Monday, February 23, 2009

Chocolate Event Details Set

SFMV Members and Friends are invited to the Mansion View Inn, 2035 Collingwood, at 7 PM on Tuesday March 3rd to meet Enrique Cerda, a member of the Kallari Association in Ecuador, whose Kallari Chocolate bars were recently launched at Whole Foods stores in the U.S. Cerda will be traveling with a translator, Rebecca Roebber, an intern from the University of Oregon

The Kallari Association is a cooperative of over 850 Quichua families in Napo Province in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Recognizing that most of the profit is to be made from sales of chocolate bars, not the cacao beans, the Quichua people created a cooperative where they would have more control over revenues. The Kallari Association, with its self-reliant governance and innovative economic model, is nothing short of revolutionary in the global chocolate industry. Cacao production provides the Quichua people with a viable income so they have the economic resources to resist logging their forests or succumb to the short-term riches offered by petroleum extraction. A full 100 percent of profits from sales of the chocolate bars are returned to the Kallari Association.

1 comment:

Southern Gal in Midwestern Corn said...

Carol Off has written a book called Bitter Chocolate if anyone wants to learn more.

Here is the publishers blurb:
Award-winning author and broadcaster Carol Off reveals the fascinating – and often horrifying – stories behind our desire for all things chocolate.

Whether it’s part of a Hallowe’en haul, the contents of a heart-shaped box or just a candy bar stashed in a desk drawer, chocolate is synonymous with pleasures both simple and indulgent. But behind the sweet image is a long history of exploitation. In the eighteenth century the European aristocracy went wild for the Aztec delicacy. In later years, colonial territories were ravaged and slaves imported in droves as native populations died out under the strain of feeding the world’s appetite for chocolate.

Carol Off traces the origins of the cocoa craze and follows chocolate’s evolution under such overseers as Hershey, Cadbury and Mars. In Côte d’Ivoire, the West African nation that produces nearly half of the world’s cocoa beans, she follows a dark and dangerous seam of greed. Against a backdrop of civil war and corruption, desperately poor farmers engage in appalling practices such as the indentured servitude of young boys – children who don’t even know what chocolate tastes like.

Off shows that, with the complicity of Western governments and corporations, unethical practices continue to thrive. Bitter Chocolate is a social history, a passionate investigative account and an eye-opening exposé of the workings of a multi-billion dollar industry that has institutionalized misery as it served our pleasures.