We partner directly with cacao farmer cooperatives around the globe to create high quality, whole, peeled cacao seeds in their local communities with a goal of doubling their income from the cacao they’re already growing.
Why they’re Exceptional: Indonesia is the #4 cacao growing region in the world (behind Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Ecuador), but it is not known for fine flavor, high quality cacao [yet]. We strongly believe Koptan Masagena is a model of what Indonesian cacao is capable of. Here’s why:
- Their 2,300+ cooperative members actively manage and invest in their farms (and the quality shows).
- Their farmers maintain certification and on-going training with Rainforest Alliance to maintain biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods.
- Their genetics, fermentations and careful sun drying yield a bright, fruity flavor often associated with better-known origins like Madagascar.
- Women are well represented and active in their cooperative management structure.
- They’re an enterprising group that has ventured into making their own chocolate confections, drinks and products for sale locally and nationally.
- They are the model of hospitality - hosting countless visitors from chocolate producing nations and often other grower groups from around the world for knowledge exchange!
- They were our first grower partner - they have willingly pushed through every experiment, obstacle and growing pain together.
Why they’re Exceptional: Coagricsal began as a coffee cooperative and is now one of the largest exporters of organic, fair trade coffee in Latin America. They encouraged their members to plant cacao as a way to diversify income / reduce volatility. Their deep experience in growing and post-harvesting coffee has translated into remarkably well-grown and fermented cacao.
- They are community-minded. I was shocked that such a large coffee exporter would ever invest in a relationship with a small company like ours. BUT - they too were looking for ways to provide meaningful and safe work for more women in their community!
- Their farmers maintain certification and on-going training with Organic Certification and Fairtrade International to tackle poverty and empower producers and traders to seek better terms of trade.
- Their genetics, centralized and carefully managed fermentation and drying techniques yield an incredibly smooth and easy chocolate flavor that tastes far less “intense” than typical 80% cacao content chocolate bars. Look for flavor notes of banana, nuts and even coffee in their cacao beans.
- Their organic cacao beans are the source of our Harmony flavor - a 2018 Good Food Award Winner for the confections category!
- They’re another very entrepreneurial group - with several women in the community who hand-make bon bons and other chocolate treats. PLUS, they opened their own chocolate bar factory in February 2019!