For too long, the chocolate industry has kept too much happiness for itself. Profits have not been shared evenly through the supply chain. One reason for this is that processing, the actual value addition, is done outside the countries where cocoa is sourced.
This is where the unique story of Virunga Origins begins. As a social enterprise, we make our bars locally — at the source of the bean. Everyone involved in creating this bar benefits. And 100% of all profits go back to Virunga National Park and its surrounding communities. It’s simple math. Our factory sources directly from the cocoa producers eliminating middlemen. Our factory employs locally, prioritizing widows of rangers killed protecting the park. And our factory makes fantastic chocolate.
Virunga Origins empowers small, family businesses. Communities have greater economic opportunity putting more kids in school, saving endangered trees on the hills, and keeping vulnerable youth out of the militias. It enables the protection of the one of the world’s most important parks, giving our gorillas, chimps, hippos, elephants, lions, leopards, and all our beloved wildlife a brighter future.
Although set up and run as a company, the ownership structure enables all profits to go back into the communities and the conservation efforts of Virunga National Park. 3W is proud to share ownership of Virunga Origins Chocolate with Virunga National Park as well as the chocolate “dream team” comprised of Dominique Persoone, the Chocolatier Extraordinaire behind Belgium’s Chocolate Line; Mathieu Brees, founder of the bean to bar company, Ki’Xocolatl; and Dimitri Moreels, founder and CEO of COPAK. See the the Economist article.