Philippines - As commercial cocoa is relatively recent in the Philippines, it is still made up of multi-crop small holders where they grow cocoa alongside a whole host of crops, mainly for the local market – think pineapple, coconut, and yams. There are more cooperatives in the Philipps as each farmer doesn’t produce enough beans to build a fermentary.
Vanuatu - The cocoa-farming village is in the centre of Malekula island, which you get to by an 8-hour boat journey from Port Vila or flying into a grass strip. The pilot flies over once a day, and if he sees no-one waiting, he will fly on to the next island, so you better not be late for your flight. The main dirt track in the village connects the one store, a church and a well, via a tractor and is as secluded and serene as you can get. The amount of cocoa grown on the island of Malekula doesn’t even register on the cocoa scale of production, which shows how rare it is.
Madagascar - The farmers are in the Sambirano Valley on the Southeast side of the river, heading towards the mountains. The farms we use are spread out and tricky to get to and they are usually a family affair with a few employees. Our cocoa farms have a French legacy as the farmers still use the ancient French bullock carts to transport the just-harvested cocoa pods to the farm fermentary. The shade for our cocoa is provided by enormous 30-metre fast-growing hardwood trees – which are used for shelter and fuel for the region.
Papua New Guinea - Our farmers are the Goodyear and Middleton families, based on the gentle, fertile slopes of the volcano. They are both some of the main employers on the island, with farm hands having been there for generations and whole families choosing to work there due to the fair conditions.
Makira - Not only does Lucy, our farmer own the land herself, but she also exclusively hires women to help produce the cocoa, too. Due to the money she raises with selling super-quality cocoa directly to us, her two daughters have been able to go to university in Australia, aspiring to come back to the farm to take over the family business due to them seeing how sustainable and rewarding cocoa production can be.
Solomon Islands - Our Guadalcanal cocoa farmers are based along the North coast of the island, not too far from the historical Henderson airport. As education is mandatory on all the islands we buy from, after school, all the children are seen playing around the fermentation boxes and cocoa boxes. Our main farmer has four sisters and a wife that help maintain the farm. Each playing a part in the cocoa production – from finance to fermenting - which means it’s a family discussion when our Chocolate Makers goes out there to meet them and check the crops.
The Innovations Collection has been created to explore new and exotic chocolate experiences. Cocoa beans from the northeast of the island give this limited edition varietal intense chocolate and brown fruit flavours, with spicy red fruit notes and a hint of green banana.