It’s not every day that a bean-to-bar chocolate company gets asked to be part of a presidential initiative. But then, Askinosie Chocolate isn’t your everyday chocolate company.

The Springfield, Mo.-based chocolate maker has been asked to join the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

The organization was founded by former President Bill Clinton and it works toward improving social issues such as global health and increasing opportunities for women.

Specifically, Askinosie Chocolate will participate in CGI’s Food Systems track, which works to find solutions for increasing global demand for food.

“We're honored to be part of CGI and the great work they are facilitating around the world,” says Shawn Askinosie, founder and ceo of Askinosie Chocolate. “We're diligently working

on a Commitment to Action related to our sustainable nutrition program in the Philippines as part of our membership. Clinton Global Initiative membership validates our company’s community development work around the world, which proves that really small companies can have impact. I look forward to the Annual Meeting in New York this fall where I will have the chance to learn from experts around the world.”

Askinosie is currently the only chocolate maker practicing Direct Trade on four continents. In two of its cocoa origin communities, the company has established several development projects, in addition to its standard of paying a premium for cocoa beans and visiting the farmers yearly to share profits and open its books to them.

Founded at the forefront of the American craft chocolate movement, this small-batch chocolate manufacturer with 15 employees, sources 100 percent of its beans directly from farmers.

Shawn Askinosie, founder and ceo, travels to Ecuador, Honduras, Tanzania and the Philippines to work directly with cocoa growers there.