The first question in our blog series of ‘questions for chocolatemakers’ was by Paul’s mother, a fan of milkchocolate interested in the ethical side of chocolate and cacao. We are very interested to hear your opinions and questions. Do you also have a question for the chocolate makers? Contact us!
This blog is also available in dutch.
We’ve send this question to the makers of the chocolates we sell. And received a lot of answers.
What do you know about the farmers who produce the cacao for your chocolate?
The answer by Original Beans:
“Original Beans’ cacao is produced in long-term direct-trade partnerships with indigenous communities and small farmer cooperatives in rainforest origins in Latin America, Africa and Indonesia. With our own cacao and conservation projects “on the ground”, we can guarantee full traceability & the implementation of our conservation principles.
True to our motto “One bar : One tree”, we plant or preserve a tree in the origin for each chocolate bar sold. For the cultivation of the trees, we set up tree nurseries where the seedlings grow until they can be planted directly into the rainforests. The farmers with whom Original Beans cooperates are trained as “tree experts” and gain knowledge about the fragile ecology they live in during their work in the nurseries. Once big enough, the new trees are planted in the midst of the rainforest and provide both food and a source of income for the farmers – all without chopping down precious forest. Chocolate-lovers can track those activities via a code on the back of each bar on www.originalbeans.com.
In exchange for high-quality fine flavour cacao and commitment to rainforest protection, Original Beans – as a member of the Direct Cacao Organization – pays the farmers well above the trading market price and more than the double of the fair-trade standard. On top, Original Beans provides additional support to farmers, like quality-trainings, alphabetiziation and leadership courses.
Through our Femmes de Virunga project in Eastern Congo, we give female farmers the opportunity to free themselves from traditional dependency patterns and realize their entrepreneurial potential. Being a woman in Eastern Congo is extremely hard since dependency, exploitation and even rape determine their daily life. By providing cacao trainings and seedlings, as well as literacy and leadership courses, we give them a future in the cacao sector. This empowerment project has already helped hundreds of disadvantaged women to improve their living conditions significantly.”