WakaWaka & Pacari creating domino impact

May 24, 2018
Farmers of Pacari

This year, we partnered up with Pacari in Ecuador, a biodynamic chocolate company with very high standards in social and environmental responsibility and, like WakaWaka also a Bcorp. They are dedicated to making the highest quality organic chocolate from Ecuador. Pacari also makes the world’s best chocolate. At least that is the feedback of a lot of chocolate-lovers as well as experts. At WakaWaka the whole team got a chance to indulge in the different varieties (for example rose, jasmine and lemon infusions) and having tasted their flavours we can only say: try it and you’ll know why they have won awards for the world best chocolate!

However, our cooperation did not only involve chocolate tasting; it also involved serious work together to have a positive impact on lives. 

The situation in Ecuador

Some of Pacari’s cocoa farmers live in the community of Zancudo Cocha, a part of the protected Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in the Amazon of Ecuador. There is no access to electricity and most of their family members cannot afford any kind of portable energy to move around during the night. If they do have portable flash lights then these are powered with batteries which are, when littered, toxic to the groundwater and the soil. 

Having portable lighting is all the more important to the community as they have developed a program to monitor the reserve and its natural resources. They carry out day and night shifts to supervise the zone and prevent illegal activities like hunting, fishing and felling trees. In order to help reduce the water and soil contamination caused by the heavy metals contained in the batteries of conventional flashlights, Pacari was looking for a portable energy alternative that saves money, avoids pollution and benefits land and people at the same time. 

Pacari cocoa

Light that changes lives as a domino effect

In reaction to the lack of reliable and clean light sources Pacari and WakaWaka teamed up to start supporting the locals lives through more than only cocoa. Pacari equipped families in the region with WakaWaka Lights as a clean and solar powered alternative to conventional flashlights. In this way, the families are able to use sunlight to recharge their flashlights without causing pollution to the environment or damaging their health. This also saves costs as using the power of the sun doesn’t have any costs such as batteries or other alternative light sources. Using a WakaWaka Light means 24/7 access to light which is a jump-starter for the impact-domino-effect. We often don’t realise in other parts of the world how important our basic necessity of light is but through many examples of distributing solar lights we can see a pattern of positive change. Also in Ecuador, these relatively small changes bear the following fruits. 

If one WakaWaka Light enables access to light 24/7 then that results in: 

  1. less toxins in groundwater and soil → healthier soil to grow cocoa trees → better harvest output → higher revenue 
  2. less environmental contamination through gas energy and fires → better state of health
  3. less need for batteries → less costs for the farmers and the environment

Pacari 014

Taste our collaboration with Pacari yourself

We are very much like-minded with Pacari. We have high standards with regard to people and planet while at the same time believe in sharing joyful moments. Because of this, you can now receive a free Pacari chocolate with every WakaWaka order if you are based in The Netherlands! Of course, you have to be fast as we have a limited supply left after we had some ourselves….We will add these to your WakaWaka of choice. Visit our online shop here.

And as a closing note we would like to share an inspiring story which their founder Santiago Peralta shared with our co-founder Camille van Gestel.

“Cocoa beans used to be collected in 80kg bags. So heavy only the men could carry them and sell them. What happened was that many men went straight to the local bar to celebrate their harvest and waste a lot of the family’s income on cheap local beer. Pacari found out about this and changed the bag size to 30kg. Now the women could also carry them. The money they collected was used directly for the families needs. The whole community of farmers flourished as a result! Simple changes can have a tremendous impact.”

There are many ways to create impact. In the past, many of our customers have asked us what “impact” exactly means to us and we always say:

“impact means making a measurable, meaningful difference in the world, and everyone can contribute”

We have distributed more than 330.000 WakaWakas in 61 countries around the world, reaching well over 1.3 million people all together. WakaWakas give an average of 3 hours extra light for study of work per day. WakaWakas replace toxic kerosene lamps displacing almost 120.000 tons of CO2 per year.
Every day this impact increases thanks to tens of thousands of customers all over the globe. Join us! 


Photo credits: Nico Kingman, WWF-Ecuador

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