As part of a biennial supplier review, Jennifer Schramm, a purchasing manager in the cocoa and chocolate division at Cardinal Foods, had been considering several different cocoa cooperatives. She wanted to (1) source high-quality cocoa in the proper particle sizes, (2) source cocoa from environmentally and socially conscious producers, (3) keep the cost of cocoa sourcing as low as possible, and (4) not increase any reputational risks to the company. Information and data from three cooperatives is given to assist in making a recommendation.
From an operations perspective, the purpose of the case is to teach the dual concepts of capability and natural variability. The case can be used as a lead-in to the concept of statistical process control. From an ethical sourcing perspective, the case addresses the complexities involved in making a principled decision in a global supply chain.