The Swiss start-up Choba Choba, renowned for its dark chocolate which is produced in the Alto Huayambamba valley in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, has now created its first milk chocolate, Gaggo Leche.
The three ingredients used to make dark chocolate – trinitario cocoa from Peru’s Gran Pajaten Biosphere Reserve, unrefined sugar cane and cocoa butter – have been blended with milk provided by 200 dairy producers in the Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve in Switzerland.
The name Gaggo Leche has been chosen to represent the unique relationship between the two UNESCO biosphere reserves: Gaggo means cocoa in Swiss German and Leche means milk in Spanish.
The regions encompassed by the two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves share a common interest in promoting local agricultural products, and pay particular attention to the sustainable use of resources and habitats.
Eric Garnier from Choba Choba explains: ‘The families of producers in the regions of Gran Pajatén and Entlebuch, although separated by 10,000 km, are at the heart of the exceptional quality of our high value-added milk chocolate. They both represent the values we pursue with our project, and also symbolize the union of people and nature’.
The 36 families that make up the Peruvian producers are not only suppliers of the raw material for Choba Choba’s chocolate, but also shareholders in this start-up and therefore entrepreneurs in their own right.
Oswaldo Castillo, co-founder of Choba Choba and President of the producers’ association, elaborates further: ‘For us, Choba Choba is much more than an additional sustainability project.
We are finally shareholders and take part in the decisions of the company and the marketing of our product. This makes us proud and helps us improve our living conditions.
With this international cooperation with the dairy producers of the Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve, we want to fight against the fall in raw material prices and to offer a product of excellence on the market that does not exist anywhere else’.
For the launch of Gaggo Leche, three of the cocoa producers and co-founders of Choba Choba –Lindley Caballero, Maria del Pilar Castillo and Oswaldo del Castillo – made the long trip from the Peruvian Amazon to personally meet the dairy producers of the Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve and share experiences on fair practices.