Who are your partners in Ghana?

In 2017 we started working exclusively with 1500 farmers all of which are members of the cooperative of Yayra Glover. The cooperative provides help and finances to accomplish the organic certification. The training comprises of comprehensive farm management skills. These skills allow the farmers to increase their yields significantly. More on this here.

Our production partner is Niche Cocoa in Tema. Niche has specialized in processing cocoa beans to cocoa mass and cocoa butter. Together we produce world class chocolate.

 

What is Africa's share of a bar of fairafric chocolate?

A little bit more than a third of the price excluding VAT. The average share is around 6%, if the cocoa is traded fairly it might be up to 7 or 8%. In order to provide Africa with a really fair share of your chocolate we bring all these well paid jobs during processing and production to Ghana.

Retailers receive a little less than a third to cover their cost (real estate, labour, capital cost, …). The company behind fairafric, fairafric GmbH, needs another third to pay for sales, marketing, transport, certifications, warehousing and labour.

 

What is fairafric's policy in regard to child labour?

Child labour is totally unacceptable for fairafric and we have a zero tolerance approach. Our cooperative has representatives in each of their communities whose job responsibilities include making sure everybody knows about the child labour policies. Any violations are reported and we haven heard of one for years.

Overall Ghana has ever fewer cases of child labour in the cocoa sector and overall. Most cases that have become public have happened in neighboring Ivory Coast and Togo.

The key is, that our farmers have realized that investments and education pay off over times. Investments into their farms and better equipment has increased their yields massively. While their kids head to school farmers are also eager to expand their knowledge about cocoa farming.

Most of the additional money our farmers make is invested into their children’s future. We have already cases in which their kids have finished a university degree.

 

What is the difference between fairafric and fairtrade?

We at fairafric have the vision to bring real jobs outside of farming to Africa. From bean to bar in Africa! Through producing fairafric chocolate 100% in Africa we create desperately needed skilled jobs that are well paid.

Each of these jobs creates 2.8 more jobs in supporting industries (Worldbank study). With a decent pay and health plans for their whole families our workers can provide their children with the best education options. We believe that the way out of poverty is not by farming but by adding value to resources in the country of origin and through education.

 

Why is fairafric not carrying the Fairtrade label?

Our approach aims much higher than “only” paying a farm-gate premium. We also pay premiums (600$ (or ~30%) per ton) but are much more focussed on enabling farmers to farm organically and sustainably increase the yields of their farms.

The key reason however is, that we want to make consumers away that we should not only trade resources fairly but that countries like Ghana should have the chance to make something out of their abundant natural wealth so to escape poverty by themselves.

 

Which sugar is used by fairafric?

Unfortunately there are no sources for organic, fairly traded sugar in West Africa. We source our raw cane sugar from Paraguay, fairly traded and 100% organically grown.

 

How do you source your milk powder?

Our milk powder is from Germany. It is produced by the dairy factory Schrozberger and has one the highest organic standard Demeter. Obviously, we would like to source all our ingredients in Ghana or other African countries. Unfortunately, there is currently no possibility for us to buy milk powder in Africa, as there is no producer for milk powder. Due to European exports of subsidised agricultural products, major parts of the local economy have been destroyed, as has been reported also in the media.

 

At which temperature should I enjoy fairafric?

That varies wildly with your own taste and the kind of chocolate. Good dark chocolate is a delicacy and, like good red wine and cheese, best consumed warm. Our 70% and 80% is best enjoyed at around 25 degrees Celsius.

 

Why are there not more varieties of fairafric, for instance with nuts?

We are a company focussing on the idea „Made in Africa“. Therefore, we would like to produce products that consist of ingredients which we can source on the African continent. Unfortunately, at this point in time we have not found suppliers which can deliver what we need in the appropriate quality (including organic certification) and quantity. However, in the long run, we obviously would like to further expand our range of chocolate.

 

How much margin does the retailer make per bar?

We sell at 1.98€ net to retailers (2,12€ incl. VAT. at 7% rate) to all our retailers. This margin, a little less than one third of the total price, allows retailers to cover their cost (real estate, labour, capital cost, …).

The company behind fairafric, fairafric GmbH, needs another third to pay for sales, marketing, transport, certifications, warehousing and labour. Our partners in Ghana receive the remaining third. The average share is around 6%, if the cocoa is traded fairly it might be up to 7 or 8%. In order to provide Africa with a really fair share of your chocolate we bring all these well paid jobs during processing and production to Ghana.

 

Which service do you use to send chocolate?

We use DHL’s gogreen service. Some very small shipments might be handled by the regular postal service.

 

How to store fairafric chocolate?

At a a cool (between 14 and 18 degrees) and dry place with no sun light.

 

Why is fairafric using aluminium foil?

Aluminum foil provides a complete barrier to light, oxygen, moisture and bacteria. No other packaging solution that is feasible in Africa has these qualities. We are evaluating other options, esp. ones that are 100% biodegradable, and will change the packaging as soon as economically possible and food safety is 100% ensured.

 

Is fairafric non-GMO?

Yes, 100%. Through our organic certification we are able to trace all our ingredients back to their sources.

 

What does from bean to bar in Africa mean to fairafric?

We are convinced that the way to eradicate poverty in most African countries is to allow and encourage theses countries to add value to their resources within their countries.

This achieves much more than just fair trade. We for instance increase Ghana’s income per ton of cocoa from $2000 (conventional) or $2200 (Fairtrade) to more than 10,000$ and create valuable, desperately needed jobs outside of farm work while doing it. That’s what we need to see more often.

 

How does the transport in a reefer influence the ecological footprint of your chocolate?

A reefer, like ours which is cooled to 16 degree Celsius and 60% humidity, produces circa 1.208 kg CO2 on the way from Tema (Ghana) to Hamburg (Germany). In comparison: A “normal” container produces 876 kg CO2 for the same distance, in fact it is 332 kg less (source: Hapag Lloyd). To compare these emissions: a direct-flight of one person from Munich (Germany) to Accra (Ghana) puts out 1.138 kg CO2 (source: atmosfair).

At the moment we are looking for opportunities to equalize the additional emissions we produce through the reefer.

 

How do you deliver your chocolate from Ghana to Europe?

Starting in the factory, which is situated in the port of Tema, the chocolate is loaded (almost) directly to the containership. To ensure a continuous high quality the chocolate is shipped to Europe in a reefer by 16 degree Celsius and 60% of humidity.

 

Where can I buy fairafric?

You can order through our online shop any time of the day here. We also offer a wide variety of subscriptions.

We have a network of retailers in Germany and Austria which you can find here. If you know of  a shop in your country/city that would be interested in retailing fairafric chocolate drop us a line. 

 

Are day laborers paid a fair wage?

The remuneration of day laborers (who are sometimes needed for weeding and harvest) is negotiated between farmers and the workers. Farmers are most of the time trying to help each other on their plantations in order to work in groups as working in company is much more fun.

An example from Suhum: While visiting a farm of an older lady early in 2017 I (Hendrik, founder of fairafric) asked how much she needs to spend in order to get her farm weeded. She said 500 Cedis, around 125$. I asked her to elaborate and she explained that she’d need five workers for five days to get her farm well weeded. She pays each of the workers 20 Cedis per day and cooks for them, the meal probably being worth around 5 Cedis. The government minimum wage in Ghana was just raised from 7 to 8 Cedis a day a month earlier.

 

Can I visit your factory in Ghana and see how fairafric is produced?

Unfortunately, a visit in the factory is not possible. To produce fairafric, we are cooperating with a local partner, Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd, whose factory we are using. Besides our chocolate, there is also cocoa mass and cocoa butter as well as Niche-chocolate produced. The factory is not built to have visitors. As we are producing food there, we and Niche have very high hygiene standards, and any additional, external, person makes it harder to live up to these standards. Additionally, obviously we would like to avoid any disturbances or interruptions in the process in order to ensure an efficient and flawless production. However, if you are interested in learning how our beans are grown, we can establish a contact with our partner cooperative. For this purpose, please send us an email.

 

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