Thursday, August 30 | Submitted by Bethany Parry
Today Shawn Askinosie, founder and chocolate maker at Askinosie Chocolate, is returning to the Philippines, where he will profit share with cocoa farmers and develop phase two of a lunch program at a local school.
Askinosie Chocolate practices Direct Trade, which means Shawn frequently travels to meet with farmers to share profits and pay higher than Fair Trade prices for beans. While in Davao, Shawn will profit share with the farmer group, share financial information in their native language and bring chocolate made with the farmer’s cocoa beans for them to taste.
Beyond meeting with cocoa farmers, Shawn will also be working with a local school, Malagos Elementary School, on further developing the lunch program that Askinosie Chocolate established in April 2011. Shawn asked the Malagos PTA to make a product called Tableya, a traditional Filippino hot chocolate drink, and Askinosie Chocolate bought the Tableya for $1 per unit and sold it for $10 per unit. All of the profit funded 185,000 lunches for the students, so the project is 100% sustainable; there are no donations. While in Davao, Shawn will see the lunch program in action and begin planning for phase two, which will involve sourcing the food locally in the Davao region.