Podcast Interview

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Chocolate supply chains are tricky and need help to built resilience to climate change. But with care it can be done. Best selling author, social enterprise founder, CEO and social impact pioneer: Shawn Askinosie shares the true benefits of understanding your supply chain.

Shawn setup Askinosie Chocolate 16 years ago with his daughter Lawren. They were recently named by Forbes “One of the 25 Best Small Companies in America.” and he’s been named by O, The Oprah Magazine, “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.” Shawn has an Amazon #1 bestselling book titled “Meaningful Work: The Quest To Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul.”

What can we learn from chocolate supply chains

In this podcast Shawn joins us to talk about the benefits he gets of deeply knowing his chocolate supply chain. He sheds light on the challenges of building a sustainable chocolate supply chain. Shaw explains the rewards of deeply knowing who he working with, understanding the cocoa growers communities he’s working with and building a business with his daughter. Shawn is working hard to make globalisation work for him. After a successful legal career Shawn gave it all up to found a business with his daughter and focus on something he loves. This podcast provides practical insights into running a small business, the challenges the pandemic brought; and why now is the time for good cash flow management.

He dives candidly into how his father’s death spurred an innate desire to “deep work.” Which triggered his abandonment of a 20 year legal career and paved the way to his true calling: chocolate.

From working across his value chains, Shawn cites a key takeaway: “I aspire to continue to learn from [the farmers I work with] about this notion of ‘enough’ – how farmers demonstrate the joy of what seems so small.” To the big businesses, he says: “there is a way for your big business, to engage in the supply chain in a way that will change your life.”

“If we’re not at the tip top levels asking how much is enough, then nothing will be enough. I think that we have runaway greed that forgets why we’re doing this, what our purpose is. And I’m fearful of this. But by the same token, I’m very optimistic for the future of capitalism, because I believe that we’re in the midst of a sea change.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


Meaningful Work, Shawn’s book

The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran  

What Should I Do with My Life? By Po Bronson

Estimating the economic incentives necessary for eliminating child labor in Ghanaian cocoa production, by Jeff Luckstead, Francis Tsiboe & Lawton L. Nalley

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Regenerative agriculture creates climate resilience with Oliver Furechi, Evalyn Akoth and Sarah Roberts: https://businessfightspoverty.org/oliver-furechi-evalyne-akoth-and-sarah-roberts/


Embedding social into business with Lisa Manley of Mars: https://businessfightspoverty.org/lisa-manley/

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