Technique: Cocoa Growing
We are proud to partner with Divine Chocolate in Ghana and Madécasse in Madagascar to bring delicious, fair trade chocolate to our customers.
Divine Chocolate works with cocoa farmers in Ghana. Most Ghanaian cocoa is grown on small family farms, among the other crops, such as plantains, maize, and spices. After three to four years, flowers begin to appear on the cocoa tree, and the cocoa pods can soon be harvested for the beans inside. The main harvest in Ghana is between October and January. Beans must be harvested at the perfect time to produce the high-quality, aromatic cocoa beans that are used in Divine Chocolate. After the beans are harvested, they are wrapped in large plantain leaf “parcels” and fermented in the sun for five to eight days. Next, the beans are dried for eight to 12 days to remove most of the moisture. Throughout this process, the beans change color and begin to take on the traditional “chocolate” flavor. Each farmer harvests and ferments his or her own beans and then dries them on the communal village table. A recorder in each village will then collect and weigh the dried beans and ensure that the quality is high enough to sell. Finally, the recorder sells the beans to the local government, who then sells them to factories where the rich, flavorful beans are turned into Divine Chocolate.
Our artisan partner Madécasse sources cocoa from farmworkers in Madagascar. The chocolate is made with heirloom cocoa, which means it is superior grade and organic cocoa. A main part of Madécasse’s mission is to keep the supply chain — from the first step to the last step — in Madagascar. They have made over four million bars that way!