The Project commission has been created in 2015. It’s goals are to enhance positive projects which could have an impact in economic developments and sustainable social projects related to the Commodities sector by using the CTA members’ skills, expertise, and resources .
We decided that the best way to have a real impact was to create strong relationships with NGOs that have a clear view and knowledge of the needs out there.
Therefore early 2016, two different worlds came together with the common goal to empower small commodity producers around the world: by building projects together, providing them with the tools to increase their added value, bringing them closer to consumers, and helping them benefit from fair salaries, better living conditions and a wider spectrum of choices. To reach this objective, young members of the commodities trading industry and a young NGO teamed up in Geneva.
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.
THE BANYAN TEAM
- Paul Descheemaeker – Heerema International SA
- Cynthia Imesch – Gunvor Group Ltd
- Christophe Riedi – Mediterranean Shipping Company SA
- Viviane Romy – Xcoal Energy and Resources GmbH
And from Oneaction:
- Jan Isler – OneAction
- Saskia Petit – OneAction
- Arlette Pujol – OneAction
We are convinced that with our optimism, passion and dynamism, we can move from intention to action and spread our ethical business model, while remaining true to our values.
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.
We launched Chukwa thanks to a first collaboration with the cooperative Aprocane in Esmeraldas, on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, and more specifically with a group of women cocoa producers. These women, a minority amongst cocoa producers, are descendants from African slaves, and are often exposed to discriminations and a lack of opportunities. Banyan Alliance directly links their high quality production of indigenous fine organic cocoa produced using sustainable agroforestry and ancestral techniques, with Swiss artisanal chocolate makers, as well as chocolate lovers. This initiative will contribute to supporting these women in generating their own revenues, keeping their land, preserving their natural environment and improving their living standards.
If you want to help we would be more than happy to welcome you, don’t hesitate to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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