SOURCING CACAO BEANS – IT MATTERS
Cacao beans (or cocoa if you prefer) is the heart of chocolate.
You need great beans to make great chocolate – it’s as simple as that.
While most cacao (cocoa) beans are grown in Africa, the best stuff has traditionally come from the Caribbean and latin America.
Things are changing though. Lately, Vietnam, Hawaii and Australia are producing some great stuff. Now Ghana and Madagascar are producing some wonderful cacao to square the circle in Africa.
SOURCING CACAO – OUR 4 RULES
Hummingbird was started by ex-aid workers who spent their career working directly beside farmers. It’s very, very important to us that the cacao we source is done fairly, ethically and sustainably.
We, or a fellow chocolate maker we trust, must connect directly with the farmer to ensure:
1- farmer receives better than Fair Trade prices
2- cacao is grown sustainably
3- cacao farmed ethically and humanely- no child labour
4- do the right thing
LA RED GUACONJE
El Factor, Dominican Repulic
A 105-strong farmer co-op based in the north-central region of the Dominican Republic, ‘La Red’ produces a trinatario cacao with lovely fruity notes.
La Red’s farmers intersperse their organic cacao trees with other trees and plants to promote a sustainable agroforestry system.
Lam Dong, Vietnam Repulic
These lovely trinatario beans come from the central highlands of Vietnam. They’re carefully sourced by our friends at Marou Chocolate.
San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic
An hour’s drive, but a world away in taste from La Red, these unique trinatario beans are grown in a bio-reserve dedicated to protecting the winter home of the Bicknel’s Thrush (or Zorzal de Bicknell), an endangered bird native to eastern Ontario, Quebec, New England and New York.
Growing sustainable cacao to support a bird preserve is wonderfully creative and smart. The growers have set aside 70% of their 400 hectare preserve to be forever wild, while growing cacao in a way that both supports their mission and promotes biodiversity.
Find out more about their incredible story Link