We have all undoubtedly felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the immediate and life-altering to the ongoing and subliminal. It’s been a year, that’s for certain.
One thing we are thankful for, however, is that TCHO has wonderful chocolate lovers - like yourself - who continue to support our business throughout all the disruptions, closures, and cancellations of 2020. Because of your support, you are actually helping TCHO provide COVID-19 relief funds to some of our cooperative partners at origin in Ghana, Ecuador, and Peru.
We were able to fund four producer-led proposals from our cooperative partners, for a total of $4,600, addressing the most urgent needs of their farmer members during the pandemic. Here’s what the funds are being used for:
ABOCFA Cooperative | Suhum, Eastern Region, Ghana
The ABOCFA cooperative in Ghana, while not directly impacted by the virus within its community, has experienced significant secondary effects such as periodic lockdowns, increased prices for food staples, kids home from closed boarding schools, and declining premium payments from their various cacao buyers as fine chocolate sales, begin to slow. ABOCFA’s greatest financial need was funding to complete a mechanized borehole water well system with electricity and an overhead tank in the Kokoano community. Access to water for drinking and sanitation is always an essential necessity, which was only exacerbated, and all the more important by COVID-19.
ACOPAGRO Cooperative | Juanjui, San Martin, Peru
Communities throughout Peru continue to face mandatory closures and restrictions aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19. Crops left unharvested, as well as rising prices and limited access to food, basic necessities, and sanitation supplies have been some secondary effects of these closures. The $1200 of relief funds sent to ACOPAGRO went towards purchasing soap, alcohol, masks, bleach, and other basic supplies for cacao farmers and their families in the communities of Pucacaca, Huingollacu, Tanger, and La Libertad.
Fortaleza del Valle Cooperative | Calceta, Manabi, Ecuador
Near the western Pacific coast of South America, the Ecuadorian cooperative, Fortaleza del Valle (meaning “The Strength of the Valley”), the greatest need of the cooperative has been for masks and cleaning materials for their post-harvest cacao collection centers. TCHO sent Fortaleza $1,200 to purchase masks and hand sanitizer for their members.
Oro Verde Cooperative | Lamas, San Martin, Peru
Another cooperative we work within the lush San Martin region of Peru, Oro Verde (meaning “Green Gold”), found food scarcity among their farmer members was the greatest issue. TCHO sent Oro Verde $1200, which they used to purchase food necessities for their farmer members in need. Each bag of food weighs about 37 lbs and includes: rice, sugar, noodles, tuna, milk, oil, and canned stew.
Having close relationships with cooperative partners we trust and have worked with for years allows us to maximize our donations and their impact during this trying time. We are proud to donate directly to farmer organizations who are on the front lines serving their farmer members and to ease some of their greatest needs.
As shelter-in-place stretches on here in the United States, it’s easy to ignore the impact the coronavirus is having on the global economy. At TCHO, we are honored to have amazing fans that continue to buy our chocolate during this pandemic, which allows us to support the very cacao farmers all around the world who make it all possible. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.