Although growing conditions are favorable in Liberia, civil unrest prevented the cocoa industry from taking
root—until now. Liberation Cocoa and founder, Sheikh Abu Turay, have been busy rehabilitating farms and harvesting rich cocoa in Grand Bass and Grand Gedee counties by employing former child soldiers, to keep them re-engaged in society. Check out some photos of our farmers at work here.
That's truly liberating chocolate. And it all began with Mr. Sheikh Abu Turay, a social entrepreneur striving to help his fellow men out of poverty. With one bag of rice in 2004, he worked with a single community to clean and revitalize the first abandoned farm for cocoa production.
A fellow of the Unreasonable Institute, Sheikh has also partnered with Liberia's Sustainable Agricultural Program (SAP) and the Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDFOCS) to rehabilitate and reintegrate former child soldiers (FCS)—who are now adults and parents in their 20s and 30s—through the recent implementation of the Survey, De-traumatization, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration (SDRR) Program. Once a former child soldier has completed these programs they relocate with their families to villages within 5km of rehabilitated cocoa farms in Grand Bassa and Grand Gedee. Learn more about Former Child Soldiers in Liberia.
Liberation Cocoa beans are hand sorted by these former child soldiers—all trained as custom craftsmen—ensuring only the highest quality beans are selected. These beans are then carefully stored to prevent deterioration prior to being placed in shipping containers for travel overseas.
As we've continued our momentum into the farming of cocoa, we have also gained from our experienced, and visionary, U.S.-based board of directors, including leaders in the food, wellness, and financial industries. A very special “thank you” to these exceptional people who have greatly helped guide the efforts of Liberation Cocoa.