From small farms...
. ... to our small bakery in Norwich, Norfolk. We source cacao and sugar from organic certified farms & worker co-operatives who not only focus on quality, they approach farming practices and worker welfare with the same integrity. Farmers are paid a minimum of 10% above the organic fairtrade price, and also receive member benefits such as access to seedling banks, training courses and welfare services for their families.
On the fertile soils of the Ambanja district, we find an organic cacao orchard that makes up one part of a 2000 hectare Akesson Estate in northwest Madagascar’s Sambirano valley. The estate is owned by Bertil Åkesson. Before
Bertil bought the plantation back in 1998, it was owned by the
government (like every plantation in Madagascar back then). The cacao mainly consists of Trinitario (a cacao varietal) trees that were brought to
the island by the French, and a small part of Criollo.
Over the years Bertil and his family have played an important role
in elevating the standards of high-quality Madagascan cacao.
Trace back to source: instagram.com/akessons_organic/ facebook.com/akessons.organic
Certification: organic BE-BIO-01
Bom Jesus is a single plantation within Brazil's Atlantic
Protected Forest (Mata Atlântica). It's part of the Cabruca
cooperative in Bahia. Patrick, the plantation owner, has made
it his life's project to protect and regenerate the land, and
became one of the two first organic cocoa producers in Brazil
in 1987. Bom Jesus thrives in an agroforestry, an intercropped system,
with biodynamic agricultural practices.
They've transformed their hectares into a lush cocoa haven. They now have 3 levels of vegetation and have achieved the
Demeter certification by using biodynamic practices to ensure
Trace back to source: instagram.com/cabrucacooperativa facebook.com/cabrucacooperativa
Certification: organic CA18272
Latitude Trade Co is a Ugandan social enterprise with the goal of building economic
development in the cocoa communities they work with.
They buy organic certified fresh cacao with cash on delivery
at rural collection points within walking distance from the
cocoa farms. The cacao is centrally fermented and sun-dried at Latitude's nearby facility, recognized and praised by many craft chocolate makers around the world, (and also used at their own local small batch chocolate factory in Uganda). Their supplier program provides farmers with a premium
price, training, insurance, and microfinance. Latitude Trade
Co's supplier program seeks to uplift cocoa farmers and
create a more resilient and prosperous farming community.
Trace back to source: instagram.com/latitudetradeco facebook.com/LatitudeTradeCo
Certification: organic UG-BIO-149
Over the last 10 years, Brian LoBue and Simran Bindra, the founders of Kokoa Kamili, have put the Tanzanian cocoa sector on the fine flavor map. In the Kilombero valley, in the heart of Tanzania, Kokoa Kamili collaborate with approximately 2400 smallholder farmers. They travel to meet farmers and purchase wet cocoa directly from farmers' pods, paying the farmers more than they would receive if
they were to ferment and dry the beans themselves. Year after year, through a
meticulously controlled post-harvest process, Kokoa Kamili bring cacao to the market that is among the best in
Trace back to source: instagram.com/kokoakamili facebook.com/kokoakamili
Certification: organic TZ-BIO-149
Norandino is a cooperative in Piura, in the north of Peru, made up of a
group of smallholder farmers committed to elevating social and economic standards and preserving the environmental heritage through high-quality produce. Norandino provides technical field assistance to all its members, support in certifications, upfront credits for small producers and knowledge sharing in all their agricultural research. They have also built a groundwater well for drinking water and a children's park for the community. The natural growth of this cacao starts in the river basin of
the Marañon river, in the border between Peru and Ecuador. The varietal of cacao grown here (Cacao Blanco de Piura) is a native and unique cacao because of its ancient origin in the Upper
Amazon. The cocoa beans are a descendant of the Nacional variety, among the
rarest in the world, and characterized by their white colour and delicate
Trace back to source: instagram.com/coopnorandino facebook.com/coopnorandino/ Certification: organic PE-BIO-149
L’Esterre is a family-run cocoa & nutmeg estate that’s been
within the Ramdhanny family for the past seven decades.
The name literally translates to the ‘Land of the East.’
L’Esterre is tucked in the northeast of the island of Grenada, surrounded by gentle hills of thickly forested land,
bound by a river. Falling just on the outskirts of the rainforest,
it benefits from frequent rainfall and rich, volcanic, fertile soil. Still very much at the heart of the family today, they grow organic
cocoa and nutmeg and follow regenerative agroforestry and
intercropping techniques, mimicking nature with mixed cultivation,
maintaining the rich soil and its biodiversity. This method is more
biologically productive, the soil is continuously enriched and
nutritious, achieving higher yield and healthy, thriving crops. They
work with crop rotation and 'cover crops' to build soil, (for example cocoa pod shells are left to decompose beneath trees becoming food for the soil) which removes the
need for fertilizers and pesticides.
Trace back to source: instagram.com/lesterreorganics facebook.com/lesterreorganics
Certification: organic CE-201129
Village Hope is a purpose-driven social enterprise. Led by Umu and
Jonathan, their goal is to reduce rural poverty, and create jobs,
with high-quality cocoa.
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world according
to the World Bank; fortunately, there are
excellent opportunities for businesses in rural communities in Sierra
Leone especially in agriculture.
Today Village Hope works with a network of 4000 farmers and is
proud to produce top quality cocoa. It’s believed Sierra Leone's
first beans came from Trinidad, bringing a strong Trinitario
influence. The cocoa farms are in the Southeast of Sierra Leone, on
the border of Liberia and Guinea, in an eco-
zone with some of the highest biodiversity in the world. The farmer communities who belong to this Social Enterprise receive constant training
and evaluation including knowledge sharing, provision of seeds and nurseries,
and improving agricultural techniques.
Trace back to source: facebook.com/villiagehopeinc
Certification: organic CE-205033
APACH is the Asociación de Productores Agroforestales de
la Cuenca del Rio Choloma. A cooperative of 110 small-scale
producers of which 25% are women. The plantations are
nestled in the mountains of El Merendon, in the municipality
of Choloma, right on the northern coast of Honduras in the
Department of Cortés. As a cooperative, APACH focuses on
promoting sustainable farming practices, supporting the
economic well-being of its members, and fostering
collaboration among producers. In an attempt to get better prices and appreciation for the high-
quality cocoa they were producing, members of APACH teamed
up and founded the cooperative in 1995 and over the last two decades they've also been
able to diversify their income through other crops like lumber
and tropical fruit.
Cooperative members receive training and assistance to increase quality and
productivity, and all use small-scale
production within organic and agroforestry systems which allows them to protect the soil and the water sources, improving the biodiversity and
reforestation of their lands.
Trace back to source: this cooperative isn't on social media at the moment
Certification: organic HN-BIO-123