The Best Chocolate In The World. Collaborative Innovation in The Amazon Forest.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 13, 2008

At a dinner by AMD at the World Economic Forum a few weeks ago, I was given a piece of chocolate in the “goodie” bag at the table. It was just about the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten—and I eat a lot of chocolate. It was Kallari Rainforest Chocolate (70% Cacao—medium dark) and it was made by the Kichwa people in the Amazon in Ecuador.

Through it’s 50 X 15 initiative, to connect 50% of the world’s population to the internet by 2015, AMD has been working in small villages in Latin America and Africa. AMD helped set up the Kallari cooperative in Ecuador, “the only indigenous cooperative that harvests, processes and markets our very own line of chocolate,” according to the wrapper on my piece of chocolate. By linking the people to the net, AMD also helped establish a global market for their incredible product.

The chocolate cooperative helps the Kichwa people ward off the pressure of oil exploration and logging in their area--activities which can kill their culture. It has already destroyed the cultures of other indigenous Amazon peoples, including many Achuar Indians. I know this because I've birded in Ecuador, near the Peruvian border, and my guides were Achuar people who were full of stories of their cousins up north, losing their landed, becoming alcoholics and prostitutes. Two years ago, these Achuar were arming themselves for war against the oil prospectors.

The Kichwa of the Kallari villages are using their own form of collaborate innovation and social networking to create organically-grown (no GMOs), delicious chocolates that people can buy in stores all around the world. Check out the store nearest you on the Store Locator online.

Reader Comments

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February 7, 2011 9:19 AM

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DIANNA35Nixon

April 20, 2011 7:05 AM

I strictly recommend not to hold off until you earn big sum of money to order goods! You can just get the loan or just credit loan and feel comfortable

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About

Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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