More Chocolate Resources (Andrius q's and my research)
- Dear Andrius and All,Hello and here are some other resources which might be helpful! I have taken some of your q's, and tried to research answers! Janethttp://www.icco.org/links/linksfair.htm (ICCO Links)http://www.aprocafa.com/topic3.htm (Cocoa Growers Association of Ecuador, APROCAFA)http://www.anecacao.com/English/ingles.htm (Association of Cacao Exporters)http://www.corpei.org/index1.asp?LN=EN (Export and Investment Promotion Corporation of Ecuador, some cocoa references)Andrius: It would be good to get more detailed evidence that would help investors evaluate the opportunity.Janet:http://www.nybot.com (NY Board of Trade)http://www.bl.uk/collections/business/confect.html (British Library,Business Info Research)
http://www.agroeco.nl/publications/epopa_article_aug_2002.pdf (Agro-Eco Consultants in the Netherlands, specializing in organic agriculture...they have projects in Africa, Asia, Lithuania and Europe, and focus on supply chain, innovation, marketing, farmer services...they do advise on cocoa)http://www.edfman.com/cocoa/main.html (ED&F Man Cocoa, export office in Ecuador and others worldwide, research and forecasting)http://topics.developmentgateway.org/businessenvironment (Business Environment 2006)http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/Basics/Market/default.asp (buying and selling chocolate)http://www.newint.org/issue304/conclusion.html ("Chocolate Saves the World", an analysis of what factors will produce a fair situation for all, with mention of producers, environmentalists, small farmers, unions, consumers)http://www.divinechocolate.com/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=90282 ("How Smallscale Farmers Got to Own a Chocolate Company in the UK", abt Kuapa Kokoo and Divine Chocolates/Day Company...analyzes their alliance with The Body Shop, Comic Relief, Christian Aid, and a Dutch trading partner)http://www.common-fund.org/?nid=2 (Common Fund for Commodities, an intergovernmental financial institution seeking to address the problems of the world's poorest people...focus on commodities, and works on pest problems and controls)Andrius: Google on "natural foods distributors"Janet:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931229317/ref=pd_sim_b_1/102-8727158-2808965?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155 ("Chocolate Unwrapped", abt the health benefits)Andrius: Gourmet food shows can be good for making contacts.Janet:http://afc.aidschicago.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?&pid=222&srcid=210 ("World of Chocolate" tasting as an HIV/AIDS benefit...one type of chocolate fair)Andrius: I need help to learn what distributors I might speak with.Janet:http://www.gourmetinternational.com/about.htm (Gourmet Food International, catering to professional chefs)http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/contact.php (Chocolate Alchemy, a site devoted to making chocolates at home, with sales of chocolate and equipment (nothing yet from Ecuador), and features on all aspects of chocolate production, including nibs...John Nanci, the owner, invites people to talk with him, at Contact@... )http://www.altereco-usa.com/main.php?section=aboutus&subsection=main (Alter Eco is a fairtrade company working with farmers, producers, and artisans in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Middle East, and Asia...there are branches in the USA, Brazil, and France)http://worldwidechocolate.com/ (they carry Dagoba dark chocolate bars from Ecuador...chocolate balsamic vinegar is also mentioned, a very unusual product)
http://store.yahoo.net/chocolat-celeste/international-fine-chocolate.html (mention of cocoa nibs, among many types of chocolates being sold)http://www.birdsandbeans.ca/chocolate.shtm (a Canadian fairtrade company buying/selling Ecuadorian products, who purchase directly from farmers)http://www.zchocolat.com/default.asp?zid=over&zmid=_ChocolatetoEcuador&OVRAW=Ecuador%20chocolate&OVKEY=chocolate%20to%20ecuador&OVMTC=standard (this is a gourmet chocolate distributor which buys chocolate products from a variety of makers...they advertise sending/selling Belgian chocolates to Ecuador...I think it would be worth talking to them abt stocking gourmet Ecuadorian chocolates, to cater to Ecuadorians in-country and in the diaspora)Andrius: Cocoa nibs are used to make cocoa butter and cocoa powder, so who sells that wholesale?Janet:http://search.earthlink.net/search?area=earthlink-ws-altsearchbox&q=chocolate%20beans (chocolate beans)Andrius: It would be helpful to find who the best chocolate makers buy from.Janet:http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/cx1/brand/1/article-Health-and-Happiness-Ghana_Healthcare2.htm
http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/cx1/brand/1/article-Seedlings-Update-Seedlings_Update_June05.htmThis is a great example of a gourmet chocolate-maker and seller who works directly with communities in Ghana, and whose sales do benefit those communities directly.Andrius: Another important opportunity I think is to discuss with Maquita (MCCH) in Ecuador the possiblity of organizing a fair trade for qualifying farmers. MCCH is a church owned social venture that is the third largest exporter in Ecuador, however, because of their structure, the way they buy and mix beans from various supplier, is not Fair Trade certifiable. They do participate in Shared Interest, however. Ben agreed that this could be a good opportunity for a Fair Trade grower there to negotiate with Maquita to handle the fair trade opportunity for their qualifying farmers. It seems also that capital investments locally in machinery don't make sense unless there already is an agreement with a buyer and they match their specifications...that would be an example of "coinvesting" by both sides regarding a business opportunity.Janet:http://www.chocaid.com/chooseproj.html (Chocaid aids hunger projects through sales)http://www.lwr.org/chocolate/index.asp (Lutheran World Relief)http://www.crsfairtrade.org/chocolate_project/index.htm (Catholic Relief Services)http://www.agreatergift.org/info.aspx?PageID=6645 (A Greater Gift)All of these orgs work directly with farmers and artisans, and some are fairtrade-aligned. It would be worthwhile to link with one or more, and perhaps these faith-based groups would also be amenable to working together. I love the idea of co-investing, and also of finding opportunities to be the fairtrade grower/producer for exporters and other enterprises which aren't or can't be certified!Andrius: I learned that generally beans are purchased, or butter, but not nibs, although that might be possible. Generally purchases are in the 5 to 20 ton range, 20 tons being a container. Greg noted that nibs are relevant because Ecuador law apparently requires exported beans to be fumigated, which is counter to organic practices. I need to learn more about who buys nibs and why. (Nibs are what's left after the beans are husked.)Janet:These all sell nibs!
Andrius: Some pilot plants in Ghana have been set up for cocoa wastes http://www.icco.org/projects/ghana.htm ..."animal feed (cocoa pod husk feed) and potash derived from cocoa-pod husk; alcoholic beverages from cocoa sweatings; and toilet soap and body creams based on cocoa butter from sub-standard beans". It would be good if somebody might call the ICCO in London and get more details on how that worked out.Janet:http://www.kuapakokoogh.com/pages/page.php?contentid=12 (the project in Ghana you mention...you might contact them)In doing a search of "cacao wastes" I also found them mentioned in conjunction with small-scale electricity generation.Andrius: Another related activity is organic pest control-cocoa trees are highly susceptible to pests (about a third of the crop can be lost) - and organic farmers are especially vulnerable. So I think there is a business need there. Robert Peck of the World Cocoa Foundation and ACCESO said that there is a general need for a national strategy in Ecuador, including renovating trees.Janet:http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_diseases_pests_diseases/article/0,1785,HGTV_3579_1395788,00.html (a good article on the problems...definitely an area where co-investment can also come in handy)Andrius: Also, it would be good to note more developments in the chocolate world. China is poised to be the great growth market for chocolates. Chocolate is a luxury gift for which price is a plus, Ferrero (which buys from Maquita) is strong there, but also Chinese makers are being forced by the government to improve quality, so they might be interested in those who might teach them how to make good chocolates.Janet:http://www.weightwatchers.com/shop/categoryshowcase.aspx?gcmspid=1004111&gcmscid=1004171&navid=FBeverageThe website for "the Ecuadorian company" indicates that customers find its products important when dieting. This might be a huge market for nibs and other chocolate products, ie dieters, so here are 2 of the biggest companies in that regard.Andrius: An important trend is the mixing of local foodstuffs with chocolates, as done by John and Kira's chocolates in Philadelphia (thank you, Steve), or with Chinese herbs. This could be a way to encourage twinning of communities, especially if food lovers might match up what region's chocolates work best with what region's foodstuffs.Janet:http://www.worldwidechocolate.com/shop_specialty_111.html (chocolate balsamic vinegar)http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/cx1/category.asp?cat_id=HCTENROBED (many fruits covered with chocolate)http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/cx1/category.asp?cat_id=HCTVEGETARIAN (vegetarian chocolate)
http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/cx1/category.asp?cat_id=HCTVEGANS (dark chocolate w/cocoa nibs)http://www.chocolatceleste.com/finechocolatewiththebest.html (wine and chocolate)http://organic-chocolate.amazon-herbs.org/ (organic chocolate and rainforest herbs)Andrius: What are the types of companies to engage as partners? Imagine a chocolatier in the Pacific Northwest helping their friend, a maker of electric generators (wind, water or solar), link up with counterparts in the Amazon who have a relationship of integrity due to the cocoa beans. Now the Amazon community can sell, set up, repair, maintain and apply generators as a business opportunity. Then the two-way relationship is very strong, can be reduced or increased but will be maintained and renovated even if information is transparent and switching costs are low.
http://www.lasiembra.com/home.htm (a good "model" for fairtrade small-scale producers, linked with FLO, see below)
http://www.ithacafinechocolates.com/ (Ithaca Fine Chocolates)
http://www.equalexchange.com/ (Equal Exchange)http://www.worldwildlife.org/shop/index.cfm (World Wildlife Fund)http://store.gxonlinestore.org/chocolate-2.html (Global Exchange)http://www.pachamamaworld.com/producer.html (Pachamama World)http://www.thebodyshopinternational.com/web/tbsgl (The Body Shop)http://www.dubble.co.uk/ (Dubble, in a partnership with Comic Relief, and chocolate from Ghana...this type of linkage is something to be sought, I think, similar "triangularization" ...the World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance, National Geographic would be good partners, for example)http://www.wbcsd.org/templates/TemplateWBCSD1/layout.asp?type=p&MenuId=MjEw (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which operates in Ecuador, and consists of business, govt, nonprofits, and environmental consulting groups...I think this would be an excellent group to contact for further discussions!)http://www.comerciojustoecuadorperu.net/ (FLO of Ecuador and Peru...FLO is the Fairtrade Labelling Organization, and they liaise with support and donor orgs for the producers needing same)