Dominican Republic map
ORIGIN TYPE: Individual Farm what’s this? 9 farmers, Established 2012
Our passions for cacao, research, wildlife and conservation unite at Reserva Zorzal (or the Bicknell’s Thrush Reserve, as it is known in English) — a 1,000 acre bird sanctuary and organic cacao demonstration farm in the northern mountain range of the Dominican Republic. Here on the reserve we demonstrate that cacao and the thrush can be emissaries of international conservation. We purchase cacao from a few farmers who share the same organic and conservation goals. The farmers are paid above fair trade wages. However, we are primarily a demonstration farm that provides educational opportunities focused on cacao grafting and organic fertilization.
LAND & PRODUCTION
TOTAL ORIGIN SIZE: 378 total Ha
25 Ha. of Cacao
30 Ha. of other crops
323 Ha. of Forested Conservation Area
PRODUCTION CAPACITY: 9-10 kg/year
PROJECTED PRODUCTION CAPACITY NEXT YEAR: 11-12 kg/year
CERTIFICATIONS: Organic US
VARIETALS: Trinitario, ICS 95, ICS 40; ML 22; ML 106; UF 29, Criollo 11
OTHER CROPS: Macademia, platano, orange, and root crops.
Zorzal Cacao began in 2009 with the idea that the raw ingredient for chocolate could also be the raw materials for conservation. Cacao’s “commercial migration” from the tropics to markets around the world, in many ways reflects the northbound journeys of migratory songbirds. With that mind, we launched Zorzal Cacao with a mission to bring cacao to market and the fertile markets of human ideas and entrepreneurship to bear on conservation and communities. Migrating between those habitats and communities here in the Dominican Republic and North America is a rare, unassuming songbird now on a big mission: Bicknell’s Thrush.
125 acres of the 1,000 acre Reserve is a cacao demonstration farm. We blend research and a passion for cacao to help to boost yields, incomes and the quality of life among local growers. The average cacao parcel in our region is 2 to 5 acres. So increased production per acre is among our goals. By selecting grafted fine flavored varietals that generate up to four times the average yield per acre, we help increase farmer income and support local communities.
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