On Friday we had our most important meeting yet: deciding our target countries. Over the last few weeks we narrowed down our list of possible countries to four: Tanzania, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana. After considerable research each team presented persuasive arguments for why their country should be chosen.  In the end we narrowed it down to two, Liberia and Tanzania.

Because Liberia is currently in the process of recovering from 14 year long civil war, and is trying to bring back their economy by encouraging foreign investment in their agriculture, it was felt that taking our project there could make an important difference and help spread the word about Liberia’s regenerating economy. Also any difficulties that we might face in the process could lead to an exciting and unique story to accompany this project.

 We liked Tanzania because of the rare and high quality cocoa beans that are grown there.  Also there have been many movements in Tanzania to promote organic farming in all areas of their agriculture, including the cocoa industry.  Ghana is not off the list however, should Liberia and Tanzania prove too difficult to get beans from. Now it’s time for us to really get started.

The sourcing team is looking to order samples to make a test batch of chocolate, the business/logistics team is figuring out the best way to ship the beans to us, and the communications team is getting the word out about our project.

Things are really starting to get exciting as we get closer to our goal of producing Askinosie’s first African single origin chocolate bar!

Check out the recent article in the Springfield News-Leader:
Central, Drury Students get a taste of the chocolate business