Uncommon Cacao works directly with cacao farmers to deliver premium quality and transparently sourced cacao to the specialty chocolate market.
After seven months reviewing 927 entries from 99 countries on six continents, our panel of experts from Unilever, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and Ashoka have selected the top seven sustainability solutions. Each will win €10,000, a place on a bespoke accelerator programme in Cambridge, and the chance to pitch to a panel of judges at Unilever HQ in London next month.
Krishna is plugging the increasing demand for organic seeds in India, by commercializing organic seeds through an organic seed company that will be owned and managed by farmers. He is creating a new market for organic farming in India by leveraging the knowledge and networks of existing farmers to revive and maintain traditional varieties of seeds and commercialize organic seeds.
Pushkin Phartiyal works on rural livelihood and sustainable management of natural resources in the Indian Himalayas. Forests occupy 65% geographical area leaving only 14% land for agriculture activities. Pushkin realized that an integrated approach was essential to address the issues of livelihoods through biodiversity conservation. He brought back elements of the traditional institutions for the management of natural resources and enhancing rural livelihoods that were in existence in pre-colonial India.
In India, a large section of the poor are small producers: farmers, fishermen, dairy producers and craft-workers. They continue to live in poverty due to various hurdles that prevent them from participating in the mainstream economy. By setting up India's first venture capital fund that focuses on investing in groups of poor producers, Adarsh Kumar is reinvigorating India's agricultural and crafts sector and helping the poor connect to mainstream markets.
Kaushlendra is overhauling the vegetable supply chain at both ends – production and sales. Starting in the state of Bihar with plans to spread throughout the country, he has created a system in which small-scale farmers who are getting fair prices and organized into producer groups supply directly to local vegetable vendors whose roles in the supply chain are now valued and legitimized. The process reduces wastage due to spoilage by 30-40 percent and passes the savings on to the farmers and vendors themselves.