GoodSam Foods, a healthy snack brand based in Connecticut, has teamed up with Colombian chocolate makers Luker Chocolate to launch their latest initiative, Building Networks. The initiative aims to improve educational programmes in Colombian Cocoa communities, bringing together and providing educational resources for youths while teaching them to use “social media for good”.
In GoodSam’s own words, they believe in “food that’s good for you, good for farmers, and good for the plane”. This statement underlines the brand’s commitment to sustainable and ethical farming practices and is the motivation behind the launch of the new programme.
One of the challenges that the Cocoa industry is facing is fair compensation for Cocoa farmers, who are frequently underpaid and are living in poverty despite their critical role in the value chain. In order to improve the situation for Cocoa farming communities, some groups have begun setting up initiatives with the aim of educating Cocoa farmers on the best farming practices.
The belief is that educating and training farmers could help them to generate more income from their commodities, either through higher or better quality yields or by introducing more applications for their Cocoa (for example, making use of waste products). GoodSam and Luker are taking a slightly different approach, however, by focusing on social media and digital solutions to drive value for the farmers.
Everything we do at GoodSam is in the spirit of giving back to people and helping the community. Build Networks was created as a means to help create digital and educational equity in real communities where our farmers live and work.Heather K Terry, CEO, GoodSam
GoodSam also commits to significantly upgrading three Colombian schools by the end of 2022. As a result of these upgrades, young children will have the opportunity to learn about farming and the environment, as well as strengthen their digital proficiency.
Our mission has always been the growth of communities and helping them flourish. The deep relationships we foster with our farmers empower us to give back directly to communities and create farmer-driven initiatives with full visibility of where our resources are going. We are passionate about our work in continuing to decolonize the system and Building Networks is another step towards our end goalHeather K Terry, CEO, GoodSam
In addition, GoodSam will conduct training sessions with a focus on facilitating technical solutions in some of Colombia’s more rural areas. The goal of the programme is ultimately to educate and prepare youths in GoodSam’s farming areas to become leaders and champions for the development of Colombian Cocoa in their local community.
Starting the Building Networks program with GoodSam has further cemented our joint partnership and alliance. The GoodSam team has an abundance of international experience in social networks to leverage in order to help these rural communities.Julia Ocampo, Director of Sustainability, Luker Chocolate.