FairAfric is a Ghanaian – German chocolate-producing social enterprise that has repositioned the value chain of chocolate production back into the local economy by processing the cocoa directly in the country. This generates five times higher incomes for producers, in comparison to sourcing and exporting cocoa alone. The organic and Fairtrade-certified chocolate is produced entirely in Ghana, and then sold to the internal and export markets. The cocoa producers also become co-owners of the company through a trust arrangement.
High-end German chocolate maker Ludwig Weinrich is supporting the construction of the new production site, which is being built in Suhum, north of Ghanaian capital Accra, in order to enable an expansion in production capacity from current 1,500 chocolate bars to 100,000 bars per day. This will directly create 85 new ‘green’ jobs and indirectly add USD 1 million to the region’s GDP. Indirect job creation is 2.8 jobs per direct job in the chocolate industry. Workers and farmers in this program receive above average salaries and payments enabling them and their families to access education and health services. This is key to increase the supply of decent, specialized green jobs away from mining and oil, which are the backbone of the Ghanaian economy.
FairAfric has been carbon neutral for the past two years. In order to retain the highest level of sustainability as production capacity is increased, the new factory will be supplied with solar power from a 266 kWp (kilowatt peak) photovoltaic installation, comprising of 578 solar panels and 5 inverters. In this way electricity costs are reduced, and 3,654 tons of CO2 emissions are avoided over the lifetime of the installation, or 182,7 tons CO2 annually.
The financing for this project is done through ecoligo investments, which offers fully financed solar-as-a-service solutions for companies. With a complete digital platform for fundraising and for development, ecoligo overcomes the typical barriers preventing this type of projects, such as lack of financing. As part of the package it offers companies low-cost solar energy and energy efficiency measures that enable them to grow and therefore strengthen the local economy. The business model entails a leasing contract for 3 years, based on fixed payments rather than payments dependent on energy generated, with a performance guarantee (from the operator ecoligo). After three years, Fairafric can buy the installation for a predetermined price.
This case study was written by Marta Simonetti, Founder and Managing Director of Globalfields. Visit Marta's bio or contact us today to discuss this project.