Associación Artesanal Eco-Cacao
ORIGIN TYPE: Association what’s this? 80 members, Established 2005
Cacao from this origin grows on the Northwest coast of Ecuador near the town of Esmeraldas about 50 meters above sea level. The region is a lush and tropical with ample rain and sun. Native varietals of cacao are shade grown and intermixed with high species diversity which helps add a positive impact to flavor. The flavor profile is a fruity and floral blend complexing to a very bright tasting bean. The majority of this cacao has been in this area for over 60 years. Many of the farmers and producers have been working this land and with each other for decades, thus long-standing relationships built on trust. The Association includes several cooperatives and within a cooperative is a regenerative farming group that won the Fruit and Flowers taste profile award for all Ecuadorian Cacao.
FARM SIZE: 700 total Ha
500 Ha. of Cacao
200 Ha. of Forested Conservation Area
PRODUCTION CAPACITY: 140-160 tons/year
PROJECTED PRODUCTION CAPACITY NEXT YEAR: 140-160 tons/year
CERTIFICATIONS: Fair Trade, Organic US
OTHER CROPS: Tropical Fruit, Cardamom, Ginger, Turmeric, Coffee
The Association has a long-term vision of ecological, social and cultural regeneration. The aims of regenerative farming include creation of local food security and conservation of biodiversity. Regenerative practices include seed saving, heirloom cacao propagation from endemic cacao varieties from that region and integration with permaculture design so farms are not economically reliant on a single cash crop. Individual coops and farms within the association are each doing amazing work towards supporting individual social and economic goals of each. Iterative quality improvement is fundamental to the goals and vision as well.
It is challenging to receive a premium price or what would be considered a fair market value for the level of product differentiation in terms of quality, type of varietal and environmental and social impact. For example, regenerative design and agro-ecological practices produce a lot of ecosystem service functions. Currently it is difficult for these common ecological and environmental benefits to be truly valued and rewarded. Thus, the extra effort in maintaining the high level of quality, purity and ecological biodiversity is not adequately incentivized for long-term success.
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