We purchase cacao directly from the cacao growers we work with in Piedra de Plata, and we pay the highest price per pound of freshly-harvested cacao in the country. As far as we know, we also pay the highest price per pound in the entire world. This is just part of our commitment to elevating dark chocolate onto the levels of the finest wines and in doing so having a positive impact on the environment and cacao farming communities in Ecuador.
We're doing our best to contribute to positive change in the world of chocolate. This is a summary of our efforts. We discuss how we are paying the highest prices to farmers in the industry, going beyond certifications, building a technology platform for traceability of cacao, up-cycling byproducts, and protecting endangered varieties of cacao.
Nacional, which is native to Ecuador, is generally regarded as the most coveted cacao variety in the world. Its fame in the global market dates back several centuries, although its ancient origins run much deeper.
To’ak and its rainforest conservation partner Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) have embarked on a project to pull Ancient Nacional cacao variety back from the precipice of extinction. Click to read the details.
In the broadest sense, there are two types of cacao: bulk cacao and what is officially called “fine flavour” cacao. About 95% of the global supply of cacao is considered “bulk cacao.” Only 5% is “fine flavour.” Heirloom cacao is the finest of the fine flavour cacao.
Yes, all of our chocolate is certified Fair Trade with the exception of our Galapagos Harvest bars. In fact we direct-trade relationship with farmers and pay prices that are far higher than the fair trade equivalent.