Our Chocolates Are Finally Here!
We survived rains, floods & landslides to finally get this project off the ground. And finally its here, the culmination of our pilot project
We are really happy to let you know that our chocolates are FINALLY here!
Its been quite an eventful and long journey! We started dreaming of this ambitious project more than two years ago. Since then we have been trying our best to align the vision of all the stakeholders involved in the project to one common goal, which is, Farmers Owned food brands. Even though there happened to have a little delay, we are much delighted in opening the sales for our Right Origins Chocolate very soon.
We see a lot of companies working towards fair-trade and all their works deserve big respect. It’s not easy to change the way you handle business within supply chains that are really long and complex. But we on the other hand just did not want to follow a conventional supply chain model. We believe shorter chains and shared profits can disrupt the way in which food is produced and sold. That is how we thought of revolutionizing the supply chains using a design that brings more transparency and trust for the end customers, also at the same time creating a system for the primary producers themselves earning more value and profit share for their products.
For every Right Origins Chocolate that you buy, you can count on us to tell you the entire story of production of that very chocolate bar, right from the day the cocoas which made it were plucked from their farms. Yes we literally mean to tell you, using the special talking bot we’ve designed for our Chocolates story. The blockchain technology insures that the data you get is unadulterated and most viable.
The plan was set and the project was set in motion in July 2018. The cocoa we needed were procured from the Indian state of Kerala. The farmers here are mostly small scale planters who agriculture mixed crops in their small farms, and depends exclusively on these crops to make their living. The first step for them was to initiate farmers collectives in their respective localities and getting their farms certified as a hundred percent organic. This was when our farmer cooperative a.k.a. farmer producer company (these are organizations or models of a cooperative that are more transparent & trustworthy, co-owned by the farmers themselves) started their procurement process. But not all the odds were in favor for us.
The high ranges of Idukki, from which we procured our cocoas, is a beautiful range of mountains covered in fog for most of the time. But the weather wasn’t kind on us. The state of Kerala got its highest ever rainfall ever last year. Our farmers were gracefully not very much affected by the huge landslides and floods that followed the rains in most parts. But due to the heavy rains, we did not quite get the harvest we expected. But the people in this cooperative worked hard day and night for months to finally collect a sizable quantity.
By the time the rain subsided, it was already too late for us and we were still in short of the required quantity. All together the farmers who are part of this cooperative where able to contribute close to 1190 kg or dried cocoa beans. Since the production for 2 flavors of chocolate demanded a minimum of 2000 kg of dried beans, the cooperative sourced the rest from a trader called GoGround. The whole procurement process got delayed in all the mess by the disastrous floods here and it was only by the end of October 2018 we could finally ship it (a month delayed). In order to save time, we used air freight instead of sea freight so that we do not miss the planned production schedule.
The shipment reached Switzerland by the first week of November. The dried beans were then sent to a roaster in Switzerland called Max Felchlin. But it was again too late by the time the cocoa mass reached our Swiss Factory (private labeling manufacturer). We got an email from the factory saying that delivery by Christmas is no longer possible and we could only get it by February or March. This delay meant we misses the Christmas season & valentines day as well, and hence we decided to push the final production process a little further, towards October 2019.
Since we got more time due to the delay and shift of production planning, we decided to rework on the wrapper designs and sent the updated designs to Chocolate Stella Bernrain (our private labeling manufacturer) in July 2019. So this year everything was set and was on schedule. Final production was set to happen in the first week of October and our team went to the chocolate factory on the 3rd of October to see the final production stages of Right Origins chocolate.
It was a proud moment for all of us to watch the final stages of our chocolate production and knowing that the long work we had put on to this project is finally going to be fruitful. Yet even still this is just the beginning, and there are even miles further to walk for our dream in reaching the set goals. At the same time we get you the best chocolate we can, in the most trustworthy manners, it is also our responsibility and target to take back up to 80% of the profits share back to the farmers back home. These funds would be used in building processing units closer to farms and hence making more value added products that they can sell. It is from them farmers that we have started our venture, and it is them these farmers that we are inspired from, and it is them we will be ever indebted to.