Answered Essay: I'm Joe, founder and CEO of Theo Chocolate. >> I'm Debra, vice-president of sales and marketing for Theo Chocolate

 I'm Joe, founder and CEO of Theo Chocolate.

>> I'm Debra, vice-president of sales and marketing for Theo Chocolate. My entire life I've been a daily chocolate eater, but I think it really wasn't until I got to know Joe that I started to understand the depth of the story of chocolate and all of the social and environmental issues surrounding chocolate. I think it has special powers.

>> After my experience in Central America, I saw that social and environmental degradation were really business problems. And I wanted to help save the world by making chocolate. And I got into the cocoa industry, importing cocoa beans and then working with manufacturers to make chocolate. And we were doing organic chocolate here in the United States and in Europe. But after doing that for several years, I saw that if -- that it was most important to control the brand and the message, control the manufacturing from the bean all the way to the finished product, and the supply chain. Because if I could build a vertically integrated business, I had the best opportunity to affect every part of the business and really create lasting change. We're really interested and care deeply about where all of our ingredients come from. Our business ethic is informed by our belief that all life on the planet is interconnected, that we need consumers to be healthy and well, our farmers to be health and well, and the entire planet to be healthy and well in order for us to be successful and profitable.

>> Theo for me is an example of what Joe and I envision as enlightened capitalism. We're the only organic fair trade certified bean to bar chocolate factory in the United States, which is pretty exciting. So I like to say that we're trying to define the intersection of artisan world-class chocolate making with sustainable practices. I like to say it's doing good while doing well. And so what that means is that we see ourselves as a triple bottom line company, which means we value people, the planet, and profit in equal measure. And none of those things suffer at the expense of something else. One of the most important steps that we've taken to hold ourselves accountable in terms of the way that we treat our own employees is we recently underwent IMO certification for our own factory. So what that means is that we hold ourselves accountable to the same fair trade standards that our farmers undergo. So we're subject to the same kind of scrutiny. The reason that's so important to us is because we're very committed to transparency at every level of our supply chain. And so if we don't fulfill our own and embody our own values here within the company, within our own relationships, with our own employees, then it's really meaningless. And that's an ongoing challenge for us.

Use your understanding of ethics to complete the sentence.

Debra notes that Theo Chocolate has started holding its own operations to the same IMO standards of fair trade to which it holds its suppliers. This type of____ sends a powerful message to employees and customers.

A. Ethical leadership

B. “green” consciousness

C. legal compliance

D. unprofitable behavior

Joe and Debra are deeply interested in the well-being of the cocoa farmers they buy from. Imagine that they were thinking about starting a global service program, in which Theo Chocolate employees would live in cocoa-growing communities for a year at a time, contributing their management and technical expertise. What advice would you give Joe and Debra? Check all that apply.

Global service programs were a fad in the early part of the 21st century, but the large corporations that tried them have mostly stopped.

Theo Chocolate would probably benefit from such a program because the employees who participate will have greater cross-cultural awareness.

Employees often view such assignments as highly desirable and would likely see the opportunity to participate in such a program as a benefit of working for Theo Chocolate.

By immersing some of its employees in the communities where it does business, Theo Chocolate would gain a more intimate knowledge of emerging markets, perhaps allowing it to sell chocolate or other foods there someday.

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