Koa, a Swiss-Ghanaian brand of Cocoa fruit juice, is the first company of its kind to become B Corp certified. The company was founded five years ago and recently received a B Corp certification score of 95.7, reflecting its brand of social responsibility and innovation in the Cocoa sector.
You can read a detailed evaluation of Koa’s sustainability approach in the recent series by Kwame Kwateng here on Bartalks.
The minimum requirement for B Corp certification is a score of 80 points in the B Impact Assessment, which is repeated every three years.
Nowadays, measuring the success of a company needs to go beyond pure financial performance. Since our inception, we measure our success on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.Benjamin Kushnik, Co-Founder and Group Finance Director, Koa
Being B Corp certified, we join a community of businesses around the world leading the transformation of the global economic system and we hope that many of our peers will follow our example.
There are currently around 6,000 certified B Corporations spanning 158 industries and 86 countries. This number is growing and includes companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Innocent Drinks and Valrhona.
This is not only a win for Koa, but a win for the B Corp movement. The recognition marks Koa’s continued investment in tackling poverty in the cocoa supply chain and strengthening rural communities through job creation.Lucy Muigai, CEO, African B Lab certifying Koa
Koa joining the B Corp community signals a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in the cocoa sector.
A holistic assessment of Koa’s impact looked at workers, community and suppliers, customers, governance and the environment to ensure that the company’s high international standards of accountability, transparency and overall social and environmental performance were met.
Founded in 2017, Koa engages in the upcycling of Cocoa fruit to add value to what would normally be discarded Cocoa pulp, previously considered a waste product. This not only reduces food waste on farms but also creates unique opportunities for Cocoa-farming communities to earn additional income.
Koa has stated that they are actively training their staff to prepare them for an international work environment and that they will strive to include more women and minorities in their leadership team, as diversity is crucial to the company.
However, the start-up still has many hurdles to overcome, including the problem of high transaction fees deducted from mobile payments meant for farmers.