We have recently announced that we are now investing into ‘The Chocolate Dream’ – but you may be wondering what that is exactly…
The Chocolate Dream is a project based out in Colombia, set up and run by the company we source much of our cocoa from. Our cocoa farmers work with an agroecology approach, which is farming that has a focus on food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services, while not damaging the natural resources; striving to be a sustainable farming model, and seeking to nurture a healthy landscape. Specifically, for our farmers, this means they plant three types of tree alongside each other; cocoa trees, Plantain trees and Melina trees. The plantain grows quickly, ensuring the farmers have a harvest each year whilst the cocoa matures; and the Melina is a tall tree that is planted to provide shade for the cocoa, due to its quick growing properties, and is harvested for it’s wood at 15-20 years. So three trees, grown in harmony, all for a specific purposes, providing an income and harvests for the farming communities.
Over the past few years we’ve invested in several projects with our supplier to help the families within the cocoa growing areas. The projects vary each year, and in the past have included the purchasing of school books for children, investing in a cocoa fermentation centre, and also providing the community with donkeys that could take children to and from school; along with the training to look after and care for them. This year we made the exciting move to actually partner with their formal visionary project, The Chocolate Dream; an organised approach to deliver positive societal change for cocoa growing farmers and their families.
The difficulty for the younger generation within cocoa growing areas is the rural isolation of their homes, lack of income generating opportunities, and the pull of the drug cartels at those crucial older teenage years. The Chocolate Dream asks its contributors to commit a specified financial contribution to one of a choice of projects, and be part of the journey, watching the project unfold. We’ve felt driven to contribute to this project, with it’s specific emphasis on young adults who are struggling, and we are really hopeful that this investment can help break the cycle for those partaking in this project, encouraging them to believe in themselves, and have hope of a future with a sustainable income, whilst allowing us to give something back to this community.