A juice so delicious that you won’t believe it. The taste lies somewhere between that of a lychee and a mango. The best part of this product: it is made from a residual product that is otherwise thrown away. How did that come about? And what is the link with Rokbar? A conversation with Lars Gierveld.
Juice just flowed into the ground
Lars Gierveld, the name and face of Kumasi Juice (but certainly not the only driving force behind the delicious juice) was asked by Nestlé to make a documentary about the cocoa industry in Ghana. It all started with a question: why do cocoa farmers make so little money and how can we improve it? Lars: ‘During my visit to a cocoa plantation, I saw how the moisture from the wet beans flowed straight into the soil. Because the farmers are only paid for the dried beans, they do nothing with the moisture. A shame, because it tastes so good. ‘ And that is how Lars left as a journalist and returned as an entrepreneur.
Increase farmers’ income
There have been many setbacks in recent years. But again and again, along with the cocoa farmers, he overcame them. Everything with the aim of increasing the income of the farmers and introducing the world to the heavenly juice. Now, 1.5 years later, the first full batch of Kumasi Juice is on its way to the Netherlands!
Women greater role
In the coming years, Lars will focus on growing the company. Of the few farmers who are now involved, Lars ultimately wants to go to thousands. And he is determined to grow the turnover by at least 15% for every farmer. In addition, he also wants the women who work on the plantations to play a greater role and that they are actually paid for their work. We from Rokbar are of course completely onboard with that goal. That is why Rokbar was actively involved in the development of Kumasi Juice from the start. Anna gave advice and helped by deploying her network. “A valuable collaboration,” says Lars.
Time to experiment
But first it is time to experiment with flavors and other products. This is also how the collaboration with IJsmanschap came about. Together we develop an ice cream, the Rokit! The corona outbreak has delayed this somewhat. So you keep some of our credit. More on this later.