Chicza manufactures the only organic chewing gum in the world by employing Mayan communities, fighting against unconscious consumerism, and taking care of and respecting the environment. This results in helping solve the following SDGs: Gender Equality, Reduce inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Life on Land.
Universidad de Monterrey
Chicza's contribution consists of giving equitable employment for women and men alike. A part of the production process (the packaging stage) is designed only for women to work on. Meanwhile, men mainly focus on the collection of the latex, which is the main ingredient used for the elaboration of the chewing gum. Through its circular economic model, Chicza employs and provides fair pay without exploitation to individuals in Mayan communities, which lack economic opportunity.
Separately, the company supports the community by taking care of the jungle, building schools, health brigades, and providing them with drinking water service.
Finally, the product packaging is entirely organic, thus making Chicza a healthier alternative.
The inspiration the founders of this company had was their desire towards the preservation of the natural, sustainable and original process of creating chewing gum. They started by going to business fairs around the world with the sole purpose of finding people who believed in the product they wanted to produce and sell. Eventually they encountered people who, similar to them, had a strong sense of humanism and believed in the positive impact the product would have on its workers and consumers.
One example of this is their chemical engineer, Hashimoto, who offered to develop the chewing gum formula in exchange for just the payment of his first class airplane ticket from Narita, Tokyo to Chicza’s base in Cancún just because he wanted to give back to the chewing gum since it had given him a lot.
The overall impact the company makes can be seen in the development of new forms for production based on an environmental care and fair trade scheme. Additionally, Chicza uses all necessary measures to avoid overexploitation of the environment. Furthermore, the company prioritizes inclusion by employing both genders, which results in a positive ecosystem where men and women can earn a source of income. Lastly, another impact generated by the company is that they are a certified organic company which means that they have suppliers who also have a strong sense of environmental conservation. This creates a value chain that ultimately helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Chicza has many competitive advantages which make it unique in its market, such as the fact that the company is the sole seller of 100% organic and non-polluting gum. Another advantage is their sense of respect and care towards the environment fair treatment to workers, which makes consumers feel good about buying Chicza products and increases employee retention due to their feeling content of the current work situation. Finally, the chewing gum industry under which Chicza operates is growing rapidly, which will allow for greater profits as both the company and industry itself grow.
The environmental positive impact the company has is that the chicozapote is the most abundant tree in the jungle and Chicza has 2.3 million hectares certified as organic for use and exploitation, but the company only uses less than 0.05% of the forest's resources available. Chicza also has the following certifications that endorse their operation:
ISO 9001 (2015)
USDA Organic Certification
Finally, another environmental benefit the product possesses is that it is biodegradable due to the prime materials used. This means that once the chewing gum is chewed, the remains will not stick to asphalt.
In terms of social benefit the company generates, the workers in charge of extracting the principal element in the production of the chewing gum, known as latex, are from small communities that before their involvement in the company, weren’t engaged in any type of economic activity. Currently the company is formed from 46 cooperatives with the first one being established by the creation of schools, sanitary brigades and potable water. Now it benefits around 2,000 families.
Miguel Aldrete, Marketing Manager
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Chetumal, Quintana Roo, MX
Business Website: https://www.chicza.com
Year Founded: 1992
Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000
Chicza is a company that produces the only 100% organic chewing gum in the world. They do this by consciously and responsibly taking advantage of the natural resources of the Mayan jungle in Yucatan, Mexico, through a fair trade scheme.
The company has the simple goals of giving back the value and returning the artisanal aspect to chewing gum that it once had. Chicza achieves this by making the process of production sustainable in terms of resources used and fairly compensating the workers in exchange for their labor.