In the fall of 2015, the United Nations adopted a global sustainability agenda. The goal of the 2030 Agenda is to create a peaceful and sustainable society. The core of the agreement is formed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which list the areas in which sustainable development must be strengthened and anchored. These include, for example, „No poverty,“ „Decent work and economic growth,“ „Sustainable consumption and production,“ or „Climate action.“ Of particular importance is the goal „High-quality education,“ which is the basis for achieving all the other goals.
The aim of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is to provide information about economic, ecological and social interrelationships. This should enable people to decide and act responsibly.
ESD is an integral part of the museum’s mission statement and the basis of our educational work. In our educational offerings and exhibitions, our museum guests are informed about the working and living conditions of cocoa farmers. We explain the ecological consequences of cocoa cultivation and the still unsolved problem of exploitative child labor.
However, we do not want to leave it at the presentation of the problems. Using current examples, we show how companies as well as governmental and private organizations are working to improve the current situation and achieve the goals for sustainable development. In doing so, we try to convey to our guests what we can all do to improve the situation.
We at the Chocolate Museum see our educational work on sustainable development as an essential part of our social commitment to a world with a future.
Mission Statement Chocolate Museum
As part of the 2030 Agenda, the United Nations has defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These include, for example: No Hunger, Decent Work, Sustainable Consumption and Production, and Climate Protection Measures. We at the Chocolate Museum feel obliged to make our contribution to achieving these goals.
Our educational offers
BNE is the foundation of all our educational offerings. In order to enable an in-depth and lasting engagement with the topic of sustainability, the Chocolate Museum strives for long-term educational partnerships with schools. The content of the museum visit is prepared and followed up in the classroom. Within the scope of our possibilities, we support teachers in organizing lessons and even come to the school if necessary. In this way, the Chocolate Museum tries to meet the high demands of ESD. After all, it is not about imparting pure factual knowledge, but about recognizing connections and thus enabling independent sustainable action. This requires a longer-term and more intensive engagement with the topic.
Themed tour „Sustainable & fair – chocolate & cocoa“.
During the one-hour tour, the students learn about the working and living conditions of farmers in the West African cocoa sector. They talk about the ecological consequences of cocoa cultivation, poverty, child labor and world trade. In the process, they discuss possible solutions together and discuss what contribution we can all make to improving the situation.
Training for teachers
The Chocolate Museum regularly offers free continuing education courses for teachers. In addition to cultural history events, training courses on the topic of sustainability are an integral part of our educational program. We are not only concerned with content, but also with the question of how this can be conveyed in an interesting and exciting way. The implementation of our training courses usually takes place in cooperation with our educational partners, such as the Tropical Forest Foundation OroVerde or the Südwind Institute.
Our current training offer:
- Chocolate – a treat for all? Fair trade and sustainability using the example of cocoa and chocolate
- Colonial commodity cocoa – imperialism and colonialism using the example of cocoa and chocolate
Our educational partnerships
The Chocolate Museum offers schools the opportunity for long-term and sustainable cooperation. Together with the teachers, we discuss how the topic of sustainability can be meaningfully incorporated into the curriculum using the example of cocoa and chocolate. We develop customized learning opportunities that always include a visit to the chocolate museum.
Since 2018, three educational partnerships have already been concluded, and more are in the pipeline.
- Offene Schule Köln (OSK, siehe Anhang)
- Hildegard-von-Bingen-Gymnasium Köln
- Prismaschule – Städtische Gesamtschule Langenfeld
Numerous ESD-related events were again held in 2019. The focus was on the theme week „Chocolate and cocoa – sustainable and fair!“ and the international symposium „Agroforestry systems: opportunities and limits for the cocoa sector“. Another highlight was the presentation of the special exhibition „Bitter Bean – Sweet Pleasure“.
International Green Week
As a member of the Sustainable Cocoa Forum, the Chocolate Museum was once again represented at the International Green Trade Fair in Berlin in 2019. Museum staff members provided information about the difficult social conditions in cocoa farming and presented current projects and initiatives that strive for more sustainable cocoa cultivation. Presentations covered the entire value chain from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate bar.
Theme week „Chocolate and cocoa – sustainable and fair!“
Since 2018, the Chocolate Museum has organized an annual Sustainability and Fair Trade theme week. This is organized together with „Plant for the Planet“ and „Engagement Global“ and always takes place at the end of May/beginning of June as part of the European Sustainability Week. Numerous guided tours and workshops are offered during the event. In addition, various organizations and initiatives report on sustainable cocoa and chocolate projects.
Special exhibition „Bitter Bean – Sweet Pleasure“
The special exhibition „Bitter Bean – Sweet Pleasure?“ was shown from July 2019 to January 2020. The exhibition takes a critical look at the social and ecological consequences of cocoa cultivation. However, it also shows what sustainable cocoa production and chocolate manufacturing can look like. The exhibition was developed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with expert support from the Chocolate Museum. From January 2020, the exhibition will go on tour.
Symposium „Agroforestry systems: opportunities and limitations for the cocoa sector“.
In 2019, an international symposium on the topic of cocoa and sustainability was held once again. This year’s conference focused on the possibilities of sustainable cultivation methods for cocoa, so-called agroforestry systems. These offer better income opportunities and minimize negative ecological impacts. Representatives from politics, business and civil society took part. The conference was organized together with the „Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)“ and the „Südwind-Institut“.
On September 26, 2019, under the patronage of Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker, the fifth FairTradeNight took place at the VHS Forum Cologne. The aim of the event is to strengthen fair trade in Cologne and to bring the topic further into the public eye. The Chocolate Museum participated again this year and provided information about poverty and child labor in the cocoa sector. We also presented our educational work to interested visitors.
Meeting fairly – shaping fairly
From September 18 to 20, around 1,000 representatives from municipalities and cities, schools, universities, companies and associations came together in Cologne to exchange ideas on fair trade. The occasion was the award ceremony for the „Capital of Fair Trade“ competition and the 10th anniversary of the Fairtrade Towns campaign. During the event, employees of the Chocolate Museum provided information about working and living conditions in cocoa cultivation. A workshop on the topic of colonialism using the example of cocoa was also offered.
Climate Justice Ambassador Academy
In cooperation with Plant for the Planet, a Children’s Academy was held for the first time this year. Almost 60 children between the ages of 9 and 12 were trained as climate ambassadors. The all-day program included several lectures and workshops, including a rhetoric training.