The Good Will Chocolate Learning Community

Researchers gather for a photo on the front lawn of the Cocoa Research Center at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago
Researchers gather for a photo on the front lawn of the Cocoa Research Center at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago.

About the Good Will Chocolate Learning Community

The Good Will Chocolate Learning Community (GWCLC) is a new initiative that promotes the production of more sustainable chocolate and engages the global chocolate community to share best practices regarding their commitment to sustainability and how to attract impact investments to support those efforts. We call this the "Good Will Chocolate Approach." The initiative is managed by a partnership between the Institute for Corporate Responsibility at the George Washington University and the Cocoa Research Centre at the University of the West Indies.

The Good Will Chocolate Approach emphasizes the positive social and environmental impacts and the profitability of producing chocolate responsibly across the entire cocoa value chain. We use a new, innovative business model to demonstrate how the Good Will Chocolate Approach produces chocolate that is good for society, good for business, and tastes great. The Cocoa, Carbon and Community Project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and focused on sustainable cocoa farming in Trinidad and Tobago, is the first Good Will Chocolate Learning Community project.

About Good Will Chocolate

Good Will Chocolate was developed as a new and innovative research initiative aimed at attracting impact investment to the cocoa sector. The purpose is to provide support to chocolate producers to strengthen their capacity to adopt the use of responsible practices in their production processes and assure accountability for the sustainability of their cocoa supply chain, including producing carbon-neutral chocolate. Furthermore, Good Will Chocolate is the focus of a public awareness and action campaign to call attention to and offer solutions to sustainability-related challenges in the cocoa sector and to help close knowledge gaps for chocolate producers regarding sustainable practices within their cocoa supply chains. We have explored and analyzed sustainability certifications in-depth to learn what works and what doesn’t — and what won’t ever work. Based on this research, we created a new model and methodology for promoting sustainable practices within cocoa supply chains, creating a better alignment of business strategies, incentives, market signals and sustainability outcomes.

Discovering Good Will Chocolatiers

We have developed a Good Will Chocolate Framework and an assessment methodology that relies on a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data acquired from applicant companies to 1) discover chocolatiers compatible with the philosophy of the Good Will Chocolate metabrand, 2) identify information and practice gaps, and 3) help them overcome challenges to become valued members of the GWCLC.

Our recruitment methodology will identify chocolatiers that embrace sustainability as embedded in their business model and as a source of competitive advantage. We invite them to participate in semi-structured interviews and describe their sustainable practices. Thus, chocolate producers are able to express their own practices and priorities they believe achieve sustainability, providing local context and nuance. Rather than judging the chocolate producers according to predefined metrics, this mixed methodology provides an opportunity to discover the authentic and innovative responsible practices of chocolate producers in line with their own means and compared to their competitors.

We welcome tree-to-bar (chocolate production from harvesting cocoa beans), pod-to-bar (chocolate production from fresh cocoa beans), and bean-to-bar (chocolate production from fermented cocoa beans), chocolate producers to participate in a Good Will Chocolate interview to inspire and learn from each other.

What is the Good Will Chocolate Learning Community Doing Now?

There is a growing global market for chocolate that is fine-flavored but also sustainable. We are working with chocolatiers in Trinidad and Tobago to secure their participation. Simultaneously, we will engage in a marketing campaign in Washington, D.C. to market the Good Will Chocolate metabrand and allow Good Will Chocolate vendors to market under this brand. On the George Washington University campus, students have organized an awareness and action campaign to ensure students and alumni are aware of the unsustainable practices in some cocoa supply chains and provide them with information about Trinidad and Tobago businesses that operate under the Good Will chocolate metabrand.

As interest Good Will Chocolate grows, our awareness and action efforts can expand to chocolates made in other countries and build partnerships to support marketing and selling Good Will Chocolate in other markets in the U.S. and around the world.

Contact Us


  • John Forrer, Executive Director of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR)
  • Pathmanathan Umaharan, Head of the Cocoa Research Centre at the University of the West Indies (UWI)

For more information, please reach out to Project Manager Sukriti Mahipal.