Going Beyond Fair Trade: A Partnership
Jouvay Chocolate is a partnership between the cocoa farmers of Grenada (represented by the Grenada Cocoa Association--the island's cooperative of cocoa growers) and the Burdick Family of Walpole, NH.
As majority owners of Jouvay Chocolate, Grenada’s cocoa farmers are able to reap the benefits of their hard work by benefitting from the value-added process of chocolate making.
The fact is, unless you’re producing on a very large scale, there is only so much money you can make selling cocoa beans. Younger Grenadians, seeing little future in cocoa farming, have been leaving farms, moving to Grenada’s few cities or emigrating in search of better opportunities.
Even some older farmers have been tempted to give up on farming and sell their land to developers, especially after Hurricane Ivan decimated Grenada’s cocoa farms in 2004.
In response to this problem, members of the GCA decided to go beyond growing cocoa.
Enter Larry and Paula Burdick, who have been in the chocolate bon bon business since 1987.
From their very first visit to Grenada, Larry and Paula were enchanted by the unspoiled beauty of the island and the graciousness of its people. After meeting with cocoa farmers and touring their farms, they came to share their concern about the future of cocoa farming in Grenada, which is known for having some of the world’s highest quality cocoa. They agreed that cocoa farmers deserved a larger share of the profits generated by international cocoa sales.
They welcomed the opportunity to join with Grenada’s cocoa growers to Jouvay, Grenada’s first large-scale, farmer-owned chocolate company.
Making cocoa farming more profitable is good for everyone in Grenada, not just the farmers themselves. Tourism is the largest industry in Grenada, and international visitors are attracted to the island precisely because it is still unspoiled. As stewards of the rich tropical forests where cocoa trees grow, Grenadian farmers help conserve this valuable natural resource and protect the island from overdevelopment.