What does a disruptive St. Valentine’s day look like?…
For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing how the power of purpose has brought together extraordinary people. Choco4Peace has built new professional collaborations, brought together family members, and has built new friendships, sometimes despite being thousands of kilometers apart.
When Choco4Peace was born on St Valentine’s Day in 2018. It was no coincidence, but a message. It was the first step in our movement to breathe new meaning into a system of cliches – all the chocolate, love and conspicuous consumption – and an opportunity to practice a more modern, conscious model of consumption – one that fits with the planet we want, and the people who live here.
In the world we live in,
We depend on long food chains where the story and identity of our food disappear into an undifferentiated stream of commodities, so that the only information communicated between consumers and producers is a price – while equity, fairness and health are often neglected. In his wonderful book the Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan implores twenty-first century human beings to take responsibility for the things we eat. But to really do this can be an intimidating task – one bigger than any individual can manage alone.
In the world we want to live in,
Consumption will benefit the planet and its people. Our health will not be divorced from the health of the entire food web. In this world, technology and finance will be tools for developing more abundant, equitable, and resilient communities.
In the world we are building,
Producers will have living incomes and will not have to choose between violence and a life with dignity. Consumers will have healthy and fair trade chocolate. And investors can redirect their capital flows into systems that generate life rather than destroy it, with respectable financial, ethical, social, and environmental returns.
What we’re doing about it…
We identified some of the best cacao in Colombia, growing under a long shadow of cocaine production and violence, but there we also met Luz, our real boss, a young Indigenous woman who represents cacao entrepreneurs that against the odds, chose hope. With this cacao, we produced our first chocolate for peace, and debuted it at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris last November. Version 2.0 is being made at a chocolate factory led by women in Medellin as I write this.
2020 is also the year we join Ark2030, a global project to coordinate the efforts of private capital and global citizens seeking to protect and preserve Planet Earth. Ark2030 aims to reverse global warming by restoring the 500 million hectares of ecosystems that have been destroyed by mankind since the beginning of the industrial revolution. If you haven’t heard of it, you will soon. Under these warm wings, we will build our traceability platform so you can see with immutable transparency the good you can create in the world, just by enjoying a small bite of chocolate.
Dignity is our credo. And as my colleague and friend one day said “Conflict is a wolf that feeds on scarcity, and needs to be starved”.
My heart is full of gratitude for your engagement with us so far, and I hope you can continue to join us in feeding something new, peaceful, and bright.
Happy disruptive St. Valentine’s Day
Sergio Figueredo | Executive Director, Choco4Peace