On the one hand, OneAction wished to create a viable self-funding model and to conduct successful sustainable commercial activities, changing the profit redistribution scheme as a way to reduce disparities. On the other hand, the Commodity Trading Alumni Association (CTA) was looking to collaborate with a dynamic NGO by using its members’ skills, expertise, and resources to carry out economic development and sustainable social projects related to the Commodities sector.
The BANYAN Alliance
Driven by the same cause, we joined our forces to create Banyan Alliance, a social business ensuring equity, respect and sustainability for local producers and artisans in a variety of sectors, and redistributing part of its revenues to social and environmental projects.
Inspired by the Banyan tree, whose roots are interconnected and support the whole tree, we wish to highlight our interconnections with all human beings and natural ecosystems, as well as the importance of every individual’s actions.
In 2017, Chukwa was born as the first Banyan Alliance project with the aim of creating our own fair trade and organic chocolate brand. With Chukwa, we go back to the chocolate’s roots, since it was the word used to define chocolate by the indigenous Mayans, who were believed to be the first to discover this ‘food of the gods’ and who drank it in liquid form more than 2,000 years ago.
Chukwa’s main objective is to empower cocoa producers in an extremely unbalanced industry, where small producers only receive an average of 3% of the product’s final value and are constrained by big companies in their production choices.
We wish to change this cocoa-trading paradigm by:
- reducing intermediaries
- generating transfers of knowledge
- providing a voice to producers; and
- improving their living standards.
In this process, we create a strong unity between all actors of the chain, ensuring proximity and transparency between producers and consumers, but also linking chocolate artisans in Europe and small farmers around the world.
Thanks to these trustworthy relationships and our expertise, we are able to guarantee the finest taste, and provide the highest organic cocoa quality, respecting the environment, as well as the health and safety of workers and consumers. Above all, our innovative model is based on a circular approach, as we redistribute a percentage of our revenues to social and environmental projects, and allow producers to become active participants within our company. This way, we can share our ideas, co-create and move forward together.