Take a look at the fantastic blog article, Chocolate Noise, wrote about our partner Minni Forman, managing director of Maya Mountain Cacao.
Minni was raised in a rural village in southern Belize but earned her bachelor’s in journalism in the U.S. After graduation, she managed urban farm collectives in Detroit for five years before moving back to Belize. She lives with off the grid on her family’s subsistence farm, working to create a self-sustaining farm-to-table food supply model for herself and her family!
I am deeply interested in farming and creating sustainable and fair agricultural systems. As it happens, cacao, which is the key ingredient in chocolate, is an agricultural product that has severe issues with how it is conventionally sourced and traded. Working in cacao/chocolate has opened my eyes to many sobering realities but also gives me hope as I work alongside my colleagues at Uncommon Cacao and partner with farmers and chocolate makers to undo historic oppressive systems in the supply chain little by little, every day.
Because cacao takes a lot of manual labor to grow and process, and is a crop predominantly cultivated in regions colonized by European countries where historically, it was extracted unethically using slave labor, cacao beans and chocolate are still undervalued in global markets and consumers have come to see chocolate as something cheap and widely accessible. Many of those systems of post-colonialism and slavery are still in place today. Farm gate prices for cacao are based on historic exploitive systems. If everyone were to be paid fairly across the cacao supply chain, prices would disallow chocolate from being readily available for very low prices at gas stations, drug stores and grocery stores across the globe.
I am very fortunate to be able to work for Uncommon Cacao, a company with a steadfast mission of trading cacao transparently and publishing all pricing along the supply chain from farm gate prices to sales prices, fostering connection between farmers and chocolate makers and thus challenging these historical exploitive systems in the chocolate industry.
Read the full article here: