When the Dream Becomes Reality
The middle picture (below) is Samuel Villanueva, wife Floribeth, daughter Sofia, daughter Ruth, son Benjamin, and a friend of Ruth. Samuel is one of many Indigenous Costa Rican cacao farmers that Captain’s buys our organic single origin cacao from. (video of Samuel's cacao farm)
One area that sets Captain’s apart from the rest of the pack out there is that I (Joel) personally know every cacao farmer that supplies us with cacao beans. I know when something good or bad happens to them and their family members. Many times I’ve gotten called in emergency situations to come lend a hand.
There are many chocolate companies out there that pride themselves in doing their part to end African slave labor. I tip my hat to those companies in trying to do a good honorable thing. The reality is it’s very hard to do. One of the biggest problems with African cacao is if you don’t personally know the farmers you buy from, it’s impossible to know if the farmers are or aren’t being taken advantage of.(See the following article)
Also African cacao is some of the lowest quality in the world verses Costa Rican cacao which is in the top 5% in the world for quality, flavor, and aroma but that is for another day.
You guys have heard me say many times that this project is a business doing ministry and not a ministry doing business. What I explained earlier about personally knowing the farmers is how that works. Relationship is the big golden key.
Here are a few examples as to how we are doing ministry with this business. First and foremost is paying it forward through our ‘generous trade’ which is even better than fair trade. Captain’s has created a whole new market for Indigenous cacao farmers that enables them to thrive instead of just subsisting. We pay the farmers over double than any other buyer in Costa Rica is paying.
This is what real social justice looks like because our competitors were paying the Indigenous 75% less than market value for their cacao then turning around and selling the cacao for market value. In other words, the Indigenous farmers were being oppressed and violated by an injustice.
With the new market, we drive directly to the each farmers house to buy their cacao instead of making them bring their cacao long distances on horses.
Many of you know that I (Joel) and Mark Roth work with an international teen camp in Costa Rica. In January we are taking the campers up to visit Samuel (pictured), his family, and farm. He is going to explain to our campers about Indigenous life, business, and the detailed process of farming cacao.
This is another way that ministry is done but this time around an Indigenous cacao farmer is ministering to kids from a first world country that actually don’t realize how ungrateful they are for the things they have until they hear and see first hand how life is for the Indigenous. Now that may sound harsh but honestly it’s REALITY. Those of you who have traveled to a 3rd world country, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So those are just a few ways this business is doing ministry.
Samuel texted me the following about the impact Captain’s has had through our project:
BLESSINGS TO YOU JOEL. FOR US TO SELL OUR PRODUCT TO CAPTAIN’S, IT HAS BEEN A BLESSING FROM GOD FOR OUR FAMILY. IT HAS TREMENDOUSLY IMPROVED OUR QUALITY OF LIFE. WE FINALLY HAVE BETTER PRICES THAN WE HAD BEFORE. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH JOY AND HAPPINESS THIS HAS BROUGHT TO MY FAMILY AND I. WITH OUR SALES TO CAPTAIN’S MY FAMILY AND I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH MANY GOALS IN OUR LIVES THAT WE HAVE HAD FOR A LONG TIME NOW.
WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO REINVEST BACK INTO OUR CACAO FARM WHICH IS MAKING PRODUCTION BETTER AND BRINGS US MORE PROFITS. WE’VE ALSO BEEN ABLE TO BUY MUCH NEEDED TOOLS THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE BECAUSE WE COULDN’T AFFORD THEM. THESE TOOLS HAVE ALSO AIDED US IN THE AREA OF MULTIPLYING OUR PRODUCTION. I HAVE FAITH IN GOD THAT 2020 IS GOING TO BE AN EVEN BETTER YEAR.
☝️that right there folks is what it’s all about. When you purchase our chocolate, you are having an international impact and truly MAKING LIFE SWEETER!!!
YES we ARE having an impact! Pictured above is Samuel and his daughter standing next to one of the ten thousand trees that Captain Mark funded. He bought the seedlings about 4 or 5 years ago and distributed them to 2 different Indigenous Tribes in the Talamanca Region. Samuel and his family were one of the recipients. The trees are now producing and that is the Cacao that Captains is buying to make our chocolate.