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Recipe for sustainability When cocoa farmers meet chocolate makers

What happens when a group of cocoa farmers from Peru launch their own chocolate label but have never made chocolate before? They fly to Switzerland. (SRF,

Choba Choba, meaning “I help you, you help me” in the Andean language Quechua, is a Swiss co-founded initiative aimed at empowering cocoa farmers in Peru by turning them into entrepreneurs.

The company, based in Bern, was co-founded in October 2015 by the Swiss, Christoph Inauen, and Eric Garnier from France, along with 36 organic cacao farmers from the communities Pucallpillo and Santa Rosa in Peru’s Alto Huayabamba Valley.

At the end of November, Inauen accompanied three of the farmers to the Swiss chocolate factory, Felchlin, that produces the chocolate from their cocoa, and Swiss-sourced milk.

The trip to Switzerland is part of the training the farmers are receiving to help them make better business decisions now that they are shareholders in the company.