Cacao is a unique product that can answer all the needs of a social business model. When we enter the world of ‘ceremonial cacao’ — a term introduced in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala– we enter a world of impact making.
When speaking about social business, we mean a profit-making institution with a primary focus on addressing a social cause. What does that mean? Every decision-making process is oriented towards the impact we are making before the revenue is generated. We do, however, also create a sustainable economic system that generates abundance for everyone involved– including the social project we are supporting.
In the case of Cacao Source, our social project benefits the farmers and women’s collectives who grow and process the cacao by offering high wages and independent collaborations.
“Ceremonial cacao” is a concept that was introduced through the emergence of cacao ceremonies. It is highly connected with the energetics of the cacao. Of course, fermentation and roasting will create huge influences, but also the intention behind the production process. Therefore, “ceremonial cacao” strives inside a social business model: throughout the whole process from the soil to the ceremony, the cacao must be kept inside goodwill.
With Cacao Source, we’ve divided our business into 3 stages: farming, processing & distribution. During each stage, its social, environmental, and economic impact is protected by our team members. Each decision made is guided by the mission to honor and share cacao, which focalizes maximizing and scaling up impact.
The social impact inside the farming stage means a strong connection with the farmers we collaborate with. It also means connecting them with the international community in all transparency, especially through our farm tours.
During the processing stage, the social impact means giving back to the indigenous people and working side by side with them. We have been expanding the number of women’s collectives as the distribution of cacao expands; always offering fair wages which may grow as we grow; treating each member as family and collaborators; and securing employment and support during times of crises.
During the distribution phase, social impact means honoring our values when expanding to new collaborators. It means being mindful of who we choose as partners to distribute our product. When creating a marketing strategy, it respects people by creating a network of cacao lovers that becomes part of our one big Cacao Source family.
The environmental impact inside the farming stage means scouting inside Guatemala for small-scale, indigenous-owned, organic farms. The farmers are paid high wages, which creates abundance for them and their families; and inspires their neighbors to walk the organic path. We have also been working with permaculture experts to help farms to work towards completing Cacao Source criteria of sourcing.
During the processing stage, we work locally using biodegradable plastic and paper wrapping to minimize our plastic use. During the distribution process, we give back 10% of profit to a permaculture project impacting cacao forests.
The economic impact is all about creating sustainability and abundance inside the project. We believe that creating a high revenue flow (be mindful of the word revenue and not profit) encourages all the actors inside the projects to focus their energy inside Cacao Source in the long term. Everyone is fairly compensated and having all their needs fulfilled, therefore they can commit to making Cacao Source’s vision happen full time. We believe in economical flow coming and going– not holding on to it but keeping it going– especially in the local economy of Guatemala.
By honoring each section of impact during the process of soil to ceremony, the cacao we share with the world has a unique and incredible effect when working with it in sacred space. It becomes more than organic cacao: it becomes a model and solution to some of today’s world challenges. It becomes a tool in your spiritual journey. It becomes medicine for you, for community, and for the Earth. This social model that we work with and are currently evolving at Cacao Source is the future of making business.
When we speak of making business, we do not mean exploiting land & people. We do not mean only giving and accepting nothing in return. We are neither a capitalistic model nor a non-profit model. Either of them is sustainable for a long during impact. We mean letting energy flow in every sphere we touch and closing the cycles we are opening. We mean working with nature rather than against it. We mean creating abundance within all spheres of the project and living a quality lifestyle while doing so. It is based on purpose which is bigger than ourselves, on a strong mission, and grandiose vision and values.