Böhnchen & Co. uses organically grown cacao from various origins, which won numerous international awards. We did not choose them because of the reputation: we loved how they tasted, having tested hundreds of origins by eating raw cacao and roasted cacao with different roasting profiles. Currently we work with the following origins (new ones will be added soon!)
- Kilombero Valley (Tanzania)
- Lachua (Guatemala)
- Toledo (Belize)
- Cahabon (Guatemala)
- Akil Dino (Haiti)
- Chiang Mai (Thailand)
Kilombero Valley, Tanzania
Kokoa Kamili is the first and only premium cocoa exporters operating out of Kilombero Valley in Tanzania. Through their solid commitment, they have achieved to introduce Tanzanian cacao as one of the best cacao to craft fine chocolate internationally, winning many prestigious awards. This is achieved through centralizing the fermentation in order to control quality and consistency. The facility is located a 10 hour drive from the country's main city of Dar es Salaam in the Kilombero Valley area of Morogoro Region, close to 3500 farmers they buy wet beans from. The beans are classic Trinitario (Amelonado x Criollo), with the slight presence of Neo-Nacional.
ECONOMIC IMPACT ON FARMERS
Kokoa Kamili pays the highest prices for cocoa in Tanzania. An increasing amount of Kokoa Kamili's farmers earning an average of 24.4% more by selling cocoa to Kokoa Kamili than from any other buyer.
Smell: heather honey, burnt straw, fermented soybeans, hazelnuts
Taste: Dried redcurrants, creme fraiche, hay on a summer afternoon, hops, brown butter, hazelnuts
The “Eco-region Lachuá” around the lake is home to Q’eqchi’ Maya families, many of whom live off grid and rely on production of cacao, honey, cardamom, corn and other crops for their livelihoods. Cacao farmers are organized into three certified organic community associations, ASODIRP, ASOSELNOR, and K’AT’BALPOM, each with its own fermentation and drying operation. Lachuá communities have planted over 245 hectares of new cacao since 2014 and improved financial literacy in cacao production through projects supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), FUNDALACHUA, and FundaSistemas, with the shared goal of protecting the Laguna and improving their quality of life.
ECONOMICAL IMPACT ON FARMERS
At this origin, farmers are paid 80% more than the West Africa farmgate price.
Taste: sultanas, oak, dried fig, apricots and prunes
Maya Mountain Cacao (“MMC”) is a pioneer in direct trade cacao sourcing. MMC, founded in 2010, put Belize on the craft chocolate map as the first exporter in the country to produce high-quality, centrally-fermented, transparently sourced cacao. MMC works with 350+ certified organic smallholder cacao farming families in the Toledo District, most of them indigenous Q’eqchi’ and Mopan Maya. MMC centrally processes all cacao at a post-harvest facility where three unique stages of sun drying create optimal flavor. MMC operates a 24-hectare Demonstration Farm, for research and trainings in best practices for increasing cacao yield and quality; in 2016, the first pods were harvested from the demo farm, just 18 months after planting. MMC is focused on being a sustainable, long term and transparent partner to farmers and producing uniquely delicious and sweet cacao that creates real positive impact for the communities of southern Belize.
ECONOMICAL IMPACT ON FARMERS
At this origin, farmers are paid 168% more than the West Africa farmgate price.
Smell: roasted pistachio
Taste: dried griotte cherries, pipe tobacco, mocha, cloves, porcini, unripe banana'
These cacao beans are produced by Q’eqchi farmers who are members of FEDECOVERA, a federation of small-farmer cooperatives located in Baja and Alta Verapaz in the North of Guatemala. The Federation seeks to improve the living conditions of its farmers while always respecting and protecting their culture. All of the 262 producer families are Q’eqchi or Poqom’chi’ and speak their own language. FEDECOVERA has devoted a lot of effort in rescuing the ancient cacao tradition by systemizing ancient stocks of Mayan origin and new Trinitario varieites.
Cahabón Estate cacao is grown by Q´eqchi Mayas in the Cahabón River basin under an agroforestry scheme to protect the water resources in the region. The area has been planted with nitrogen fixing trees along with crops like allspice, cardamom, black pepper and turmeric.
Taste: orange blossom, honey, raisins, caramel mocha coffee
Akil Dino (Haiti)
Produits Des Iles SA (PISA) is committed to changing the way cacao is processed and exported from Haiti. Historically, large export companies have purchased dried, unfermented, low quality cacao from smallholder farmers at prices below the commodity market. PISA’s launch in 2014 of their centralized processing facility represented a revolutionary change in Haiti’s cacao production system. Now, PISA is the only company purchasing and centrally fermenting wet cacao, and as a result are able to sell it at a higher price for its higher quality.
ECONOMICAL IMPACT ON FARMERS
Farmers now earn approximately four-times as much money as they did before PISA, and are simultaneously incentivized to protect their trees from the environmentally degrading charcoal market.
Taste: savoury, almond, coconut, sultanas, banana
Chiang Mai (Thailand)
We work with a company called MarkRin, Thailand's leading cacao expert who promotes cacao farming in Northern Thailand. They provide generous assistance to farmers to plant their cacao seedlings, and buy their cacao back at above market price and ferment them centrally in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The cacao are patented hybrid of criollo from Peru and forastero from the Philippines.
Right now we work with them exclusively to make our Thailand Collection. Our Dark Milk 50% Chiang Mai bar was presented at their booth at Salon du Chocolat 2018 in Paris :)
Nut, chocolate, dried fruits