2013 An idea is born
Travelling with a tent and backpack, our founder Hendrik travels East Africa and meets farmers in Uganda, who produce their own coffee just off the farm with just a pan to roast the beans and manual grinding. Delighted by the wonderful coffee making experience, Hendrik can't stop wondering what an enormous difference it would make, to produce things in Africa rather than just exporting raw materials.
Chocolate enthusiast Hendrik soon realizes, that this also applies for cocoa. Chatting with farmers on the ground, the traveler learns that life is brutal for most, some even so poor they have to decide which of their kids will be sent to school since they can't pay school fees for everyone. Initiatives like Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance give the impression of moving millions of farmers out of poverty. On the ground the picture looks a lot different, A couple of percent more income on almost nothing is still almost nothing.
Determined to bring about real change and create jobs, that increase Africans income manifold, Hendrik sets out to learn more about the business of cocoa farming and chocolate making and sets out to Sierra Leone, a country much closer to the chocolate consuming nations of Europe.
2015 West Africa II
After a lot of back and forth communication, Hendrik finally gets to meet the cocoa processing company (CPC) which will eventually become fairafric's production partner. It doesn't take long to come to an agreement for the yet to be founded Made in Africa chocolate company. CPC has the machinery in place to produce chocolate, Hendrik got the recipe for fairafric and the ambition to bring Made in Ghana chocolate to the world.
Another fateful meeting took place, rather a series of meetings, after which Kuapa Kokoo and fairafric partnered to work together to improve the life of the cooperative's members. Less than a year later, after fairafric was produced, Hendrik was campaigning to win over more farmers for a membership.
2014 West Africa
Once again just armed with a bag pack Hendrik arrives in Sierra Leone without much of a plan. The war ridden country proves to be one of the hardest places on earth to do business. Meeting after meeting with farmers and organizations provide valuable insights into the challenges facing local farmers.
In the end comes the conclusion that Sierra Leone is not quite the place to set up shop for the chocolate entrepreneur in spe. Days before the first news of the Ebola outbreak hit the Western Media Hendrik sets off back home. He returns with impressions of incredibly friendly people, lots to think about and an introduction to someone in Ghana who seems to be able to help make chocolate in Africa...
2016 Chocolate Made in Ghana
In March 2016 things got really serious. Fairafric was looking for customers to pre order chocolate on Kickstarter. Not knowing whether we'd be able to pull this off let alone produce a chocolate worth waiting months for people joined our leap of faith and backed our project with 29,516€!
With money and motivation it just took four months to have the first bars produced in August. Our backers received some 5,000 bars in October and we are since wining over more and more retailers to sell fairafric. We have also introduced some special packages in our Online Shop.
We can't wait for what 2017 and beyond will bring. Follow us along!