Last Friday, Cocoa Honors was visited by Doug Pitt, an experienced travler in Africa and an avid Askinosie Chocolate supporter. As we attempt to select cocoa beans from various African countries, Pitt’s visit was of great assistance.
Pitt runs an enterprise called “Maji-Tech,” a company that brings clean water to communities in Tanzania and Kenya by drilling deep-water wells. Pitt is very familiar with the infrastructure, life and culture of Tanzania, a country of great interest to the Cocoa Honors Team. Being one of our top two choices (the other being Liberia), any access into Tanzania would yield a smoother business transaction in the cocoa industry.
Pitt addressed two of our concerns: shipping and child labor. We’ve recently run into a bump in the road concerning shipping, as we need to ship several metric tons of cocoa beans out of our chosen country. If we do decide that Tanzania is “a winner,” in the words of Pitt, we would need to secure fast and cheap shipping. Pitt guaranteed access by saying, “I can promise you, you’ll have access to shipping.”
With child labor as concern in Africa, Cocoa Honors requires that any beans purchased are guaranteed to be produced by adults, not children. While Pitt admitted there was truth in our worry, he was confident we could find a good source in Tanzania.
Perhaps the highlight of our meeting surrounded the fact that Pitt recently received the honor of meeting Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. In conversation, chocolate arose, and Pitt mentioned the Cocoa Honor initiative!
In conclusion, this meeting was featured in Springfield’s News-Leader. A link to the article is posted below.