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How it all began - The story behind Choba Choba

When Eric and Christoph first meet, they are still in their twenties, both having worked for a few years in the chocolate industry and driven by a fierce desire to change the world. Their respective roles, halfway between sourcing and sustainability, give them the immense opportunity to work on the ground, hand in hand with agricultural cooperatives, multiplying inspiring encounters with cacao producers. 

In 2008, they discover the Huayabamba Valley and its farming communities, from which they source organic and fair-trade cacao. Quickly, the business relationship transforms into a personal one, and the two friends no longer visit the region solely for professional reasons. The bonds formed with the communities of Pucallpillo and Santa Rosa are bonds of deep friendship. It is in this friendship and shared trust that Choba Choba draws its origins. 

In 2013, during a mild summer evening in Huayabamba, discussions are particularly lively. Beer and local cane alcohol (rum) play a role, but it is primarily the question of the real impact of the fairtrade system that sparks intense conversations. Oswaldo speaks up and settles the debate with Eric and Christoph: "Let's be honest. Look around you. Certifications, sustainability programs, so-called fair prices... But what has really changed for us? We remain the last link in the chain and pick up the crumbs." It's a wake-up call. It's not a revelation for the two friends who have long harbored growing criticisms of a system that fundamentally does not challenge the rules of an unjust game. But Oswaldo's words act as a catalyst, and it's the turning point. 

A hastily drawn-up list on a corner of the table details what doesn't work: prices that are too low, not allowing for a dignified living and discouraging the production of quality cacao, nonexistent bargaining power, most of the added value escaping farmers, the total disconnect between cacao producers and chocolate enthusiasts. Since the system doesn't work, it's up to them to create a new one. Oswaldo, Cristhian, Doriza, Lindley, Pasiona, Francisco, Oshoquin, a total of 36 cacao-producing families, will then work hand in hand with Christoph and Eric to create a unique chocolate company that would address these issues while emphasizing exceptional quality. 

Two years later, in November 2015, with the financial support of an international community of engaged consumers, Choba Choba comes to life: the first Swiss chocolate brand whose cacao producers are co-owners. The agricultural cooperative in Peru is the company's first shareholder, farmers sit on the board of directors, and cacao prices are set by the farmers themselves every year. In 2020 and 2021, we invited our community of chocolate enthusiasts to join us as shareholders through two collaborative fundraising campaigns. Choba Choba AG thus became the first chocolate company owned by a global community of farmers and consumers, further solidifying the connection we embody between two distant but interdependent worlds: cacao production and chocolate consumption. 

In 2024, Choba Choba entered its 9th year. 9 years of passion and determination, in Peru as well as in Switzerland, to offer you exceptional chocolates and a unique, meaningful experience. 9 years of hard work to develop a virtuous and positive model. But as you may have understood, in 2024, we also celebrate 16 years of friendships, and we rejoice every day to see the community that you all are a part of continue to grow. 



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