Maya Mountain Cacao: Optimizing Operations for Buyers and the Indigenous

by: Ryan Strauss, Oleksander Svyryd, Vanina Farber Fuks, Hassan Wilson

Publication Date: April 3, 2015
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-427

Core Disciplines: Base of the Pyramid, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, International Business, Operations Management/Supply Chain, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Honorable mention in the 2015 Next Billion competition. Maya Mountain Cacao and its holding company, Uncommon Cocoa, are growing rapidly. The companies are transitioning from an early stage to a growth stage and face critical decisions on what business ventures should be pursued next. Both entities must continue to maximize the social benefits associated with its operations, but have to balance output needs from the growing demand for its product. With three prospective business opportunities identified, students will determine which course(s) of action the companies should take for the future.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Identify interests and incentives for stakeholders across an international value chain.
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages associated with the structure and operations of a social enterprise that is maturing.
  • Articulate how to scale culturally sensitive and socially motivated business operations.
  • Identify and describe the challenges associated with a transparent supply chain.