What do you know about the farmers who produce the cacao for your chocolate?
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 will also be available in dutch.
We’ve send this question to the makers of the chocolates we sell. And received a lot of answers.
The answer of Erithaj
“We are working with small cacao farmers family in Ben Tre province, Mekong Delta, South of Vietnam. Most of them are living nearby our fermentation station and we are pretty closed to them as a small community. There are actually two kinds of farmers we are working with, the ones that are delivering fresh cacao pods and the other ones that are delivering fresh cacao pulp.
The farmers that are delivering fresh pulp are also collecting from other farmers close to their place and delivering us once around 150kg to 300kg fresh pulp. But some people are just collectors with their own network of farmers. Whereas for fresh cacao pods, we receive from 5kg to 50kg per delivery. Even some of the farmers living nearby are riding bicycle to delivering us their small harvest of the day.
We are all connected with each other and sometimes it could create complex relations. It happens that some farmers are competing with the collectors. Our relation with the farmers/suppliers are 100% based on trust and we can not avoid them to go to another place to sell their harvest. It is a real long-term human relation that requires to be patient until we could gain the full trust of a farmer. But beyond the human relation, decent price is the major factor that preserves a long term relationship based on trust and quality.
The world of cacao is first of all about socio-economic reality.”