Our team worked on a cocoa sustainability project for Kultasuklaa Oy. The results were presented at the Arctic Choco Conference.
Cocoa sustainability from different points of view
The cocoa projects were carried out by three teams, and the topics given were social sustainability issues, economic sustainability issues and utilization of cocoa side streams for local biogas and biochar production. Our team selected economic sustainability issues.
Our team consisted of six Finnish students, two exchange students from Spain, and eventually, a few students from Ghana. Getting started in this project work was quite difficult, but after a long period of brainstorming, we finally started writing the report and agreed on the goal of the project.
Fertilizer from cocoa pod husks
In our report, we discuss common problems related to cocoa production, such as human rights and climate problems, as well as cocoa economy and certificates. We also investigated what and how cocoa side streams can be utilized. We chose one side stream to focus more precisely on, around which we came up with a business plan. We chose Cocoa Pod Husk fertilization as our topic.
Based on background studies, we believe that using CPH in fertilizers would help in the production of cocoa and other plants or fruits. CPH contains a lot of nutrients and minerals that would enrich the soil. Our business plans focused especially on the southwestern parts of Ghana, where farmers generally use fertilizers less than others. In the report, we considered that farmers should jointly set up a cooperative and produce CPH fertilizer together. Each farmer would be allowed to use the necessary amount of fertilizer produced, and the surplus could be sold outside the cooperative.
Presenting our results at the Arctic Cocoa Conference
We presented a slideshow based on the report at the Arctic Cocoa Conference on October 13, 2021. We also prepared a scientific poster, which was presented along with the slideshow. In addition to ours, two other teams presented their project results at the conference. Other speakers at the conference included Juri Kaskela, CEO of Kultasuklaa, and professors and cocoa experts from Ghana and Finland.
After the speeches and presentations, the participants were divided into Zoom breakout rooms to consider a case issued in smaller groups. In the case, a person wanted to set up a chocolate manufacturing plant in Ghana, and he wanted the company to follow fair trade guidelines. Us students were given the question of what should this person take into consideration to ensure achieving his vision? Each group had 20 minutes to discuss the case. After that, team leaders or some other spokesperson introduced the ideas of the group to everyone. Jenna Kankaanpää from CrazyTown Hämeenlinna also asked a few questions from each student group concerning their topics. After the conference, Kultasuklaa gave us a little taste of the chocolate they make.
Doing such a project was new to all of us in this team, but together we got through this, and we have a comprehensive report which hopefully will help to develop the economic situation of cocoa farmers. Thank you to everyone involved in the project and those who helped us.
Have a nice autumn everyone!
Janni Metsämuuronen, Tuomas Haavisto & Eemil Kiiskinen, Team 2