Certified Organic Madagascar Have Arrived

The second shipment of Madagascar cocoa has arrived and we are very pleased with it. All the same deep red fruit notes, same interesting red color. The Product and Review pages are all updated, and the price is a little less than originally anticipated. Please check it out. This is a very interesting and dynamic bean.

On a slightly different note, a number of people have asked about Fair Trade cocoa beans. The crux of Fair trade is that the farmers are receiving a “fair” price for their cocoa beans in the expectation that it is profitable for them to produce them, and that the farmers will prosper and continue to produce beans in the future. There are also some certification processes involved and some stipulations about the beans being from a co-op, not just single farms.

What I am attempting to get at here is to say, look at our prices. They are where they are not because we are making huge profits but because we are paying significantly more that the world market as they are “specialty” cocoa beans. By no means am I trying to imply that our cocoa beans are “Fair Trade” because they are not. Usually it is because the producers have not gone through the paperwork or they are from small farms (these Madagascars and the Barinas come to mind). What I am saying is that we do pay a “fair” price for these beans and that is making it to the farmers. Likewise, none of our beans (including the Ghana) were produced by any child slave labor. I know that has and does plague the chocolate industry. In addition, most certified Fair Trade cocoa that I have seen has all been general “hybrid” cocoa. What are the thoughts on this? Do you want any Fair Trade cocoa bean (that tastes good of course) or a Fair Trade Criollo or Trinitario?

What it comes down to is that along with Certified Organic, Fair Trade cocoa is next on the list. I hope when the present batch of Ghana (which is very low) is replaced, that will be Fair Trade Certified.

Please let me know your thoughts on this. It matters!

3 Responses to “Certified Organic Madagascar Have Arrived”

  1. Hmmmm….very interesting. I’m growing a vanilla vine, although the chances of me actually producing vanilla (have you ever looked at that process?!?!?!) are pretty small. I did bid on one of those extractors on eBay, but I really can’t justify another hobby just at the moment…. Wah. The site looks VERY cool. I did notice a screwy link. From the “Contact Us” page, the “Products” link goes to “All about Cocoa Beans…”. I’d be glad to show you a couple alternative site-setups that’d make managing a little easier as well as allowing you to sponsor an on-line ‘community’ for cocoa-roasters… Much love! Bernie

  2. Hi John!

    Re the fair trade issue. Personally, I think that the terms ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘Organic’ can be bandied about all too often as buzz words and an easy cover-all for every situation.

    I think (as with everything in life) that this ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for everyone – presumably in this case for cocoa farmers.

    So if you can source beans under terms that give the farmers a fair deal, I see that as being far more important than sourcing them under a ‘Fair Trade’ banner if this doesn’t add any value to the farmer.

    You’re doing a great job John – much appreciated!

  3. Hi AlChemist, I’m fixin’ to make another Kona Kahlua Cheesecake. (with only the best ingredients which is why I’m here:-) Have home roasted Top Estate Kona covered of course, but the recipe uses cocoa powder: 1/4C in the crust & 3/4C in the topping. I was hoping to figure out a way to use home roasted Venezuelan Ocumara somehow rather than SB like last time. I’ve done some researching and don’t know of a way to press chocolate liquer to remove 3/4 of it’s cocoa butter content. (which is what I read multiple sources how cocoa powder made) For the crust just fine ground nibs would work quite well me thinks since would be mixed with graham cracker crumbs and fine chopped macadamia nuts, but not for the top layer of the cheesecake, needs to be smoother for proper consistency. Any ideas? Could try processing the Ocumare to liquer and use it instead of cocoa powder and reduce sour cream (calls for 1&1/2C) in topping to compensate for added cocoa butter liquid content. But that could change the flavor ratio… hmmm, just thinking out loud! I’d hate to screw it up… but no guts no glory. MM;-)

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