Swiss-Ghanaian start-up Koa has received recognition for its responsible business five years after establishing its cocoa fruit venture, having received a B Corp Certification with a score of 95.7 points.
“Nowadays, measuring the success of a company needs to go beyond pure financial performance. Since our inception, we measure our success on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit,” explained Benjamin Kuschnik, Co-Founder and Group Finance Director of Koa. “Being B Corp certified, we join a community of businesses around the world leading the transformation of the global economic system and we hope that many of our peers will follow our example.”
By certifying their business, recognised B Corps enter into a framework for continuous improvement. A company must achieve a minimum score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment in order to be certified and repeat the verification process every three years. The extensive assessment measures the company’s impact on its workers, community and suppliers, customers, governance and the environment to ensure it is meeting high international standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
Koa joins the growing movement of around 6000 Certified B Corporations from 158 industries across 86 countries including companies Ben & Jerry’s, Innocent Drinks and Valrhona, a French chocolate brand. The B Corp Certification is administered by B Lab.
“This is not only a win for Koa but a win for the B Corp movement. The recognition marks Koa’s continued investment in tackling poverty in the cocoa supply chain and strengthening rural communities through job creation. Koa joining the B Corp community signals a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in the cocoa sector,” said Lucy Muigai, CEO of the African B Lab.
Founded in 2017, Koa upcycles the cocoa fruit and, according to the company, is the first company in West Africa to have unlocked a new value chain around discarded cocoa pulp and the first cocoa fruit brand to become a B Corp. Working with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit and creates new jobs in rural communities. At the same time, Koa is bringing new ingredients to the food and beverage industry for applications ranging from chocolate and confectionery to ice cream and drinks.
“We are proud to receive this certification, especially since we’re the third B Corp which has its major operations in Ghana, and we’ve been only five years in business,” said Francis Appiagyei-Poku, Finance and Administration Director at Koa in Ghana. “While we have proven to meet B Lab’s high standards, it’s still important to us that we strive for continuous improvement.”
As a water-intensive sector, agriculture poses risks related to water stress or depletion of local water sources if water use is not appropriately managed. Besides making environmental improvements, the company is training its employees for an international environment.
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