Apricot Power Blog
Can Chocolate Save The World?
Posted: 9/7/2017 6:06:09 PM
Can Chocolate Save The World?
A conversation with Ty Cherry, Founder and Developer of Innocent Chocolate and the EarthCorp Foundation
August 23, 2017
Ty Cherry is a highly self-motivated entrepreneur that enjoys work that “has a worthy purpose”. Everything that he does has the best interests of the environment and planet in mind.
Ty’s EarthCorp Foundation seeks out unique, alternative answers to global environmental issues, including: ocean waste cleanup, restoration of indigenous crops and soil cultures, restoration of general environmental landscapes using Eco-forestry and related methods, power generation from solar, wind, waste to energy, and industrial waste clean-up.
Ty firmly believes that success is helping others succeed in their visions. He is very driven and very focused on his vision. Ty partnered up with Apricot Power to develop our new ApriSweet Dark Chocolate bar. I sat down for a quick conversation with him to get some more insight into Ty, his chocolate, and how it all relates to his non-profit foundation EarthCorp.
AP: Ty, tell me about your background.
TY: I started out studying human nutrition and received my Undergraduate Degree in Nutritional Biochemistry. I earned a Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition and got into the design and development of sports nutrition products in the body building world. I also worked on private label product for the European market. This was through the era of the 90s, and early 2000s. That branched into life extension and longevity research, which led to the development of specific products focused on health, longevity, and wellness.
In 2002, I found my deepest calling and vision, and created a non-profit foundation called EarthCorp to fulfill that vision. I continued by work in supplements alongside other projects, and in 2004 I founded Genesis Laboratories Int’l to continue developing health and wellness products and generate revenue for EarthCorp. In 2013 I developed a product called “Inhibitz” which was a series of enzyme inhibitors created to block the sugar and starch enzymes found in the modern diet and that are the underlying causes of diabetes and obesity, in particular focus on children. Inhibitz became Innocent Chocolate in late 2013 when I chose chocolate as the carrier for the active ingredients.
AP: Can you explain a little bit about EarthCorp?
TY: EarthCorp stands for the Corporation of Earth. It is a non-profit foundation designed around the concept of human economics in a way that links the economic cycle to global preservation. Everything I do is designed to support EarthCorp.
AP: How exactly does EarthCorp work?
TY: EarthCorp consists of two parts. The “CSR rating system” which rates retail businesses on environmental and humanitarian factors and generates a dynamic score to tell consumers how that business is doing. Through this system we also reach into the supply chain of the business to help them improve their CSR level /score. When consumers shop within the EarthCorp community they get discounts, the businesses get tax deductions, and we use the funds generated to support our work in the second aspect called GESERP which is the literal field work we do. I can explain more on that later.
In the case of Innocent Chocolate, we are really proving out one of the advanced economic models of EarthCorp where we show how for-profit manufactures can work with us to see increases in their income with no need to donate to us. 100% of the profits from Innocent Chocolate, go back into EarthCorp and thus to the small food producers (aka: Famers) that actually grow the cacao that goes into the chocolate. EarthCorp works with hundreds (soon thousands) of small food producers who grow the beans themselves, then EarthCorp processes the beans into liquor (cocoa paste) and sells it to Innocent Chocolate in the US who then manufactures the chocolate along with the final packaging and distribution. EarthCorp currently operate in approximately in six countries and we’re expanding, regularly.
AP: I see.
TY: The philosophy behind EarthCorp is based in the concept of linking the retail/economic spending cycle of the globe to the preservation of the earth. We are very rapidly degrading our planet in the pursuit of economics. EarthCorp is a way to link those two together, allowing everyone who participates to gain profit economically, environmentally, sociologically, and spiritually. We don’t ask for donations nor have we ever solicited for donations. I’ve supported EarthCorp financially from its inception with a goal to create a model under what we call “giving by receiving”.
AP: “Giving by receiving”; can you tell me more about how this model works?
TY: As I mentioned we don’t ask for donations. Instead, we “give” something to everyone that participates, from manufacturers, to retailers, and to consumers, and in return by them participating they actually give to the economic cycle, which goes to preserve the planet.
For example, everyone on any level of this model can participate as a free member in EarthCorp. They are given a membership card that entitles them to benefits in the EarthCorp community. For consumers this is the CSR rating system and buying discounts we spoke about earlier. Consumers get a discount, retailers get the free advertising that brought the consumer to their store, and EarthCorp gets a tax-deductible amount of money through revenue-sharing of the discount created in the model. That will allow us to generate income that ultimately goes into supporting projects where we actually do the work to preserve the environment and support small food producers.
AP: Fascinating. So how does this model support or benefit small farmers?
TY: In this example, we would give small farmers a tremendous amount of technology that we’ve developed in our advanced agronomic research and development, improving crop development, eliminating pesticides, agrichemicals, etc. while increasing the crop production of the land. We offer them multiple streams of income by providing not only a primary crop, which are commodity-traded crops such as cacao for chocolate, we also give them secondary crops which are non-commodity crops that EarthCorp identifies to have economic value. We then take these crops and convert them into retail-ready consumer goods. 100% of those profits are shared between EarthCorp, and the food producers. EarthCorp places 50% of the revenue into a trust fund.
Money from the trust fund as it builds is used to acquire new land, which allows farmers that don’t own land to work. In time, these farmers will be deeded a parcel of this land to make them land-owners. So we’re actually changing the economic stratum of the food producer, the countries that they operate in and ultimately on a global scale, thus stabilizing and increasing the economy at all levels. There are several other avenues as well.
AP: How is this model working so far?
TY: Fantastic! Right now, we’re doing things in the background so that when we do launch, everybody can see that we’re already doing what we say we’re going to do with the funds that we generate. As an independent company, Innocent Chocolate is proving out the economic model of the program by allowing a for-profit company (Innocent Chocolate) to work with a non-profit company (EarthCorp). Through the GESERP model EarthCorp provides a commodity, cocoa liquor, to Innocent Chocolate, which ultimately pays EarthCorp for the commodity in a profit sharing model that serves to provide EarthCorp with a good gain in profit and ultimately much greater profit to the small food producers.
AP: What sorts of things is EarthCorp looking to do in the future?
TY: We have a long-term lease agreement with the “Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center University of Costa Rica” (or “Catie” as it is also referred to), where we’re doing advanced agronomic research development, we are doing a lot of work with the University of Colorado, some work with the University of British Columbia, opening up a project with the University of Antiqua, engaging with the University of Trinidad, and next is an industrial revenue bond to bring in two of the universities in Florida to mirror the projects in Central America and show that we can do the same model in a first-world country to create many jobs, economic prosperity, all while preserving our planet.
AP: That’s exciting stuff. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now, but I must ask you about what sorts of product development you are currently working on?
TY: We will soon be adding a patented additive into our chocolate that will make it the most fully rounded health supplement on the market. In fact, we’re currently developing 14 new products, but I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag just yet. One of those projects is something new we’re working on for Apricot Power.
AP: You’re not going to let the cat out of the bag, eh. Well can you at least fill me in on any future products you are thinking about?
TY: We’re looking at taking Innocent Chocolate in a different direction that I’m not prepared to announce just yet, but that new additive is from our work with a major US medical center with the intention of creating medical level health benefits in all of our products. Products like ApriSweet are a step in this direction. All of our upcoming products will offer the same benefits and use chocolate as the “carrier” while bringing a large variety of other food types to consumers beyond basic chocolate forms. For Apricot Power we already have three in mind, but we are going keep you in the dark for now.
AP: So, can chocolate really save the world?
TY: That’s the EarthCorp model. We’re using chocolate to prove out the economic model of EarthCorp. If the chocolate has the success that I’m very confident that it will have, then it will lead to a mass amount of publicity for EarthCorp. People will say, “OK, well what’s this company doing? They’re claiming they’re giving 100% of their revenue back. Come on! How do you make money?”
I’m not out to make money. I built Innocent Chocolate to support the foundation. Of course, employees get their salaries and operating costs get paid, but I personally don’t take any income from the company. Whatever is left, which is all the revenue, goes to EarthCorp. Although it is a private corporation, the books will be open and available to public scrutiny to verify our claims.
As Innocent Chocolate flowers, it will draw a tremendous amount of attention to EarthCorp and the model. That economic model will generate massive amounts of income and it will all go back into global preservation. We will set a new standard; the more money we make, the less operating cost we will have. That’s how chocolate will save the world.