By maintaining direct contact with those who plant, grow and harvest cocoa, we avoid using intermediary agents. This allows small producers to be compensated based on actual margins and production costs on the spot, thus ensuring fair and equitable profits.
Our cocoa is processed in its country of origin. In this way, we support our partners by helping them to assure themselves, or in cooperation, the transformation process that guarantees them the added value on the spot. By choosing not to import raw cocoa, we contribute to the development of Ecuador.
The cocoa producers…
“Tesoro Escondido” is an isolated community in the Choco region (a pristine and threatened forest region in northwestern Ecuador), with about 50 families. We are partnering with proyecto Washu, an Ecuadorian NGO, and the University of Sussex in England as part of a conservation project. This project encompasses the protection of the primary forest and the habitat of an endemic primate species, the brown-headed spider monkey.
The commercialization of cocoa grown by the community as part of this project, makes it possible to ensure and even increase the income of families in the area, without excessive exploitation of natural resources.
Bouga Cacao began buying cocoa from the community for the first time in 2014. Our first partner was Samuel de l’hacienda Bosque de Oro who was in charge of setting up a quality control system and training, a very important point.
Our priority has always been and will always be the consolidation of our cooperation with the community and respect for their internal organization. We obtained the AB certification for the first 5 families in 2015 with the help of an intern from ENSAT (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agriculture de Toulouse) on site.
By following this link, you can access a short video that flies over a part of the project area with a drone in order to improve the map base.
The cooperative “Fortaleza del Valle“ already existed in this form since 2006. It was founded by bringing together four existing cocoa producer associations. This cooperative, which works very well, markets very good quality “Nacional Arriba” cocoa and has AB certification and fair trade certification according to Flo-Cert (Max Havelaar).
For the transformation…
El Salinerito :
Since 2015 we have a new partner for the processing of cocoa to chocolate cover: the community project Salinerito in Salinas, near Guaranda in the Andes.
Panela (dried cane sugar molasses) for our organic chocolates comes from the association MCCH (Maquita Commercio Justo) as well as other organic and fair trade producers still in Ecuador.