I have been a chocolate lover as long as I can remember. So, in 2009, when I heard about the extensive bonded labor and child trafficking taking place in the chocolate industry (See Oxfam “Behind the Brands” or The Harkin–Engel Protocol for more information), God moved on my heart and I knew this would be part of my future. In 2013, I took the leap and left my full-time job to pursue the “Cocoa Future.”
When I set out on this journey, my main prayer to the Lord was to show me ways the farmers could be more involved in the creation of end-consumer products to earn more income. But, the Lord [in effect] said to me, “Kim, it’s not enough for you to give them more income. Give them life, fullness of life in Me.” Many cocoa farming communities are either unreached or have severely limited access to the Gospel. Not only that, but their challenges are immense: deficient education, unproductive land, lack of market access and employment, limited healthcare, inadequate infrastructure… No one business or organization can solve all these problems, but God can if we follow His lead.
By His inspiration, I’m currently pursuing the development of what I believe to be an easier process for producing whole, shelled cocoa beans in farming communities. The potential benefits are numerous: not only to farmers and their families, but also to the broader industry in terms of shipping and processing efficiencies. I’m currently trying to assess the market size and potential applications for this product. While I do so, I’m also focusing efforts on building a viable and replicable farm-direct supply chain with consistent, great-tasting whole, shelled cocoa beans.
When I began the journey, the Lord told me He wants a 100-fold return on any investments. I have no idea how that will happen, but I trust that if He asked, He will show us how to do it and have been tracking every donation in faith with expectation. As with any start-up business (and especially social purpose companies), there are start-up expenses long before there are profits. Friends and family have generously supported me with over $28,000 in donations for travel, business and living expenses so far (which means $2.8 million in returns for farmers and their communities should be forth coming!). If you’d like to join us in giving fullness of life to cocoa farmers and their communities, please sign-up for our monthly prayer mailing list by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also donate here!