Building the richness of Trinidad’s legacy agricultural communities

In the heart of Trinidad’s pristine rural communities, farmers have cultivated some of the world’s most sought-after cocoa for decades. Branding the Alliance of Rural Communities and Destination Chocolate products helped these local micro-economies to bring treasured products successfully and equitably to market.

PROBLEM OUTLINE

The community chocolate project is an offshoot of Sun Eaters Organics and Destination Chocolate, with the goal of successfully bringing chocolate products from rural communities in Trinidad & Tobago to market.

The project aims to develop sustainable, rural, locally-owned cocoa and chocolate producing businesses by collaborating with government and community stakeholders, mainly through the Alliance for Rural Communities of Trinidad and Tobago (ARCTT) and Destination Chocolate.

We worked closely with the founder of ARCTT to first brand the community chocolate products from Biche and Cushe, then Brasso Seco, as well as the ARCTT brand.

 

STRATEGIC INPUT

The chocolate brand’s key proposition of celebrating the richness of new beginnings is an homage to the quiet, revolutionary act of closing the gap between the farmers and the production of the chocolate.

DESIGN OUTCOME

Though this project started with design with the label for chocolate from Biche & Cushe, we knew it had to be scalable for as many communities as were willing to undertake their own chocolate production ventures with the guidance of the ARCTT.

The two immediate considerations were the small package size and brand scalability. In a market where the average bar size was 6 inches wide and 2 inches high, we had to make sure this bar, at 4 inches wide and 1.5 inches high, could be competitive on shelves with larger bars that had more opportunity for illustrative label designs and intricate, textured patterning.

Building a separate brand for each community would have been unwieldy, expensive and out-of-line with the goals of this project. The evolution of the brand meant that each community’s brand should speak the same visual language, despite the need for individuality and distinction. It was less about competition and contrast; each community had something to offer, and this solution showcased that distinction.

 

 

 

It is a catalyst for sustainable growth, innovation, financial stability, togetherness, and a foundation for long term regenerative value. The new familiarity with cocoa growing and reinvigoration of the industry for future generations brings community history and identity full circle.

Even so, there were constraints, both for our client and for Abovegroup, in developing this brand. Our approach to this project was to remain as inclusive as possible, and to design with these constraints.

Design fosters relationships by being part of the community and encouraging an approach that considers all stakeholders.

"For quite a few years I've been watching their work as a collective and observing the work of several of them as individuals. While I've always enjoyed their aesthetic, it's been a pleasant surprise to see how much this aesthetic depends on a collaborative engagement both within their group and between their group and the client.

"The project that we brought to them had proved to be a big challenge for other design groups, but somehow not only did Abovegroup find a way to take a very complex brief and make it streamlined, they created such an impeccable solution that for a few days the photos of their work took local social media by storm.

"It's just been a few weeks but the orders keep pouring in. We are inspired by the standard which they have now set and look forward to a long and productive relationship."

Working with Abovegroup has been a superb experience.

Gillian Goddard

Founder, ARCTT

Building the richness of Trinidad’s legacy agricultural communities