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The chocolate factory has become an impact company - PC Trends

The chocolate factory has become an impact company – PC Trends

Since the return of Salvatore Iannello to the company, the Galler chocolate factory has embarked on a new strategy of convergence of interests and alignment with the planet. A mission accomplished using collective intelligence.

In virtual bankruptcy in 2018, the Galler chocolate factory went to look for Salvatore Iannello who had left the company in 2013 to put it back on the right track. The former CEO accepted on three conditions: injection of funds, increased Belgian roots and transformation of the company into an impact company.

In virtual bankruptcy in 2018, the Galler chocolate factory went to look for Salvatore Iannello who had left the company in 2013 to put it back on the right track. The former CEO accepted on three conditions: injection of funds, increased Belgian roots and transformation of the company into an impact company. “Salvatore Iannello returned from a long-term trip of more than three years with very specific ideas, says Isabelle Petit Dufrenoy, ethical and sustainability coordinator at Galler. He no longer wanted a model based on the balance of power, whether between men or vis-à-vis the planet whose resources are limited. Galler’s mission is now to embody in the chocolate sector an entrepreneurial vision based on the convergence of interests for a sustainable and fair world. The idea is to constantly arbitrate between the four Ps: Purpose, Profit, People and Planet.” The impact begins on the very operation of the company. The latter switched to the collaborative model in April 2021. After 6,000 hours of training given to employees on subjects as varied as the ego, the bereavement curve or non-violent communication, Galler is now organized into circles. Every employee, whoever they are, has a voice and decisions are made by consent. There is no longer a hierarchical relationship but a link of coherence based on temporality. This system of empowerment and accountability likely explains why Galler was able to stay the course in the face of the flood disaster. Galler also carried out an in-depth environmental audit using the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) tool, which assesses the impact of a product throughout its life cycle on the basis of 16 different criteria. “95% of our impact was centered on raw materials and half on cocoa beans, continues Isabelle Petit Dufrenoy. Priority was therefore given to action in the field. We joined forces with the Yeyasso cooperative in Man in Côte d’Ivoire, a region strongly impacted by the civil war and in the process of impoverishment. We have switched, for 100% of our cocoa, to the FairTrade label, the most complete of all labels. Yeyasso is assured of the sale of ‘one-fifth of all their production.’ But in Côte d’Ivoire, it is not possible to get by financially with cocoa alone. Galler, thanks to the support of the King Baudouin Foundation and Beyond Chocolate, has therefore committed to two additional programs. “Social justice is necessary for there to be environmental justice, explains Isabelle Petit Dufrenoy. We are leading an agro-forestry project: 60,000 shade trees have been planted in three years. They maintain significant biodiversity in the cocoa crops. These are cash trees that also help to diversify income, particularly with fruit trees. Finally, we have launched an empowerment program with eight women’s associations via corn, cassava or rice. These crops generate income that women manage. This allows them to take more place in the organization of villages.” XAVIER BEGHIN The impact begins with the very operation of the company. The latter switched to the collaborative model in April 2021.

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