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Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective
The Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective is a cooperative of Black cocoa farmers and chocolate makers in 13 countries from Africa to the Caribbean to the US. Their goal is to decolonize the chocolate industry.
They formed to teach each other processing methods, market together, and share equipment in order to keep profits in the Black communities where they originated and break the hold that European and US chocolate multinationals have over small cocoa farmers.
At the start of 2022, just a few months into the Cross-Atlantic Chocolate Collective's membership meetings, Collective Diaspora was able to help bring Cross Atlantic's co-founder and convener, Gillian Goddard, to the US to participate in a March 2022 convening of Black cooperatives organized by the Baltimore-based Network for Developing Conscious Communities.
During that trip Gillian recruited US-based Black cooperators eager to learn the art of making chocolate into the Collective and made presentations before Equal Exchange, the US-based worker-owned distributor of fair trade chocolate and other products.
We made it a point to help amplify their work beyond Gillian's trip by featuring the Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective as the first Black co-op to be featured on our inaugural Black Co-ops for Change webinar series profiling Black cooperatives.
And of course we made sure to shine a light on them on social media in the months before and after. Those efforts helped fuel the buzz that led to more meetings with Equal Exchange, resulting in the Collective's first large order - for 18,000 beautifully packaged chocolate bars for sale on Equal Exchange's platform - all processed, packaged, and delivered by a Black cooperative with products from Malawi, St Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad, Nigeria, and Ghana. You can order Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective's beautiful chocolate box set from the Equal Exchange platform here