With its creamy smoothness and its mood boosting properties, chocolate has cemented its reputation as a favourite sweet treat. But while these delicious morsels might spark joy, conscious consumers have learned that not all chocolate is made equally.
In fact, some of the industry’s practices are seriously concerning. In 2019, Reuters reported that most global chocolate companies were not complying with agreements to cease use of child labour in their supply chain. In addition, most cocoa families live below the poverty line of $2 a day according to the charity International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).
Thankfully, there are companies close to home who have prioritised sourcing cocoa ethically. Not only this, their brands align with movements that are aimed at bettering the world. South African company Nova chocolate produces artisanal, sugar-free, gluten free and vegan chocolate products. Beyond the health benefits of their products, Nova’s collaboration with Goodbye Malaria makes every bite even more special.
Goodbye Malaria has been working for years to make malaria prevention possible for millions living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Goodbye Malaria believes that everyone is deserving of care, and that through protecting lives, they are helping to change the world. And through their collaboration with Nova Chocolate, they are able to reach everyday people who will be making a difference simply by purchasing a chocolate bar.
Nova is an ethical and socially responsible company, and they have ensured that their supplier of chocolate has UTZ certification. The UTZ certification programme was established in 2002 with the intention of bringing certification to the global market and to spread the impact of sustainable farming practices world wide with regards to the growing of coffee and cocoa beans (as well as tea and hazelnuts). In addition to promoting better and more sustainable farming methods, adapting to climate change and protecting the environment, the various stakeholders are also tasked with tackling the issues of implementing better working conditions and the eradication of child and forced labour.
When asked what inspired the collaboration between the two entities, Co-Founder of Goodbye Malaria, Kim Lazarus, had this to say: “Nova is a locally produced product – made with high quality ingredients, producing a world-class product.Malaria elimination is multifaceted and can be solved using many creative solutions – tackling a disease on the one hand requires cutting edge science, but on the other, it requires innovative financing mechanisms such as our range of products with purpose – that can also taste good and look good.”
For centuries, Africa has also borne the hardships emanating from the unethical sourcing of raw materials by first world countries.
This makes this uniquely African solution even more significant. This solution is for Africa, by Africans.
And although the battle against malaria has been fought for many decades, there are still huge strides to be made to fully eliminate its harms. It’s smart collaborations like the one between Goodbye Malaria and Nova Chocolate that really help raise public awareness, and make paying it forward simple and easy. By encouraging people to purchase these chocolates with a purpose, it raises awareness and funds, and opens up the door to more supporters behind malaria prevention.
Lazarus says that “it is through these types of catalytic collaborations and partnerships that we can change the world”.
Another big focus for this partnership is to highlight women as the often unsung heroes of the fight against malaria . In Sub-Saharan Africa, women make up over 70% of healthcare workers who assist in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria. They wanted to salute these women through the design of the chocolate and its packaging.
“Goodbye Malaria tells its story through the beautiful graphics cleverly incorporating the malaria pathogen into the headwraps on the dark chocolate variants, and our values sprayed and splashed into the graffiti artwork on the milk chocolate flavours”, says Lazarus. “The colourful, eye-catching artworks pay tribute to all African women – showing the diversity of their beauty, and tradition in a modern and contemporary style. The inside cut out foil mirror is one of our ’surprise and delight’ moments, allowing the consumer to see themselves in the mirror and say ‘be the change, it starts with you. Looking good and doing good.”
In the same way public private partnerships have the powerful ability to solve many issues facing us today as we have seen with COVID-19, so too can local entrepreneurs collaborate together for the purpose of the greater good, because we’re in this together.
Heidi Kerwan, Financial Director of Nova Chocolate, shares similar views to Lazarus: “At Nova, we are committed to implementing and enforcing global best practices with regards to the sourcing of our ingredients and our labour practices.
As an ethical company, we believe in making the world a better place for all and do what we can to play our part. Hence, our partnership with Goodbye Malaria and the amazing work done by them.”