In January 2018, our founder acted as Consultant for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the International Green Week (IGW) to introduce sustainable value chains in the cocoa sector. Through this work he was struck once again by the wasteful handling of the cocoa fruit. In fact, only 20% of this valuable fruit is used industrially. And this, despite the fact that the cocoa fruit offers much more than the beans, the basic ingredient for the chocolate. Not for nothing the Aztecs called this fruit "food of the gods". To contribute to putting an end to this wasteful handling of the cacao fruit, he founded the brand kōkōjoo. kōkōjoo is a combination of the phonetic script of the English word cocoa - [kōkō] and the French term for joy: joie. It illustrates our philosophy of using the complete cocoa pod, including its "waste products". In January 2019, our first product, Pelure de Cacao, was launched at the IGW on the floor of the BMZ.
Throughout his professional life, our founder has become certain that respect for and the realization of human rights, and human development in particular, through economic development are the key factors in building non-violent societies. This can be possible, above all, through the local value added of raw materials in Africa. That is why he works with the brand to partly produce locally in West Africa. In this context, we dispense with long distances and middlemen and work with partner farmers who have been selected according to strict sustainability and quality criteria. In this way, we make a small contribution to fostering sustainable development. Despite all sorts of difficulties, it was for our founder a personal matter of principle to take this step. Because what really counts is the following: "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me" Steve Jobs.
Creation of innovative products and production processes for consumers and raw material producers
Our Mission consistes in the following:
The complete processing of the cocoa fruit to introduce new innovative products to consumer markets. In this process, we rely on a partial relocation of the production chain to the countries of origin of our raw materials. Because one thing is clear: there can be no development without contributing to local added value. We are convinced that this strategy will have a more sustainable impact on the ground than for example donations. We act true to the motto: Trade not Aid. The project kokojoo started with partner plantations in Ivory Coast. However, we work to implement our innovative concept in other African as well as Latin American countries.
Within the framework of our comprehensive approach of using the whole cocoa fruit, we also work in Europe with selected chocolate producer, to collect and use their “waste”. Apart from filling our specific sustainability criteria, the partner chocolatier in Europe should provide proof of traceability of their used cocoa beans back to the farmers in Africa (and later in Latin American and Asia).
Especially in the case where we use “waste products” from European chocolate producers, we make sure that cocoa farmers get a slice of the cake of the “value added” created with their cocoa. Starting in February 2020 (End of the founding process of the moa-foundation), from every sold product made out of the “cocoa-waste product” based on the creation of value added in Europe, 0.5% of the revenue will go to the moa foundation and will be used for the financial, technical and ideation all support of cocoa farmers. In doing so, we contribute to making the cocoa world a better place for everyone involved.
the moa-foundation works to boost innovations made of Africa. The Mission of the moa foundation is also the financial, ideational and technical support of African innovation following the ground principles of our moa-concept
Our Philosophy: Back to the Roots
We act according to this motto in two ways.
Did you know that the Aztecs called the cocoa fruit the food of the gods because the whole fruit is full of nutrients?
Did you know that the biggest cocoa-growing countries for cocoa are in Africa?
And that the farmers in these countries also recognize the nutritional values of this fruit and therefore, for example, pour the shell as a hot tea drink and serve the pulp as juice or even as an alcoholic drink on certain occasions? It is these two ways of handling the cocoa fruit that inspired us when founding kōkōjoo to act against the wasteful industrial handling of the cocoa fruit.
Therefore, our Food & Beverage products can be considered revitalizing on the one hand. We make sure that they are low in calories and that the positive nutrients of the cocoa fruit are preserved or even emphasized. On the other hand, our kōkōjoo’ s products demonstrate Africa's potential. Because one thing is clear: The African continent is not only rich in mineral resources, but also rich in natural raw resources and people developing solutions-oriented and scalable products. With our dynamic cocoa brand kōkōjoo, we make it clear that products with African touch do not have to hide, neither in terms of quality nor sustainability in the African market and also on international markets. On the contrary, being radically sustainable - transparent and win-win-based, we want to show the potential of Africa. We make this clear by using the moa label. For more information about the moa label and the concept, please read more here.
To combine the Aztecs way to handle the cocoa fruit with the African touch of our brand kōkōjoo and emphasize these two points was a matter of the heart. Therefore, we drew inspiration from the West African design Bogolan to create a visual language specific to the brand kōkōjoo: The kokojooglyphe. Our symbols, which viewed together are unique in their genre, show the process of cocoa processing: from tree to bean.