During the colonial period, European powers forced many of their African colonies to produce what are called “dessert crops”. They are so named because these are not staple foods such as grains or vegetables. Since they aren't needed; but are instead used for pleasure the Europeans could better control the price paid. After all, Africans needed to sell the coffee or cocoa much more than the Europeans needed it to drink or eat. This began a system of dependence on global desire for dessert foods such as coffee, tea or chocolate in order for African farmers to feed their families.
In many parts of Africa, as well as elsewhere in the world, slaves still pick cocoa or coffee. African children as young as 6 years old are used as forced labor to pick cocoa beans which are then sold to large companies in Europe and the United States. For us at Mama Afrika, this is simply unacceptable.
Until very recently, there have been virtually no production plants for items like chocolate in Africa. Therefore, those who picked cocoa in the hot sun of Ghana or the Ivory Coast had rarely ever tasted a chocolate bar. They picked the cocoa beans for the enjoyment of children thousands of miles away.
It is for all of these reasons and more that we carry fair trade and organic chocolates, teas and coffees. You can enjoy that cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa with the knowledge that:
- NO slave or forced labor is involved
- The farmers are members of African farming cooperatives
- Local development projects are funded by the sale of our chocolates, teas and coffees
- Some of our products are also organic
- We purchase from Africa’s first ever chocolate production operation; where everything is done by African hands in Ghana. So, our chocolates don’t just help the farmer’s; but provide hundreds of jobs in production and packaging as well. Our 100% African cocoa is well “beyond fair trade”.
Africa never tasted so sweet!