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!