Featured image for Bantu Chocolate's Packaging Effuses Natural Refinement

Bantu Chocolate's Packaging Effuses Natural Refinement

by Chloe Gordon on 07/04/2022 | 3 Minute Read

While the chocolate industry is undeniably sweet, there are a slew of issues regarding inhumane and unsustainable practices. Bantu Chocolate is a brand working towards creating a higher quality craft chocolate and paying its collaborators a living wage. And if that weren't enough, the brand's packaging is beautiful. Featuring gold detailing, funky typography, and earthy color palletes, the packaging system is natural yet refined, precisely what this empowering chocolate brand should effuse.

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A discerning chocoholic may buy chocolate based on the country of manufacture, from what at first appears to be legitimate sources. Countries like Belgium, Switzerland, France tend to get the credit – but the source for most of the world’s chocolate is West Africa. Together, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon generates about 70% of the cocoa traded on the world market.

Yet, when it comes to the chocolate supply chain, very little is known about origins and practices, and most of these stories are certainly not told through flavour.

Bantu Chocolate arose from the need to counter the ever-growing prevalence of inhumane and unsustainable practices in the chocolate industry. Touched upon for the last few decades, issues such as child slavery, abuse of human rights, low wages and damage to the environment were and still are concerns set to be resolved by the industry’s lobbyists. From the state of today’s climate-constrained and corporate entities who continually favour mark-ups over human lives, Veronique Mbida decided to become an advocate for change.

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It all started in 2015 when the founder’s mother started cultivating cocoa on their land, a couple of hours away from Yaounde?, Cameroon’s capital, and asked to her daughter to help her sell the beans.Born in Cameroon, a country that is still part of Commonwealth today, and having immigrated to France at the age of six, this entrepreneur has maintained her beliefs that opportunities and possibilities are endless. As certifications such as Fairtrade are more and more used as moral bypasses to put the consumer at ease and ultimately often fail to realize the needs of micro-economies, Veronique was quick to realize that emancipation from such labels was necessary.

In the pursuit of bettering the lives of people from their village, Bantu Chocolate is at an advantage of having its own integrated full supply-chain from the original cocoa pod to the finished product - ranging from chocolate to cocoa pulp juice.

Beyond guaranteeing a high quality craft chocolate, the company offers an Anker living wage to their collaborators and pays what would be 4x times the commodity price and more than 3x times the fair- trade premium price for the beans.

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The single origin estate also maximizes the use of land through agroforestry, additionally growing other crops like bananas, avocadoes, papayas and chicken which strengthen biodiversity and expand the array of goods produced.

As it takes a village to raise a child, and because she was once that child, Veronique also makes education a priority by providing school material, books and well-trained teacher to the local village’s community school and educating the consumers.

Convinced that no country can achieve sustainable economic development without solid investment in human capital, Bantu Chocolate has chosen empowerment over charity.

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