Makossa 66 % Bantu Chocolate label
Bantu Chocolate labels

OUR MISSION

DECOLONIZINGWE BELIEVE THAT THE MODERN SUPPLY CHAIN IS FUNDAMENTALLY EXPLOITATIVE OF AFRICAN COCOA FARMERS. SO WE HAVE COME IN TO REIMAGINE THE ENTIRE SYSTEM, TRANSFORMING IT INTO ONE THAT IS BUILT ON FAIR EXCHANGE AND RADICAL EMPOWERMENT.

African farmer with baby on her back

WE ARE SLAVE-FREE COCOA FARMERS AND CHANGE MAKERS, DEDICATED TO AN EQUITABLY SUSTAINABLE AND DE-COMMODIFIED COCOA. WE GROW OUR BEANS IN CAMEROON, MAKE CHOCOLATE IN LONDON, AND WORK HARD TO BRINGING EQUITY AND EMPOWERMENT TO OUR VILLAGE’S COMMUNITY.

VERONIQUE MBIDA, FOUNDER

Veronique Mbide
African farmer with baby on her back

WE ARE SLAVE-FREE COCOA FARMERS AND CHANGE MAKERS, DEDICATED TO AN EQUITABLY SUSTAINABLE AND DE-COMMODIFIED COCOA. WE GROW OUR BEANS SLAVE-FREE IN CAMEROON, MAKE CHOCOLATE IN LONDON, AND WORK HARD TO BRINGING EQUITY AND EMPOWERMENT TO OUR VILLAGE’S COMMUNITY.

THE STORY THAT
MADE US

THE CONSTRUCTION OF CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM WAS ACCOMPANIED BY THE NORMALISATION OF THE IDEA THAT FOOD IS NOTHING BUT A COMMODITY. THE STORY BEHIND A CHOCOLATE BAR IS USUALLY ONE OF AN AFFORDABLE LUXURY PAID FOR IN MISERY AND EXPLOITATION BY THE PRODUCERS.

BEING THE PRIME DESTINATION FOR INDUSTRIAL CHOCOLATE MAKERS SUCH AS MARS, MONDELEZ, CADBURY, AND NESTLE, WEST AFRICA HAS DOMINATED GLOBAL PRODUCTION FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, AND GENERATES MORE THAN 70% OF THE COCOA TRADED ON THE WORLD MARKET.

Child slavery in African cocoa farms

2%
OF THE 100 BILLION DOLLAR CHOCOLATE MARKET REVENUE IS RECEIVED ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.

Removing ripe seeds from a pulp

THE STORY THAT
MADE US

THE CONSTRUCTION OF CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM WAS ACCOMPANIED BY THE NORMALISATION OF THE IDEA THAT FOOD IS NOTHING BUT A COMMODITY. THE STORY BEHIND A CHOCOLATE BAR IS USUALLY ONE OF AN AFFORDABLE LUXURY PAID FOR IN MISERY AND EXPLOITATION BY THE PRODUCERS.

VERONIQUE MBIDA, FOUNDER

Veronique Mbide
Child slavery in African cocoa farms

BEING THE PRIME DESTINATION FOR INDUSTRIAL CHOCOLATE MAKERS SUCH AS MARS, MONDELEZ, CADBURY, AND NESTLE, WEST AFRICA HAS DOMINATED GLOBAL PRODUCTION FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, AND GENERATES MORE THAN 70% OF THE COCOA TRADED ON THE WORLD MARKET.

2%
OF THE 100 BILLION DOLLAR CHOCOLATE MARKET REVENUE IS RECEIVED ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.

Child cocoa farm workers

AFTER THE SCANDAL OF CHILD LABOR AND MODERN SLAVERY IN THE 2000’s, THE CHOCOLATE LOBBY CONVINCED ANGRY REGULATORS THAT THE INDUSTRY COULD FIX THE CHILD LABOR ISSUE BY 2005.

African cocoa farm child workers

CERTIFICATIONS, SUCH AS FAIRTRADE, UTZ, AND RAINFOREST ALLIANCE USED TO BE PERCEIVED AS GREAT INITIATIVES, BUT OVER THE YEARS THEY HAVE BECOME MORE OF A MARKETING TOOL TO BYPASS CERTAIN MORALS AND PUT THE CONSUMER MORE AT EASE WHEN IN REALITY, OVER 20 YEARS LATER, NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED.

WITH LITTLE OR NO BARGAIN POWER, CACAO PRODUCERS LIVE BELOW THE EXTREME POVERTY LINE AND THE AVERAGE CACAO FARMING FAMILY MEMBER IN WEST AFRICA IS ESTIMATED TO SURVIVE OFF 74P A DAY.

THE BANTU PEOPLE WERE FARMERS AND CATTLE-KEEPERS WHO SPOKE VARIOUS DIALECTS IN TODAY’S CAMEROON. THEY WERE AT THE HEAD OF THE LARGEST AFRICAN MIGRATION IN HISTORY.

A MIGRATION THAT HAS INFLUENCED TWO-THIRDS OF THE AFRICAN LANGUAGE FROM KENYA TO SOUTH AFRICA. BANTUS BROUGHT WITH THEM TECHNOLOGIES & KNOWLEDGE THAT ALLOWED PEOPLE TO OPEN UP AND CULTIVATE LAND THAT HAD BEEN FOREST, ROCKY SOIL, OR SWAMP WITH DIFFERENT SEEDS.

Born in Cameroon and with Kenyan heritage, Veronique has always been at the intersection of many cultures.
She grew up in France, lived in Brazil and is now based is London.

Alike hers ancestors, and with the blessings of her mother (pictured) who started cultivating cocoa back in 2015, Veronique has embarked on a journey to empower her peers and the consumers.

THE BANTU PEOPLE WERE FARMERS AND CATTLE-KEEPERS WHO SPOKE VARIOUS DIALECTS IN TODAY’S CAMEROON. THEY WERE AT THE HEAD OF THE LARGEST AFRICAN MIGRATION IN HISTORY.

A MIGRATION THAT HAS INFLUENCED TWO-THIRDS OF THE AFRICAN LANGUAGE FROM KENYA TO SOUTH AFRICA. BANTUS BROUGHT WITH THEM TECHNOLOGIES & KNOWLEDGE THAT ALLOWED PEOPLE TO OPEN UP AND CULTIVATE LAND THAT HAD BEEN FOREST, ROCKY SOIL, OR SWAMP WITH DIFFERENT SEEDS.

Born in Cameroon and with Kenyan heritage, Veronique has always been at the intersection of many cultures.
She grew up in France, lived in Brazil and is now based is London.

Alike hers ancestors, and with the blessings of her mother (pictured) who started cultivating cocoa back in 2015, Veronique has embarked on a journey to empower her peers and the consumers.

African women among heaps of watermelons

OUR
THREE PILLARS

dried cacao beans

FAIRNESS

EVEN WITH CERTIFICATIONS LIKE FAIR TRADE, FARMERS ARE NOT PAID A LIVING WAGE FOR THEIR WORK, WHILE LARGE CORPORATIONS TAKE HOME THE VAST MAJORITY OF PROFITS. TO COMBAT THIS, WE GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO PAY OUR COLLABORATORS A LIVING WAGE THAT IS SIX TIMES MORE THAN THE COMMODITY PRICE AND THREE TIMES THE FAIR-TRADE PRICE.

African beaded necklaces

HERITAGE

A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT IS ALL OF OUR BIRTHRIGHT, BUT RIGHT NOW, IT IS UNDER THREAT WITH CORPORATIONS PUSHING INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE. WITH A RECOGNITION THAT WE WILL ONLY THRIVE IF THE EARTH DOES TOO, WE GROW OUR COCOA USING PRACTICES LIKE REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE AND OTHER TRADITIONAL FARMING TECHNIQUES TO PRESERVE THE LAND'S VITALITY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

CULTURE

CULTURE AND AGRICULTURE ARE INSEPARABLE. AS COMMUNITIES' TRADITIONAL GROWING PRACTICES ARE ERODED BY INDUSTRIAL PLAYERS, THE CULTURE BEGINS TO ERODE AS WELL. WE GROW IN WAYS THAT PRESERVE CULTURAL TRADITIONS, STRENGTHENING THE COMMUNITIES WE WORK WITH IN THE PROCESS.

Buffet

CONNECT THROUGH FOOD

WE KNOW THAT FOOD IS ONE OF OUR MOST POWERFUL CONNECTORS. WE SEE BANTU AS A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO CONNECT WITH THE ONES WHO GROW THEIR FOOD, TO LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES, AND TO BE PART OF BUILDING A FOOD SYSTEM THAT IS TRULY NOURISHING FOR EVERYONE. WE BELIEVE THIS FEELING OF CONNECTION IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL CATALYSTS FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE.

Happy African girls and women

CULTIVATE CULTURE

WE ENVISION CULTURAL SHIFTS OCCURRING AT MULTIPLE LEVELS THROUGH BANTU. ON ONE LEVEL, OUR SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR COMMUNITY IN CAMEROON WILL FACILITATE CULTURAL ENRICHMENT THROUGH PRESERVING TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURAL METHODS. BUT WE ALSO SEE BANTU AS PART OF A WIDER CULTURAL SHIFT IN THE INDUSTRY AWAY FROM THE EXPLOITATIVE PRACTICES OF THE PAST TOWARDS ONE WHERE EVERY PART OF THE SYSTEM—FROM THE PEOPLE TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT—ARE TRULY VALUED.

African farmer harvesting tea

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

WE TRULY BELIEVE THAT COMMUNITIES KNOW BEST HOW TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS THAT FACE THEM, AND THAT WHAT THEY NEED IS SUPPORT—NOT CHARITY. WE WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR VILLAGE IN CAMEROON TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, STRENGTHEN CHILDREN'S EDUCATION AND LITERACY, AND ENSURE THAT OUR COLLABORATORS ARE MAKING THREE TIMES THE FAIR TRADE PRICE TO BUILD EQUITABLE ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND GROWTH.

Jungle

THINKING SUSTAINABLY

IN 2016, WE STARTED OUR FARM IN CAMEROON ON LAND PASSED DOWN THROUGH GENERATIONS AND INHERITED BY MY MOTHER. WE NOT ONLY GROW COCOA BUT OPTED FOR A REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE APPROACH, PLANTING THOUSANDS OF TREES SUCH AS BANANAS, PLANTAINS, AVOCADO AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TREES TO ENHANCE BIODIVERSITY, AS WELL AS PROTECT AND NOURISH THE SOILS. THIS APPROACH OF LOOKING AT THE WHOLE SYSTEM—NOT JUST THE FINISHED PRODUCT— UNDERSCORES ALL OF OUR WORK.

CONNECT THROUGH FOOD

WE KNOW THAT FOOD IS ONE OF OUR MOST POWERFUL CONNECTORS. WE SEE BANTU AS A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO CONNECT WITH THE ONES WHO GROW THEIR FOOD, TO LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES, AND TO BE PART OF BUILDING A FOOD SYSTEM THAT IS TRULY NOURISHING FOR EVERYONE. WE BELIEVE THIS FEELING OF CONNECTION IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL CATALYSTS FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE.

Happy African girls and women

CULTIVATE CULTURE

WE ENVISION CULTURAL SHIFTS OCCURRING AT MULTIPLE LEVELS THROUGH BANTU. ON ONE LEVEL, OUR SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR COMMUNITY IN CAMEROON WILL FACILITATE CULTURAL ENRICHMENT THROUGH PRESERVING TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURAL METHODS. BUT WE ALSO SEE BANTU AS PART OF A WIDER CULTURAL SHIFT IN THE INDUSTRY AWAY FROM THE EXPLOITATIVE PRACTICES OF THE PAST TOWARDS ONE WHERE EVERY PART OF THE SYSTEM—FROM THE PEOPLE TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT—ARE TRULY VALUED.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

WE TRULY BELIEVE THAT COMMUNITIES KNOW BEST HOW TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS THAT FACE THEM, AND THAT WHAT THEY NEED IS SUPPORT—NOT CHARITY. WE WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR VILLAGE IN CAMEROON TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, STRENGTHEN CHILDREN'S EDUCATION AND LITERACY, AND ENSURE THAT OUR COLLABORATORS ARE MAKING THREE TIMES THE FAIR TRADE PRICE TO BUILD EQUITABLE ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND GROWTH.

THINKING SUSTAINABLY

IN 2016, WE STARTED OUR FARM IN CAMEROON ON LAND PASSED DOWN THROUGH GENERATIONS AND INHERITED BY MY MOTHER. WE NOT ONLY GROW COCOA BUT OPTED FOR A REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE APPROACH, PLANTING THOUSANDS OF TREES SUCH AS BANANAS, PLANTAINS, AVOCADO AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TREES TO ENHANCE BIODIVERSITY, AS WELL AS PROTECT AND NOURISH THE SOILS. THIS APPROACH OF LOOKING AT THE WHOLE SYSTEM—NOT JUST THE FINISHED PRODUCT— UNDERSCORES ALL OF OUR WORK.

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