“Every bite of our chocolate bars, available at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, grants children better access to education and empowers cacao farmers in Ecuador—doing good has never tasted better,” says Roxanne Joyal, CEO of social enterprise ME to WE. Championing sustainable farming and supporting local communities, ME to WE’s Fairtrade confectionery has won several awards for its rich flavour. Sharing Red Carnation Hotels’ keen sense of social responsibility, the enterprise is one that we’re proud to partner with. Here, Joyal shares ME to WE’s inspirational story.
How did ME to WE start out?
“Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger are behind the WE movement, which was founded 25 years ago by a then 12-year-old Craig. I joined the family in 2008, as co-founder and CEO of ME to WE, a social enterprise that supports WE Charity. We believe we can create a brighter world when we band together, giving people around the world the tools to make a change.”
How do you empower cacao farmers?
“Growing cacao is a way of life in communities like Chone in Ecuador. It’s one of the strongest assets Ecuadorian farmers have. Their premium-grade cacao bean, Fino de Aroma, is a national treasure. We work with local farmers to train them in the art of fermentation, so that they can grow this premium-grade bean for a fair wage. Our high-quality chocolate bars are all small-batch crafted from Fino de Aroma.
Through our closed-loop approach, each bar of ME to WE Chocolate That Changes Lives gives back to communities in Ecuador. Our profits are funnelled right back into the communities where the cacao comes from, to support key education projects. We have already seen two school rooms built as a result of our chocolate—the impact flows from bean to bar, and back again.”
What are some of the brand’s best-loved bars?
“Those with an appreciation for quality chocolate can choose between a rich milk chocolate that’s 42 per cent cacao and a 65-per-cent-cacao vegan dark chocolate or our Goldenberry Dark chocolate bar, which features a powerful superfood from the Amazon.
Every bar of ME to WE Chocolate comes with a Track Your Impact code, connecting it to a specific WE Charity initiative. It means chocolate lovers can find out exactly where their purchase has made an impact.”
Tell us about ME to WE’s other initiatives…
“On ME to WE Trips to farms in rural Kenya or plantations in Ecuador, travellers meet the people behind the products. They learn how cacao beans are grown and can even customise their own chocolate bar from scratch.
We work with 1,600 female artisans in Kenya and Ecuador, who create beautiful, handmade beaded bracelets called rafikis, which means friend in Swahili. Each rafiki purchase means these talented, resilient women earn a sustainable source of income.
Our most recent launch, ME to WE Coffee That Changes Lives, makes doing the right thing as easy as drinking your morning coffee. Fairly traded from bean to cup, our coffee empowers farmers in Kenya, Nicaragua and Ethiopia with a fair wage and supports financial opportunity initiatives for women in these communities.”
Find ME to WE’s life-changing chocolate bars at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Chesterfield Palm Beach and across The Red Carnation Hotel Collection.