WHERE AND HOW WE SOURCE
TRACEABILE COCOA BEANS
We compose the bean blend for our Finest Belgian Chocolate with coco beans from farmer communities in 3 different countries. Each cocoa bean origin contributes to the unique, balanced taste of our chocolate in a very specific way .
Since we source all beans directly from the farmer communities registered in the Cocoa Horizons programmes, we can guarantee full traceability to all chefs who are working with our products.
The cocoa beans we source from Ecuador add pleasant bitter notes and character to the chocolate taste of our Finest Belgian Chocolate.
HOW WE DIRECTLY SOURCE FROM
FARMER COOPERATIVES IN ECUADOR
Cocoa is one of Ecuador’s main export products. Yet more importantly, the country stands out for being the prime global exporter of fine flavour cocoa, and produces around 60% of the world’s fine flavour cocoa.The cocoa sector employs 5% of the active population in rural areas and provides a fundamental base of family livelihoods around the Coast, Andes foothills and the Amazon area.
Yet, contrary to West Africa, where most farms take an average about 3ha, farm size in Ecuador is in general a lot bigger and organised differently, involving around 150,000 families in the entire country. Most, approximately 70%, are small-scale producers, 20% being medium and 10% large producers.
We source cocoa in partnership with different local buying organisations who are committed to sustainable cocoa cultivation, and who have coaching programmes in place to improve farmer income and working conditions for farmers.
The buying organisations we source from, keep track of every bag of cocoa beans bought. They can allocate them to the farm where the beans were grown. To date, we cannot process all the data yet, since much of the registration is kept handwritten and not yet digitalised.
HOW WE ASSESS THE QUALITY OF THE BEANS
The buying organisations we work with, are closely connected with the local Ecuadorian cocoa growing communities. They watch over the crop evolution, farm by farm and assess very strict quality standards related to moisture content, fermentation quality and absence of any bean defects.
ONLY WELL-DRIED COCOA
The moisture content in our beans is below 8%. It guarantees the beans to be in the best conditions for storage and shipping.
ONLY WELL-FERMENTED COCOA
All lots of beans are quality checked to assure they have been well fermented. Good fermentation optimises the taste development in the beans.
ONLY IN JUTE BAGS
Jute is the ideal, natural barrier for the beans to ‘breathe’ during shipping and to keep them acclimatised during shipment and storage.
WHAT THE COCOA HORIZONS PROGRAMME MEANS FOR ECUADORIAN FARMERS
Cocoa Horizons partners with local organisations to organise farmer training around various topics for local communities, active in cocoa farming:
- farm productivity and crop diversification
- best agricultural practices and environmental protection
Cocoa Horizons pays farmers a premium and gives financial incentives for quality and yield improvements and stimulates the improvement of working conditions for Ecuadorian cocoa farmers.
MORE AT www.cocoahorizons.org