Taharka Bros. Ice Cream Co. & De La Sol Haiti Receive the Global Ties U.S. Citizen Diplomat Award

Spurred by an international exchange program, they established a direct trade relationship that is changing lives in Baltimore and Haiti.

Citizen-Diplomat-Award-photo-webWASHINGTON, DC, February 7, 2014 — The social entrepreneurs at Taharka Brothers Ice Cream Company and De La Sol Haiti received the Global Ties U.S. Citizen Diplomat Award as part of its National Meeting last week. The Taharka Brothers Ice Cream Co. is a Baltimore based for-profit and for-community social enterprise founded and operated primarily by young African American professionals. The company uses its award-winning ice creams, sorbets, and business initiatives to champion positive, progressive, social changes in society. De La Sol is a chocolate producer in Haiti that works with farmer-owned cooperatives located in the mountains of Massif du Nord, Haiti.

The Taharka Brothers set up a direct trade relationship with De La Sol in Haiti after being inspired by a meeting with participants on the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program, hosted by the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore. Spurred by request for single origin Haitian cacao powder to use in their chocolate ice cream, the partnership between the Taharka Brothers and De La Sol started with a single employee in Haiti. Six months later, De La Sol moved into new production facilities together with seven new hires. The cooperative continues to expand with additional employees and ingredients—including cinnamon, mango and coffee—and their expansion is helping the local communities grow and prosper together.

Global Ties U.S. President Jennifer Clinton said, "their partnership is an incredible story of the power of citizen diplomacy — where individuals are shaping the future of domestic and foreign relations. The Taharka Brothers and De La Sol have found a perfect intersection where expertise, passion, and some of the areas of greatest need come together. Through that intersection, they are planting the seeds for a blossoming sustainable agricultural manufacturing and exporting enterprise that's connecting and altering lives in both Haiti and Baltimore through the efforts of creative social enterprise."

The Taharka Brothers and De La Sol's work together to create exquisite gourmet food products—Taharka Brothers' award-winning "ice cream with a purpose" and De La Sol's high quality cacao beans and other ingredients—shows how local initiatives can be a source of cultural understanding, economic and social justice, and civic involvement.

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About Global Ties U.S.
When business, nonprofit, government, and academic leaders from around the world connect with their counterparts in the U.S. through international exchange programs, the relationships they forge become a powerful tool for addressing some of our biggest global challenges.

For over 50 years, Global Ties U.S. (formerly the National Council for International Visitors) has been making these kinds of connections possible. As a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State, we sustain a network that coordinates international exchange programs and brings current and future leaders from around the world to communities throughout the United States. We provide our members—from large, national organizations to smaller, community-based ones across 44 states and 13 countries—with connections, leadership development, and professional resources, so that they are the strongest, most effective organizations they can be.

The leaders who participate in international exchanges—and the communities that host them—benefit from greater knowledge, further understanding, and deeper relationships. These shared experiences result in stronger local communities and a more peaceful, prosperous world. Learn more at GlobalTiesUS.org.

About the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore
The World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) is the largest international business network of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic – a who's who of the top global business executives in the region.

At WTCI we strive to drive the growth of Maryland's flourishing global business community. Today more than 18,000 clients have benefited from WTCI's global connections, events, international visitors program and extensive global business services. In addition, WTCI serves as the World Bank Group's Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) for the region, enabling local firms to access opportunities in developing counties.

WTCI was established in 1989. Financed jointly by area businesses and the State of Maryland, WTCI operates as a private, non-profit membership organization.