Cacao-Trace is our unique, mutually-beneficial programme that builds upon the farmers’ local knowledge and expertise and empowers them to be more productive and sustainable. By helping farmers increase the value of their cocoa, quality chocolate will be enjoyed for generations to come. Going forward, we plan on gradually extending this programme – currently active in Vietnam, Ivory Coast and the Philippines – to other countries in West Africa and South America.
Cacao-Trace answers directly to the need for a more sustainable and transparent cocoa supply chain. Its uniquely holistic combination of environmental, financial and human-centred initiatives is designed to improve the lives and practices of cocoa farmers. Cacao-Trace’s emphasis on quality, education and training empowers farmers to elevate their skills to become even more productive and sustainable, ensuring that chocolate will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Chocolate producers and consumers alike can be assured that Cacao-Trace stands for quality, traceable, sustainable cocoa beans. Continuous improvement is embedded into the program and validated through independent, third-party audits.
Traditionally in chocolate, different qualilty cocoa beans are bulk-blended to get a standardized quality and taste. This is where Cacao-Trace takes a different approach. Cocoa beans are selected for their character and their quality is carefully checked. Years of research have led us to redefine the criteria for fermenting our beans. As this process is key in chocolate taste development, this makes the difference between an average or superior quality. This is why our beans are fermented in post-harvest centres under the supervision of highly trained experts. They oversee that the natural taste potential of the beans can fully develop and can eventually be expressed in the final chocolate. By adapting the fermentation criteria, it even allows them to adapt the flavour from the same beans to personal preferences.
Similar to other sustainability programs, Cacao-Trace contributes to a sustainable supply chain through best practice environmental, financial and human-centered approaches. Beyond that, it is also a mark of quality. Cacao-Trace teams work closely with farmers to carefully control the fermentation and drying process, a vital step to ensuring superior cocoa beans. This support allows farmers to focus more time on caring for their plantations, improving skills, productivity and quality. The result is a win-win. Farmers deliver better yields while chocolate producers are assured of higher quality beans for great tasting chocolate.
When it comes to flavour and taste, Cacao-Trace chocolate offers what other sustainable chocolate products often do not. This is due to the program’s intense focus on the post-harvest process, and other factors such as soil, climate and the genetic variety of the bean. As with wine-making, fermentation is an essential stage in developing the flavour potential of each cocoa bean. Mastering this process ensures that only the highest quality beans become delicious Cacao-Trace chocolate.
When you buy Cacao-Trace chocolate products you are supporting the long-term supply chocolate while directly helping to reduce poverty levels of cocoa farmers. For every kilo of chocolate purchased, Cacao-Trace pays a “Chocolate Bonus” of 0,10ct back to farmers. This simple and transparent payment scheme is unique in that 100% of the Chocolate Bonus reaches farmers through the Next Generation Cacao Foundation. It creates a mutually-beneficial relationship throughout the supply chain, from the farmer growing the cocoa beans to the chocolate producer and distributor through to chocolate lovers around the world.
By purchasing Cacao-Trace chocolate you are helping better the lives of cocoa farmers and their families. Controlled separation of Cacao-Trace cocoa from other cocoa beans throughout the supply chain – all the way from harvesting through to processing – guarantees the physical traceability of all Cacao-Trace cocoa. Chocolate lovers and producers can be confident that every delivery of Cacao-Trace cocoa beans is validated and registered.