Part of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation
At Simply we always emphasize that we are a Danish company, but having said that, we will never be able to grow cocoa beans up here in the northern hemisphere. That is why the cocoa beans that become our chocolate are grown in the Ivory Coast in West Africa. And we believe that a certain responsibility comes with producing in that part of the world.
Just as our local employees here in Copenhagen work under fair conditions, we want to ensure that the cocoa farmers, their families and the local communities that surround the cocoa fields thrive and have the opportunity to improve their lives. It is both part of the solution to ensure future chocolate production and a natural approach for Simply. We do not want to produce and sell chocolate with an aftertaste of underpayment and exploitation of nature.
That is why we are part of Cocoa Horizons, a non-profit organization that works to ensure that the cocoa farmers, their families and the communities that surround the cocoa fields live and work in decent conditions. This means that our chocolate bars may be a bit more expensive than the rest of the selection on the shelf, but we actually think responsible chocolate tastes better.
A new role for women
The greenhouse project is run by the local women, who have all received training in making production work optimally. They have gained knowledge about growing and maintaining plants, seasonal plants, bookkeeping, trading and developing new markets. In this way, the project also ensures a new independence for the women and creates a more significant role in the villages - an important step towards a better future for African nations.
Dual purpose with the production
The project is relatively new, but the plants in the greenhouse are already sprouting. However, the idea is not for the village families to eat all the vegetables. The production serves two purposes: firstly, it must provide the local women with another source of income besides the cocoa beans, and secondly, it must ensure better nutrition in the local school.
Sustainable agriculture through education
This is why we have become part of Cocoa Horizons, which was started by Belgian chocolatier Barry Callebaut. Cocoa Horizons works to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers and local communities. They do this through different strategies: partly by introducing sustainable and innovative agricultural methods, partly by increasing productivity and partly by developing local communities.
Specifically, Cocoa Horizons educates farmers in ways to improve their work, e.g. through new materials, new techniques and innovative financing solutions. To reduce CO2 emissions, the farmers are learning to prune the cocoa trees instead of burning them, they are working with a denser planting and planting different types of trees in the fields.
Chocolate for school and health
At the same time, Cocoa Horizons works closely with farming communities to make it easier for children and young people to get an education, support work to protect children and give women better opportunities to develop, while ensuring access to clean water and basic health services. Eg. Today, 49% of all children between the ages of 5 and 17 in the local communities are enrolled in school, and we are working to increase the number. Why? Because education is at the heart of many solutions to ensure 'our' cocoa families a great future - and great chocolate for you.