Koa, an ingredient from “food-waste” resources

Coa

Koa is a cocoa fruit juice made from the pulp of the cocoa fruit. Since the traditional chocolate industry focuses solely on the cocoa beans, the cocoa pulp, which accounts for 25% of the fruit value, usually ends up in the “food waste” bucket. By transforming this “vegetable waste” into a food ingredient, Koa optimises the use of resources, while creating new jobs and increased income in rural communities in Ghana. The company thereby supports in particular SDG8 “Decent Work” and SDG12 “Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns”.

On the innovative approach of Koa

Which social challenges does Koa address?

Rural Africa is mostly associated with resources, but only with the first stage of the value chain: the extraction of raw materials. This limited perception means that the economic potential is only rudimentarily exploited. One of the most sought-after West African raw materials is the cocoa fruit, although the chocolate industry is only interested in the cocoa beans. The pulp, which represents 25% of the value of this fruit, is lost.

What is the solution?

Koa uses this “waste” and transforms it into an ingredient for drinks and food. The extraction of raw materials and the manufacture of the product in harmony with nature and in close cooperation with the existing community. With this innovative approach, the company wants to demonstrate that there is a broader value creation also in rural areas, using the latest technologies and based on sustainable and responsible business practices.

What are the challenges?

Initially, the greatest difficulty was to fit into the existing value chain and cultural system. This required close exchange with the small farmers, especially in process decisions. Koa could not rely on existing infrastructures, but had to build new ones. Finally, the processing of the product should meet the high international standards – a basic requirement for coa.

What are the results (impact)?

The innovative approach of this business idea not only allows sustainable production by developing a new product from food waste. It also enables small farmers in Ghana to increase their income by 30% and creates new, valuable jobs in the middle of the West African rainforest.

What is Koa’s vision?

The vision of Koa is to use the valuable resources of our planet in the best possible way and to offer better living conditions to everyone who lives on it. At the same time, Koa aims to become the most credible company by transforming natural, plant-based resources from rural Africa into a source of pleasure for the global society, providing jobs and increased income for small farmers in Ghana.

Can Koa’s solution be multiplied and scaled?

While Koa is currently focusing on rural areas in Ghana, this approach can of course be scaled up in all countries of the world where the cocoa fruit grows. At the same time, the idea can be applied to other raw materials, such as the coffee fruit. About 60 billion tons of fruit flesh are thrown away there every year. This pulp also contains many vitamins and nutrients.

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