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We are not going to show the world that Congo is only war

A sweet fragrance rises from the aluminum pots. Two members of staff of Cocoa Congo stirring the sticky porridge over the fire, so that nothing burns. You giggle, looking a little embarrassed. You don't believe it yourself yet, that you connect to real chocolate. Ironically, in Goma, in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Adele Gwet and her husband Matthew Chambers founded the first chocolate production in the country.

The Congo is known for violence and corruption, Ebola and poverty. Business representatives describe the huge country in the heart of Africa as a "Playground for adventurous investors", really only suitable for "Africa experts".

Correct mixture looking for

the Latter applies to Gwet. The 34-year-old financial expert, grew up in Cameroon and has studied in Kenya business. Now, it sits a little hard on your Desk, is stylish crafted from wood residues. The last three months were hard. Gwet had little idea of chocolate. She read recipes on the Internet, got tips from fellow Chocolatiers. They roasted the cocoa beans in the pan, looked for the right mix of milk powder, sugar, and base.

Meanwhile, the company has produced a few Hundred bars of chocolate and 250 kgs of cocoa mass of the chocolate makers in Kenya, Canada and the USA supplied. Is produced at home with the Boss, in the kitchen in the annexe. In the first quarter of 2019 Cocoa Congo 20'000 sheets per month to produce. A canadian supermarket wants to take the chocolate in its product range. A European retail chain is planning to place you in their shops, in East Africa. Moreover, client can chocolate buy online, also in Switzerland.

customers should be able to buy the chocolate online, also in Switzerland.

Whether the Congolese Liquid can compete with the products of Western Chocolatiers? After all, the traditional manufacturers filing for over 100 years at the taste, and the palate of customers in Europe and America are spoiled. Whether such a doubt Chambers is energetic. The Americans invested, with the support of the British development Ministry, the equivalent of 250'000 Swiss francs in Cocoa Congo. "We are not only exporting a raw material, as is often the case in Africa. We add value and impart Knowledge," he says. The company paid according to the Chambers 20 percent more cocoa beans than usual. The majority of the suppliers are farmers. You would be trained so that they respect environmental and social standards.

supplies as a matter of luck

Six of the ten employees in the case of Cocoa Congo are also women. In the longer term, Chambers wants to reserve 15 per cent of the shares in the company for the best employees. Social commitment and the promotion of women in a notorious crisis area, the would have to convince the customer, the 40-year-old Investor.

chatters While he advertises for his concern, in the dusty courtyard of the Generator. Due to constant power outages Cocoa Congo refrained, initially, largely on machines. Women toast, grind and cook the cocoa by Hand. Only for the last melt of the chocolate you use an electric heat controller. He determines whether the table is hard or soft.

Sometimes the women have to wait for the cocoa to arrive beans. Passenger buses will take the bags out of the 300 kilometers away in Beni. The buses need. a forest, where militias murder, and plunder, The slopes lead through scree, mud and potholes. It's luck thing, whether the delivery comes through.

Cocoa Congo paid 20 percent more for cocoa beans than usual.

Gwet and Chambers have been living for five years with the dangers in the Congo. A personal Mission is what motivates them. "We are not going to show the world that Congo is only war," says the Economist and anthropologist Chambers. First of all, he wanted to export Gold, which is mined under socially and environmentally acceptable conditions. Because it was more difficult than expected to find enough of such Gold, he founded the chocolate company. "Many mining Yes commodities only under adverse circumstances, because the cocoa and coffee plants are rotting while the outbreaks of violence," says Chambers.

The international cocoa organization leads the Congo under "other countries in Africa," in the statistics. These provide a total of 128000 tonnes of beans per year. The market leader of the ivory coast brings it to 2 million tons. Other countries, such as Cameroon or Nigeria produce around 250,000 tonnes.

The artifice

To enter the Western market Gwet thought to something Special: Local artist paint pictures on einrobustes paper, in this the employees packaging the chocolate. The company shall, a guide on how to the picture frame. "The chocolate is eaten, but the picture reminded permanently to denKongo," explains Gwet. Want to be called: customers pay not only for chocolate but also for the good Conscience. DiePackung with three art panels to 50 grams will cost 20 francs.

The activist Silvie Chishungu Zawadi like the Initiative of Cocoa Congo. It holds any promotion of women is a good thing, "because the society as a whole benefits". Also, the chocolate could improve the bad reputation of your home country. But interferes with Zawadi that all the goods will be exported. Cocoa Congo to supply the domestic market at an affordable price.

When someone from the Congo, travels to Europe, to urge friends and family, not let you come back without chocolate. "Maybe you should bring soon the panels made in Goma from Europe", says Zawadi. "That would be a joke."

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 16.12.2018, 19:54 PM

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