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Horizontal Traders and Chocolatiers Visit Trent University September 25-29


ChocoSol Founders, Michael Sacco and Graham Corbett, to Lead Chocolate-Making Demonstrations and Public Discussions

Monday, September 25, 2006, Peterborough

From Monday, September 25 to Friday, September 29, Trent University will host Michael Sacco and Graham Corbett, horizontal traders, chocolatiers, and creators of the ChocoSol project in Mexico and Ontario. During their visit, they will lead a chocolate-making demonstration and a world affairs discussion.

The chocolate-grinding and making demonstration will take place on Tuesday, September 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the ground floor atrium of Gzowski College. This event will feature a demonstration and dialogue around artisanal chocolate-making, bicycle-grinding technology, and fair trade. 

On Friday, September 29 Mr. Sacco and Mr. Corbett will lead in a World Affairs Colloquium entitled “What is Global Citizenship Anyways? Zapatistas, Mayan Wisdom, and the Chocolate Revolutionary Café,” to be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Lady Eaton College Pit. Both events are open to the public and free to attend.

“For us this is not a mere business or social enterprise,” said Michael Sacco. “It is a lifestyle and life choice. It is a calling and, at the same time, an experiment.  We call it the ChocoSol project, but more than anything it is about the relationships and work that we have with a group of friends that stretch between Chiapas and Ontario, and then all throughout cyberspace as far as India and Brazil. We are not entrepreneurs, we are antrepreneurs and our definition of sustainability is one much different from what that term usually refers to.”

Michael Sacco is a Ph.D. student affiliated with Universadad de la Tierra in Oaxaco, Mexico. He received his Master’s degree from York University in Environmental Sciences. His academic interests range from post-development studies to civil society movements to alternative energy. Mr. Sacco has been mentored by Gustavo Esteva and his practical experience has taken him to Oaxaca and Chiapas where, together with the indigenous community, he and his project partner, Mr. Corbett, have designed and built solar roasters now used by local cacao producers.

Graham Corbett is a graduate from the University of Guelph, and his research has taken him from Inuit communities in the Arctic to the jungles of Chiapas.

The concept of horizontal trade is a unique business model and outside of the normal NGO structures in Canada. ChocoSol recently shipped three tonnes of cacao, coffee, and vanilla to Toronto. They sell at farmers' markets and to small businesses that are interested in the stories behind the healthy products. Mr. Sacco and Mr. Corbett know the producers of the products, having lived with the families and worked along-side them in the harvesting, fermenting and roasting of the products. ChocoSol’s healthy products are used to create dialogue to promote interculturality and radical pluralism, especially between Southern Mexico and Southern Ontario.


For more information, please contact:
Ray Dart, Principal, Gzowski College, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7744; or
Michael Allcott, Trent International Program Director, (705) 748-1011 x1280