, fairafric opened the first solar-powered chocolate factory in West Africa – in the rural region of Suhum in Ghana. Around 85 employees in the factory process the cocoa mass and cocoa butter produced locally by Ghanaian processor Chocomac using beans from nearly 900 farming families. In addition to an organic premium, fairafric also pays these families a living income differential, which closes the gap between current cocoa market prices and the minimum needed to live off cocoa sales.
The cooperation with local processor Chocomac enables fairafric to bring not only chocolate, but also organic cocoa powder produced entirely in Ghana to Europe.
fairafric's chocolate bars are packaged in NatureFlex film, which is 100% compostable.
Order fairafric's chocolate and cocoa powder from Ghana now.
More information on fairafric at: www.fairafric.com
Behind the laflor name is a Zurich chocolate manufacturer founded in 2015. Every week, the production team produces around 150 kilos of single-origin chocolate – in other words, chocolate made with cocoa from only one specific source, which allows the aroma of that particular cocoa variety to stand out. On Thursdays and Fridays from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., the factory doors are open so that everyone can see the chocolatiers at work.
laflor uses cocoa from Brazil, Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela. The factory purchases directly from farming families in these countries and transfers the money directly to the families whenever possible. laflor exports the cocoa beans itself from Brazil, Ecuador and Columbia. In Venezuela, the company works with an exporter. The cocoa from Columbia reaches Europe via carbon-neutral transport on a sailing vessel.
In addition to ensuring fair payment for farming families and maintaining direct contact with them, laflor strives for excellence in terms of the quality of the chocolate. The pleasurable experience of enjoying laflor chocolate is reminiscent of drinking an exceptional wine – an experience that lingers in the memory, long after the bottle is empty.
Order chocolate from laflor with cocoa from Venezuela and corn flour from Ticino now.
More information on laflor at: www.laflor.ch
The Dutch company Original Beans wants to protect the rainforest with chocolate. To achieve this vision, the company plants one tree for every chocolate bar sold. Depending on the region, Original Beans has made a commitment to restock cocoa forests with cocoa and fruit trees, fine woods and timber or native trees in national parks and nature reserves.
Original Beans sells single-origin chocolate. This is chocolate made with cocoa from only one specific source, which allows the aroma of that particular cocoa variety to stand out. The company buys the cocoa for this chocolate directly from farming families and cooperatives in Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, eastern Congo and Tanzania. Original Beans commissions Felchlin to make bars and chocolate coins with these cocoa varieties, some of which are rare.
The company is also a pioneer in biodegradable packaging.
Order chocolate from Original Beans with rare white cocoa from Peru now.
More information on Original Beans at: www.originalbeans.com
Lucerne-based chocolate brand SCHÖKI started as a crowdfunding project in 2017. Then as now, its goal is to produce verifiable sustainable chocolate free from poverty and child labour. After a failed attempt to set up direct trade with farming families in Kasawo in Uganda, SCHÖKI has since been sourcing its cocoa via an export partner in Uganda that buys organic cocoa from the same 50 families with whom SCHÖKI has been working since the beginning. For the cocoa it receives, SCHÖKI guarantees these families a cocoa price they can live on. To achieve this, the company pays the difference between the purchase price and the living income as an additional premium directly to the families. SCHÖKI then commissions Felchlin to process the cocoa beans into couverture chocolate, after which it is transformed into bars by Chocolat Bernrain.
To increase their impact, the minds behind SCHÖKI are developing SusChain, an open-source software that will enable 100% transparency of supply chains. The software will also allow companies to audit their supply chains for sustainability and later pay out living income premiums directly.
Order chocolate from SCHÖKI with cocoa from Uganda now.
Support the crowdfunding for the development of SusChain now.
More information on SCHÖKI at: www.schoeki.ch
We started out in Togo in 2000 with around 3 tonnes of cocoa per year. Back then we sold them to Swiss chocolate producer Felchlin. Today, we source approximately 650 tonnes of cocoa per year from around 1,900 farming families – a little more than a third are certified organic, the others are in conversion. We have Felchlin process a small part of the cocoa from these families into our chocolate coins, which you can order in our online shop. We sell the remaining cocoa wholesale.
From the profit we generate by selling the chocolate coins in our online shop, we pay 10 per cent back to all farming families in Togo – even if only around 25 families actually supply the cocoa for our chocolate. They receive this money unconditionally and in addition to the organic and fair purchase price. We also train the families in organic farming, support them in the certification process and always pay them directly whenever possible.
Order gebana chocolate with cocoa from Togo now.
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Smallholders and local producers harvest and refine products of extraordinary quality worldwide. But for many of these producers there is no adequate or stable market. You can buy directly from these producers via the Access to Market Platform and help them to participate in the market. The principle behind this is crowd ordering – a new trade model whereby a number of consumers order a product together so as to achieve a minimum order quantity. We at gebana support the producers with our know-how, and organise the logistics.
Enable someone to make their first export with your order. Please note: Unexpected events often lead to delays, and you may find that the quality is not yet perfect. For this reason, your feedback is absolutely essential. The export experience and your feedback are important steps for the producers towards accessing the market. As a customer, you are witness to the whole process, playing your part in pioneering work.
You can order from these producers simply and directly. You receive your product as soon as the minimum order quantity has been reached and the products are ready. The risk for you is minimal, since the producers already have a product that is ready for market. This sales channel is beneficial to both the producers and the consumers, since it cuts out the middle man.
Be part of the development of supply chains and support innovation! Some of the ways you can do this include testing new products, giving feedback, or financially supporting the producers in their next steps. In doing so, you will be able to see for yourself how the products and supply chains develop.
This is where you can see all the completed projects on the Access to Market Platform at a glance. You can find out where products are now available from or whether the producers are still seeking a trade partner.