Sunday, October 29, 2006

ChocoSol article

It's evening and I usually write in the morning. I tried but I had a mercury retrograde moment when the computer crashed in the middle of me uploading pics.. I was just going to show a whole bunch of crazy pics.. but it wasn't meant to be. . maybe that's a good thing ; )

so I decided to leave it for today. But just now I was websurfing looking up something my Mom was talking about and I found an article written about Michael & Graham - my ChocoSol friends. Its about a World Affairs Colloquium they were leading at Trent University entitled “What is Global Citizenship Anyways? Zapatistas, Mayan Wisdom, and the Chocolate Revolutionary CafĂ©.”

“For us this is not a mere business or social enterprise,” said Michael Sacco. “It is a lifestyle and life choice. It is a calling and, at the same time, an experiment. We call it the ChocoSol project, but more than anything it is about the relationships and work that we have with a group of friends that stretch between Chiapas and Ontario, and then all throughout cyberspace as far as India and Brazil. We are not entrepreneurs, we are antrepreneurs and our definition of sustainability is one much different from what that term usually refers to.”

Michael Sacco is a Ph.D. student affiliated with Universadad de la Tierra in Oaxaco, Mexico. He received his Master’s degree from York University in Environmental Sciences. His academic interests range from post-development studies to civil society movements to alternative energy. Mr. Sacco has been mentored by Gustavo Esteva and his practical experience has taken him to Oaxaca and Chiapas where, together with the indigenous community, he and his project partner, Mr. Corbett, have designed and built solar roasters now used by local cacao producers.
Graham Corbett is a graduate from the University of Guelph, and his research has taken him from Inuit communities in the Arctic to the jungles of Chiapas.

The concept of horizontal trade is a unique business model and outside of the normal NGO structures in Canada. ChocoSol recently shipped three tonnes of cacao, coffee, and vanilla to Toronto. They sell at farmers' markets and to small businesses that are interested in the stories behind the healthy products. Mr. Sacco and Mr. Corbett know the producers of the products, having lived with the families and worked along-side them in the harvesting, fermenting and roasting of the products. ChocoSol’s healthy products are used to create dialogue to promote interculturality and radical pluralism, especially between Southern Mexico and Southern Ontario.'

from the Trent University website -

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