The 36 cacao farmers from Pucallpillo and Santa Rosa wanted to change their way of working and living. They wanted to finally have a voice in the chocolate industry. That’s why they founded their own chocolate brand – Choba Choba. Now, after a little more than one year of it’s existence, three farmers, Oshoquin, Doriza and Felix, tell us here what has changed for them since …
Why did you decide to create Choba Choba – an international chocolate brand?
Hi, my name is Oswaldo, but everybody here calls me Oshoquin. I am a co-founder of Choba Choba as well as it’s “acopiador” – the expert in cacao fermentation and drying. We founded Choba Choba because we wanted to change our way of living and working: We finally wanted to have a voice and take our own decisions in our industry.
I like the dynamics of Choba Choba. And it finally allows me to offer my children a good future.
How has this decision changed your lives?
The difference couldn’t be bigger! We used to be considered as “simple” raw material suppliers, we were exploited. Today, we are entrepreneurs. We have a voice in the chocolate industry. We define the price for our product and are thus finally fairly remunerated for our hard work. And of course, entering in direct contact with our consumers now is also of great emotional importance to us!
The big change is also that we are now all united by one common big vision! I can identify myself a lot with my own company.
Me too. And apart from having also improved our income, we are now much better organized as a community and also work in a more equitable manner.
In the first year of Choba Chobas existence you have already organized and taken part in many workshops in the communities Pucallpillo and Santa Rosa. What could you learn there?
Yes, for such a young company, many workshops have already taken place and we have learned for example about chocolate tasting, ecotourism, fertilizing, grafting and much more. We have also had workshops on entrepreneurship and on the vision we have for our company. With Choba Choba we not only want to sell chocolates but we want to create social, cultural, environmental and economic impact.
What is your wish for Choba Choba’s future? How do you envision it?
I want Choba Choba to be a successful company and that all the co-founders are very actively involved in its development. I would also like to sell our chocolates here in Peru in future.
I hope that our business model is successful on a longterm basis and that it will significantly improve our livelihoods. Choba Choba with it’s innovative approach will become a role model for other small scale farmers and businesses. I also hope that in future we will have better means and techniques to care for and cultivate the endemic cacao varieties “nativos” from our Alto Huayabamba.