The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids


The Organic Chocolate Revolution

The cocoa industry in Venezuela is seeing a big comeback as farmers in that country are going organic. In recent years the news from Venezuela was more about oil and politics than anything else, however, chocolate is now taking over. The price for organically grown cocoa products is nearly 4 times higher than non-organic cocoa. Organic cocoa is being bought for the high end single bean malt whiskies in Europe and the USA. In addition to growing cacao trees, the farmers in Venezuela are also producing their own chocolate. Nearly half the day is spent nurturing the trees, protecting them from pests, insects and bad weather. Using only natural compost instead of man made fertilizers is twice the work, but well worth it to the Venezuelan cocoa farmers. The price of conventional cacao beans was $2.00 per kilogram, now they receive $7.

00 per kilogram, quite an increase. Their products are now sold directly to foreign chocolate manufacturers, eliminating the local intermediaries who have been priced out of the cacao market. Fifty families have banded together to create an association of organic cacao farmers. The cacao seed are fermented for six days in large wooden boxes, then sun dried on the cement patio of the association building.

After that they are cleaned, sorted, weighed and put into sacks ready for export. During the rainy season a flood can wipe out the entire crop a river bursting its banks can destroy several acres or trees in a few hours time. In the last three years the annual cacao production has doubled, and the owners believe it is due to the conversion to organic farming. The majority of the funding to start this program came from the Venezuelan government who has provided 10 million dollars in research and training. In addition the European Union has been funding them through a non-government organization called Tierra Viva. America, France and Italy are all purchasing organic beans in Venezuela, the “single bean origin” label denotes aroma and purity and only Venezuela can offer that at this time.

Thank you,

C. SanDago used to be an office and motel cleaner earning minimum wage on a contract by contract basis, working very hard to make ends meet. Being forced to stay at home after her baby, she says it was like a "visit from an angel"... She had to find a way to earn a living from home... with no pedigree, a high school dropout it was like a live changing event! Today she makes in excess of $80,000 a month and enjoys an extraordinary life! She considers herself extremely fortunate to have found the right business to give her such break in life!


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