During my childhood in the Gambia, I always loved the fresh juices my aunt would make us. She’d use a variety of local fruits and make them really simply, without any extracts, colourings or artificial flavourings.
Inspired to share this experience with others, I decided to create my own range of exotic, organic drinks using the same simple methods my aunt used. This range is called Chosan, a word which means ‘cultural heritage’ in the Wolof language we speak in The Gambia. By using fruits and plants indigenous to Africa, I like to think that Chosan’s delicious hisbiscus and baobab drinks pay homage to this rich heritage.
But Chosan is about more than just producing exotic drinks bursting with flavour. We also have a commitment to supporting African food producers. In countries like The Gambia, fresh fruits are always in abundant supply when they’re in season, but you can’t get hold of them outside of those times. Because of this, it’s hard for the farmers who grow the fruits to get a good price, because there’s so much competition from other producers.
I thought about this a lot while travelling, coming across mango juice in Bangladesh and guava cheese in Brazil. It struck me that it would make a huge difference to farmers if they could turn their produce into food and drink with a longer shelf life.
And so I became committed to helping them do just that. Now, 5p from the sale of every bottle of drinks in the Chosan range is donated to food producers in Africa. This goes a small way to helping them do as much as they can with the amazing fruits they cultivate.