If you’re quick, from 14 October might be able to get your hands one one of 20,000 packs of fairly traded, blockchain-powered chocolate produced by the United Nations.
As reported by Fast Company, The Other Bar is an “experimental new chocolate bar design to fight global poverty.” People who buy the treat are offered the choice of scanning a code to donate a blockchain token to farmers in Ecuador who produced the cocoa — or using it for a discount on their next chocolate bar from the company.
The pilot initiative is the result of a collaboration between Fairchain Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme. FairChain’s Guido van Staveren tells Fast Company that the organisation is testing what can be down to drive “conscious consuming towards impact goals.”
The site adds that most cocoa farmers don’t earn a living wage, receiving only 3 percent of the value of the cocoa used to make typical chocolate. Fairchain Foundation’s position is reportedly that even fair trade chocolate doesn’t go far enough, with the foundation pledging to pay farmers $1,000 more per metric tonne of chocolate ($3,400 compared to the fair trade price of $2,400).
And that’s before the tokens are deployed to boost farmers’ income further, by paying for more trees to be planted. Each of the donations would be tracked on the blockchain to give consumers proof of the impact of their donations.
FastCompany adds that the tokens are funded with money that would otherwise have been reserved for marketing. And, this is the major thrust of the pilot: to convince companies that it’s worth their while to redirect marketing budgets towards social impact.
“If we can show that this proof of impact drives customer loyalty, and marketing spend given to consumers turns into impact, then we can reach out to all these large companies that now spend millions on Kim Kardashian and say, ‘Don’t spend your marketing on these famous faces, spend your marketing dollars on your own crowd, your own customers, and let them invest in impact,” he tells the site.
“Higher wages for farmers, more trees for the planet, more jobs, training, skills and opportunities for people. That’s radical equality in action,” The Other Bar website adds.