Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gifts of Chocolate Paper Part 1

As you know, from time to time here on The Chocolate Cult we talk about labor, agriculture, trade, health, your rights as a consumer, and charities that are associated with chocolate.  While we primarily feature food or drink in our Sacraments, we do include other products from time to time.  Today I want to share some of the interesting chocolate paper products we were sent by the Cocoa Paper organization.  These products in particular help support Bali Insan Creative that empowers Bali villagers, particularly women, by giving them more uses for the cocoa plantations.  Cocoa Paper sent us a lot of their products so we're going to break these into groups of items over several months.

How to break these into groups was the first challenge.  Since it turns out that National Reading Month is March, I thought I'd look at the bookmarks and photo frames you could have made from cocoa tree bark.  This will be a lot of photos and few words this time around, Sisters and Brothers.  You can use one of the company's standard designs, they have over 52 graphics, or you can send them a black & white design.  Our Chocolate Cult logo is in color and I think having more variety for you all to look at is a good thing so we just asked them to send a selection you all might want to look at.  They sell to the individual as well as companies and several of their products are highly customizable.

We were sent five of Cocoa Paper's chocolate themed and other designs bookmarks.  Since the website uses metric measurements, I'll put our in American standard size since we are refusing to change over here.  These are 5 7/8th inches long, 1 5/8th inches wide and are 1/16th of an inche thick -- yes these are thicker than you might image and they have more heft to them than most of my other bookmarks in the house.

The design in on one side while the back has some information about the company and their philosophy.  As you can see they have several colors of tassels you can choose from and they can work with you figure out what to put on the back I believe, based on what their contact person, Kate, told me over a few emails.




Kate tells me that these tassels are hand woven by a lovely group of women living on a small island off the coast of South Sulawesi. These women are left alone for up to 7 months a year while their husbands go searching for fish (they are fisherman from many generations).The ladies will get together, have tea & weave tassels together. Of course money is sparse when their husbands are away so this additional income really helps them out.






They also sent us one of these folding photo frames that holds four 2 X 3.5 inch photos or pictures behind Formica covers.  These you add from the top so they can't easily slide out even if you move the frame around.  Folded up this measures 3.25 X 4.5 X 5/8th of an inch; unfolded it is about 14.5 inches long.


Buying from Cocoa Paper is supporting the cocoa farmer at the grassroots level by utilizing more of their crops than just the cocoa beans.  You get a "chocolate" product without calories that comes in a wide and useful array of goods.  By finding ways to increase profit for the farmer we help encourage them to continue their cocoa production and become more empowered in the process.  If you've ever worried about the decline of chocolate production or the rising cost of cocoa, then think of these types of products as another method to keep the growers in business.  For using more of the cocoa tree and not simply disposing of the "non-bean" parts, as well as trying to empower the farmers and villagers, these products  are Sacrament Worthy.

2 comments:

anieb said...

Wow! looks pretty.. I love handmade greeting cards these cards are the real feeling of occasions.

Mystery Shopping

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thank you for reading and commenting, anieb, but you put in a link that I may have to delete your comment for including.