The Right Origins Foundation, founded by Indian blockchain engineer Akash Mathew, aims to give 80 percent of the profits back to cocoa farmers, with the goal of allowing cooperatives and farmers themselves to have their own chocolate brands.
Akash also runs a software startup CIED. He develops quality management software using web, mobile, blockchain and AI. By applying the technology he developed in his day job to the foundation’s activities, he also achieves supply chain transparency.
Even fair trade is said to provide up to 10% of the value farmers get. Is this value really enough for the farmer? And how true is the story, even if it is claimed to be fair trade and sustainable products? The founder, Akash, who has been close to farming since he was a child, founded the Right Origins Foundation with an awareness of these issues.
‘The supply chain is complex. It’s difficult for large companies to achieve transparency. Also, a lot of information about quality assurance is based on paper records, which can be manipulated if you want to. In these circumstances, we cannot be 100% sure of the story a brand is telling.
This is why we started the Right Origins Foundation. Through the foundation, farmer cooperatives will co-own the brand. We use blockchain to manage the data, so it cannot be manipulated. Consumers can buy products they can trust and farmers can launch their own brands.’
Right Origins Foundation returns 80 percent of its profits to agricultural cooperatives
Akash is from India, but Right Origins is a Dutch non-profit organization. It expanded to the Netherlands after being selected in 2017 for an incubator program run by Brightlands, the Dutch open innovation community. It has also raised funds from funds in the Netherlands, leading banks Rabobank and Wageningen University. The company runs a joint venture with a farmers’ cooperative and sells its new proprietary brand of chocolate on the European market.
80 percent of the profits made through the project are returned to the farmers’ association, 15 percent to investors, and 5 percent to the foundation. It provides farmers with two to five times the value of the traditional supply chain.
Currently, the chocolates are available on the Right Origins website and in retail stores in the Netherlands. The company has also set up an “Honest Shop” (honest shop) in the office spaces and sells the chocolates in the form of payment via QR code after eating them.
The business was started with the hope that “the profits that reach the producers should not stop at a few percent of their products. ” We, as consumers, can learn about social issues through this chocolate.
They are looking for stores that will carry their products not only in the Netherlands but all over the world. They are also looking for companies that are dealing with cocoa farmers in India to create a new chocolate brand. If you are interested, please contact Right Origins.