How Cacao Changed My Life
A personal letter from Jordan, Co-founder of Cacao Source
Imagine that you could save the jungle and restore social justice just by eating a delicious, healthy, and mythical treat.
Sounds like a trap, right? Too good to be true. Oh yes , you better be mistrustful, greenwashing is right at the corner…
But no worries, dear reader. Far be it from us the intention to spatter scaremongering worries all over our magnificent trust for a bright, fair, abundant future.
Because this is what cacao has done to me. Not the scaremongering part, no. On the contrary, it actually transformed my – worried and cynical – rational mind into a brave solution-oriented creator. It started transforming my life, and therefore, my perception, when I accepted it would, considering the potential effects of its properties on my brain and body, but also on the rainforest and its inhabitants.
It started to feed me with the everyday courage to completely integrate the changes I can do in myself and my surroundings in order for my actions to be in harmony with my most ethical values, even if they sometimes feel delusional.
And when I realized Cacao would feed me a solution while simultaneously amplifying my feelings of accomplishment, joy, and serenity, a deeper part of me understood the holistic Cacao magic. And how positive thinking combined with sustainable choices of life, spirals into pure love momentum. On the contrary negative thinking is combined with toxic choices in life.
The spiraling is real my friend! Especially for our generation, which was deeply impacted by the symbolic violence of having to grow up facing the ecological crisis, while eventually living at the heart of the industrial machine. Eco-anxiety is a true problem.
But it doesn’t have to be painful or challenging
Cacao is like a little big voice saying: “ It’s not true you have to renounce pleasure, comfort, or your exciting lifestyle, to become a sustainable citizen. Sustainability can actually be more delicious, more fun, and more exciting than intoxication. Cacao is like the true abundance of nature materialized into an extravagantly human-friendly tree. Into a mind-blowing gastronomically versatile pure paste. This pure love momentum keeps on growing the more we let it be integrated into all aspects of life. Allowing it to be a holistic medicine. So Cacao becomes a constant reminder that adopting an exemplary attitude doesn’t necessarily mean suffering sacrifices.
This reminds me of the incredible solution that social businesses represent right now in our post-modern capitalist society.
Common good market VS common bad market
Like corporations behave wildly to thrive within the free market, social enterprises, like ours, have to adapt to the common good market of freedom. Adapting to what improves our lives as a community, making sure to be truly helpful and authentically serve others so the story of their lives actually improves. We then become way more than a social business, we allow ourselves to tap into our true generous and love-based identity, our true selves. We transcend the conditioning of survival, we get organized to prevent alienation and misery to reproduce themselves. We celebrate our power of choice.
That is for me the true essence of what work is.
The common good market creates another kind of wealth that not only includes material abundance. It invites you to a sort of multidimensional wealth. Why multidimensional? Because when trying to adapt to the social business market you actually adapt to what is being human. You get rich with laughter, joy, love, kindness, poetry, music, dance, etc… You get rich by being serene and aware.
Or in other words, you adapt to what humanity would like to do when not focusing 8h per day on maximizing profit for the benefit of a minority.
On the contrary, the market of for-profit enterprises destroys what work truly is, and mixes up everything. Anything becomes a tool for wealth, whether it serves us or not, as a community, as human beings. Like it was a need or an emergency. But riches don’t need to get richer.
This standard model of action is built on old patterns of fear and hatred. The fear of lacking makes us want to accumulate, to control, to exclude. The traumatic structure of life on earth makes us want to escape suffering, to seek comfort and protection. Ignorance and alienation make us believe we have to struggle and fight, or that we can’t act independently.
Throughout history, oligarchies fed on these negative conditionings to sit their power. Nowadays, globally centralized powers have brought it to a planetary level.
But hopefully, we also live in a glorious time of understanding and information sharing, where the patterns of emancipation and healthy art of life are also shared and promoted by the multitude. When we create tools of understanding, we help ourselves to free ourselves from natural conditioning and from the oppressor’s manipulation.
That’s why Social business is key.
The Social contract
A french philosopher called Jean-Jacques Rousseau invented a concept called “social contract”, a vision of governance that uses the State to protect the interests of all, against the interests of some. He was part of the “lights” movement in Europe, a rebirth of the ideas of democracy that happened during the XVII and XVIII centuries. What Jean-Jacques did was pretty much apply a notion of business: the contract, to politics: the social contract. Brilliant.
Now the concept of Social Business, defined by the Bangaly economist Muhammad Yunus does more or less the reverse manoeuver. Bringing the political idea of the common good to the business sphere.
Work, and make a profit, but for the common good this time.
Exchange your money for goods that foster positive impact.
Work is Freedom
Doesn’t it sound great?
It does to me. Because, like so many kids of my generation in France, I felt completely squashed under the question: what do I want to do when I finish school?
What do I want to do in this dirty world? What’s my job? How do I make money? And these questions made me anxious.
Concepts like Social business or Social contract opened my mind and made me able to answer: ” I just want to be abundant, loved, and useful, but not to private capital interests, so it’s easy, I’ll work in any social business, those, by nature, have to create any truly useful activity to exist”.
Then if I feel I’m working for a real purpose, my motivation is multiplied. I don’t feel like I’m working under the constraint of making a living, my work is my living. And on top of that, I’m not grass-feeding some already filthy rich shareholder. I act in accordance with my deep values. I shape my world according to the understanding of what should be done. Instead of just reproducing what I’ve been told should be done.
Everything is connected
According to its definition, a social business is supposed to tackle only one specific and defined social problem. Building a cacao social business reveals to me the interconnectivity of social actions and their unlimited raw power. Our first goal was to work for nutrition. Because we realized that most cacaos were unvalued in Guatemala. So we immediately recognized the potential of promoting world-famous local superfoods to fight malnutrition. But then it became obvious that malnutrition was linked to drought, which is caused by deforestation, which is led by ignorance, which is a consequence of exploitation, which generates poverty etc… And so it goes on. All these issues are linked and so are their solutions!
So, tackling one of these problems is addressing all of them at the same time. Talking about the permaculture of cacao allows us to also share information about nutrition, economy, history, and ecology. Each topic amplifies each other as they make sense together. We bring them as tools to help the communities where we source our cacao. And then we apply them to our sourcing policies. Our action makes sense as a whole. We work for a coherent purpose.
That’s why our business will be social in all the ways we can articulate together. The diversity of tactics never made so much sense as in our time of ecology, and industrial capitalism.
In the same way, the concept of social contract helped the french of the XVIII century to redefine their political structures with a revolution, i hope the one of Social business will help us redefine our economical structures with an evolution. Let’s work on our evolution, let’s choose to work for each other.
So what are we waiting for?
Let’s cover ourselves with ethically sourced chocolate !