Supports cacao farmers across Latin America, helping them to improve quality through selection of cacao fino varietals and better post-harvest practices. Access to market for cacao fino improves farmers lives and promotes production of cacao as best sustainable crop in tropical ecosystems. Eat more origin chocolate! Save some rainforest!!
Criollo, Trinitario, Forastero. Until only recently, cacao and chocolate specialists spoke about there being just 3 types of cacao. Fine cacao has been sourced from an extremely limited number of origins and production hampered by misconceptions. Since the deciphering of cacao's DNA and initial studies carried out since then, we know that there are at least 10 families and that more are sure to be identified. The great genetic diversity of cacao found in the fields and jungles of Latin America has been largely ignored. Bulk varieties are introduced and unique wild trees lost.
Cacao originated in the Amazon Basin and is grown between 20° South and 20° North of the Equator. The tropical rainforests of Latin America are facing urgent challenges. Their deforestation contributes significantly to increased carbon levels and also shrinks habitat where biodiversity is highest on the planet. Cacao when successfully managed under shade is a barrier against landholders shifting to Cattle, African Palm or other monoculture crops. It can be grown in buffer zones and even inside of some protected areas where the people who live there need a viable crop. Reforestation projects, to gain back what has been lost, can be created using cacao as key anchor along with native and hardwood trees.