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Showing posts with label Sustainable Development Goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sustainable Development Goals. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Indigenous Forest-to-Bar Chocolate

Forest Based Supply Chain Resolves Traceability Issues

Forest-to-Bar Chocolate made by the Piaroa

By Col. David J. Wright, Goodwill Ambassador for Globcal International

We are working with the humble and peaceful Piaroa people of the Guiana Highlands in Southern Venezuela's Indigenous State of Amazonas to produce fine craft chocolate bars using their own unique wild harvested uncommon cacao and a variety of locally sourced ingredients to introduce new flavors and experiences for chocolate lovers using specially processed natural superfoods, medicinal honey and exotic fruits. The consumer product will be harvested, processed and manufactured all by the cooperative before being exported to international consumers, using blockchain technology.

We are calling our company De'Aruhuä Cacao, which means "Cacao from the Guardians of the Forest." and the company will form part of the Piaroa Partnership Platform (PPP) which is being promoted through the UN Sustainable Development Platform.

The chocolate bar factory that the company wants to build will be located in Caracas, Venezuela because it is simply the best place to make fine chocolate, has an industry support network and the easiest place in Venezuela to do international business for the indigenous Piaroa. There are also advantages for the Piaroa that want to get advanced education degrees or attend certificate workshops at the Central University in Caracas while working here in the factory.

Blockchain Technology

Today people want to know more about their food, they want to know where it came from, they want to know the ingredients and moreover today they want to know who made their food? We are resolving this through the use of blockchain technology that implements smartphones, GPS, photographs and an administrative application which in turn is connected to a consumer app. We are currently looking at several blockchain systems that support agricultural products, thus far we are most impressed with the systems being developed by CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation).

Following their harvest the beans are fermented (cured) in their own pulp for 8 days covered by banana leaves.
De'Aruhuä Cacao's business is being developed in such a way that forest, land and product management all occur in the cacao growing and harvesting process, the actual individual trees are each numbered and identified by the computer on a geographical grid each time a tree is visited, there is no need to tag them. The coordinates, weather, time of day and other pertinent data are all recorded using an application. Since we are dealing with many types of wild trees in addition to Theobroma cacao over a large area the use of GPS mapping and satellite tracking is also useful to our indigenous agroecologists in order to find the trees that they plant and help mother nature to maintain.

Forest-to-Bar refers to our supply chain, in essence we are stating that the cacao and wild fruit we harvest, ferment, dry and process is the same cacao, from the same origin that is being sent to the factory and made into chocolate bars by our own cooperators that work there. Each step of the supply chain from the harvest to the final chocolate bar is controlled, documented and monitored as each process occurs.

The factory (laboratory/kitchen) we are projecting will be a 120 square meter state-of-the-art small-batch chocolate making facility producing 80 kilos of fine chocolate every three days, with the ability to triple output based on efficiency improvements and/or hiring additional staff members.

Getting Started

All people have dreams, ideals and plans that they hope to fulfill in life; some are great ideas that are often short lived because we lack the motivation or determination to pursue all of them; and lets face it some ideas were never that great to begin with after investigating and researching the steps required to turn them into a reality. This is less likely to occur when a group of individuals gets involved, others depend on an idea and yet others that support the idea join into the group of idealists based on its merits.

We know many peoples' ideas based on creative thoughts are often too far-flung to be practical and why most ideas never get too far, but that is not the case with the De'Aruhuä Cacao business plan. De'Aruhuä is a very feasible and practical endeavor that can produce 80,000-100,000 chocolate bars per year (first year) and produce 25 tons per year of direct-trade F1 Piaroa cacao for distribution to other chocolate makers. We are dealing with 35 very real indigenous farmers, thousands of square kilometers of wilderness territory, 20,000 cacao trees and 13 different villages where over 500 people depend on subsistence agriculture and agroforestry to meet their needs.

The only thing missing now is an FDA registered chocolate factory which Globcal International believes the Piaroa should have based on their consistency, presentation, persistence and solidarity with us over the past year and a half. The organization is developing an international initiative involving goodwill, sustainable development, economic empowerment, education, environmental protection, indigenous rights and global citizenship around the chocolate factory to efficiently target 12 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Understanding the financial position of the indigenous Piaroa is not hard if you visit them in person, you will quickly discover they live well-below the poverty line, are mostly unemployed, lack basic welfare services, most live without electricity, cannot provide a proper education for their children and live on a per capita income of less than $60 per year, that is if they go to the town to collect the government benefits, in total it is about 15 cents a day. Agriculture and their forest is really all that they have to make a decent living..

Terms - How to get Involved?

Despite not having any money to build a chocolate factory we have thirty-five Piaroa farmers bringing to the table up-to 30 metric tons of agricultural production, they are willing to work as facilitators across a 5,000 square kilometer territory providing global ecosystem services and most importantly want to protect their territory, culture and traditions. In addition to this we are their neighbors and want to see them do well.

We believe based on what they have is enough to get started, the real estate they occupy and control is 5,000 square kilometers it is worth billions, moreover it is potentially worth millions more annually if it can be used for carbon credit offsets paid directly to the Piaroa International Fund by a country or large corporation, they have other ecosystem services they can market like ecotourism, they have 35 farmers engaged with up to three or four helpers each ready and willing to work, plus they have 20,000 cacao trees in the ground growing and have delegated authorized representatives to the project.

Wild grown single-origin forest based source of cacao.
Withasmuch Globcal International along with Ecology Crossroads in the United States is getting behind the Piaroa and is developing a project online as an official partnership opportunity involving the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. Globcal International believes by creating a larger UN SDGs Initiative with a clear mission around the chocolate factory project is the best way forward making the social enterprise a public and private partnership that serves everyone's needs.

Two Distinct Projects in One

The initiative listed on the UN SDGs Partnership site is called "Indigenous Agroforestry & Ecosystem Protectorate for the Piaroa of the Orinoco" officially known as the Piaroa Protectorate Partnership (PPP) which is also known as the Piaroa Partnership Platform.

To accomplish this the organization needs donations, grants and partnerships to raise between $450,000-$640,000 to invest directly into the Piaroa communities which will be managed offshore from Venezuela remotely by Globcal International which will administer the community development projects in the Indigenous State of Amazonas through the organization's indigenous members. Ecology Crossroads as the trustee of the fund will provide investors, members and partners providing financial resources the ability to monitor transparently funding and profit disposition to employees, investors, providers and beneficiaries using Google Sheets.

Aside from developing a program providing infrastructure improvements for building safe and sustainable human settlements we need to raise $490,000 offering secured equitable funding to build a turn-key bean-to-bar craft chocolate factory and operate for two full years! To do this in our business plan we are evaluating the business concept, the business plan, all of the legal work that has been done already, the trademark of the brand, the website, and social media IP at one million US dollars, less what we need to become operative and purchase the real estate, remodel the facility, purchase machinery, install equipment, pay employees, purchase materials, and all the other expenses involved to produce chocolate for two full years.

To raise the funds that are needed the company is offering 49% of its equity as Class A Preferred Shares, that is 49,000/100,000 of them, to investors and cooperative social enterprise memberships for anyone who is a chocolate expert, lover, maker, connoisseur or person who believes in the principles of cooperation. As a cooperative there are up to 100 members which are all equal, meaning the maximum membership or voting potential of a person is equal to one, a full voting membership (1%) in the cooperative is 1,000 shares under these terms. The shares can be purchased now without any fees for $10 each directly from Ecology Crossroads and go to the De'Aruhuä Trust.

What we need now is funding, good management, transparency and organization by involving additional stakeholders, partners and investors looking for a nominal moderate gain. The price of shares will probably be increased to $11 or $12 each once the project is ready for crowdfunding to offset the costs of using the crowdfunding platforms. The crowdfunding campaign plans are to use Gust, Indiegogo and Wefunder, it was discussed that we begin the first crowdfunding campaign in October or November if we have enough early interest.

The grander initiative which the chocolate factory will eventually support involves community improvements to facilitate general health and well-being of the residents of 13 indigenous settlements to maintain community centers, water wells, sanitary bath/wash houses, septic systems and educational programs focused on agroecology, biodiversity, ecosystem services, ecotourism and forest management.

You can support the chocolate factory as member or investor if you are an individual that has an interest in the business of chocolate. To support the Piaroa Community Revitalization project with the PPP as an individual you can make a donation or as a corporation, organization, foundation, or nation you can become a recognized partner in the Piaroa Protectorate Partnership.

You can read more about the chocolate factory and SDGs initiative at our website