Recently I have been staying in Amsterdam for a while. On my walk through the Jordaan, my favorite neighborhood, I happened to stumble upon a chocolatier called Chocolatl. After going in and tasting several of his chocolates we started talking about fair trade chocolates. He had several in store and explained how some chocolate labels gave the fairtrade price for labor. Some focussed more on the ecological side of production while others tried to increase living conditions. One special bar was brought by a sailing ship from the Americas. The bar made by Chocolate Makers was produced and sailed by a group of students who tried to imitate the voyages chocolate made in the 16th and 17th centuries.
My most favorite chocolate was from the Davao region in the Philippines, from the brand Askinasie Chocolate. It was a single source chocolate bar of about 9 euro's (quite the price). The chocolatier explained that the high prices were due to the higher wages given to the farmers, which was much higher than the normal fair trade wages. Askinasie Chocolate is a company started by a previous lawyer who had a combined interest in fair trade and chocolate.
This chocolate bar inspired me very much. Frist of all, it struck me that it came from the Philippines the country of my recent visit, and a place I look back to in admiration. But the founding story is as inspiring; a lawyer creating this amazing company.
I have been thinking about this for quite some time now, and I have come up with my own plan which I want to start once I finish my studies. I want to create a company that sells fair trade products for low prices and average to low quality. I believe that fair trade is sometimes too pricey to be of interest to the average consumer. This priceyness is not necessarily due to the wages given to the farmers, but due to the high sophistication and luxury of the product. I believe that by supplying products of average quality, instead of luxurious quality, can allure more to the average consumer and help them integrating the habit of buying fairtrade products much easier.