A Chocolate Company With Heart
From day one fair trade has been essential to Zazubean’s mission.
When visiting the Dominican Republic, where a lot Zazubean’s beans come from, I was struck by the prevalence of poverty in the region and just how much our partner cocoa farmers rely on the premiums from the cacao for survival.
The average cacao grower has less than 2 acres of land which can earn them approximately the average national income in the Dominican Republic. However, without the fair trade compensation program in place, farming cacao would simply be an impoverished pursuit.
The goal of the cooperative is to improve the quality of life for the entire member community. Premiums are applied to wide ranging member driven projects such as infrastructure development: bridges, roads, electricity, business investment: reforestation, facilities for drying and fermenting and even collective investment for individuals in extreme need such as rebuilding member homes.
This cooperative is making a powerful impact in the community, helping to build a stable foundation for future generations. I was told about the annual coop planning vote, where all suggestions for investment are voted on. One member suggested rebuilding a bridge that had been washed out. This suggestion was originally eliminated after the first round of voting because of the limited impact on other members. However, later in the meeting she was given the opportunity to explain the importance of the bridge to her and her family. When the members heard the rationale for her suggestion, a re-vote was moved and the bridge rebuild was funded.
We love chocolate and we want other people to love our chocolate too…we just think it tastes a bit better knowing that it comes from a good place — grown and harvested by amazing people.