Now we’re talkin’
Young people in the Midwest, U.S. are asked to research cocoa production in Africa for a new project by Askinosie Chocolate Company.
In today’s issue (Nov 23rd, 2009) http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009911230361
of the Springfield, Missouri News Leader, there is a discussion about the Cocoa Honors project sponsored by Shawn Askinosie asking high school and college students to assist him in selecting an African nation to be the source of cocoa beans for a new Askinosie bar. He expects it will take about a year and a half for the vetting process.
A very important point in this article IMHO (besides the great idea of involving U.S. students in the research) is the attempt to ensure that the farmer (cacao grower) actually receives some of the profits directly from Askinosie’s sales of the new bar. How this is actually accomplished is a major thrust of the chocolate company’s research and business model.
I’ve heard that at the “Net Impact” conference held recently at Cornell Univ. a speaker from Sustainable Harvest Coffee (http://sustainableharvest.com/our_model
) said that they are also looking into chocolate as a commodity to which they can apply their relationship marketing.
Should we expect to see more small chocolate manufacturers and importers connecting the end consumer with the grower : more or less face-to-face?