We plant cacao trees and let them grow according to a well-defined cycle that is specific to the local soil. We apply well considered, reasoned and respectful growing methods designed to benefit the local biodiversity. In this way we respect the exceptional soil in Ecuador.
Pruning, irrigating and controlling. We ensure concentrated care that is essential to guarantee the good quality of the cacao. We attach as much importance to our farm as we do to our pralines.
Harvesting the cacao pods is a very important stage in the chocolate making process. It requires very specific expertise and a great deal of patience. The viability and sustainability of the crop depends on the effective and correct exploitation of the land.
Shelling and splitting cacao pods is a very impressive stage of the whole process involving the removal of the cacao beans from their casings. After the pods have been hollowed out, they are used as compost to enrich the soil. Moreover, the land itself is landscaped in such a way as to ensure optimal drainage and conserve water. Everything is designed to protect the natural resources.
fermenting and drying
The fermentation and drying process is an important moment that marks the emergence of the aromas and the strength of the cocoa. The intensity of our cocoa hinges around this stage. The beans are turned and checked daily to ensure an impeccable and evenly balanced fermentation process.
The controlling process is a very specific job. Each batch of cacao beans is checked and identified for detailed traceability throughout the process. 50 beans are randomly selected from each batch; they are cut into two, after which their organoleptic (taste & smell) qualities are evaluated. Expertise is also crucial here.
The freshly dried beans are checked by our experts, put into bags and given references. It takes around 210 days from the appearance of the flower on a cacao tree to the final packaging. So, patience is a true virtue here.
Finally, the cacao beans are transported by boat to the workshops where they are processed into cocoa mass. After this, there are a great many more stages to go through before our final praline reaches you.
Certified cocoa: 100% sustainably sourced
Our cacao beans have two origins: Ecuador and West Africa. The Ecuadorian beans are harvested from our own cacao farm and are certified by Rainforest Alliance Identity Preserved, the world's most renowned label for sustainably sourced cocoa. The Rainforest Alliance certification program enables farmers to use better farming methods, grow better crops, and generate more income. For African beans, we work with renowned suppliers who each have their own program (Cocoa Promise and Cocoa Horizons) to ensure continuous improvement in the sustainability of the cacao farms.
We invested in a cacao farm in Ecuador
We have invested in a cacao farm in the Guayaquil Region of Ecuador, where several hundred of acres have been dedicated to our own cacao beans. The environment in South America is ideal for growing cacao trees. The climate, the quality of the soil and the exceptional know-how of the local farmers guarantee the superior quality of our chocolate. Better than anyone else, our cacao farmers master the fermentation process that releases the characteristic aromas of the cacao beans and gives our chocolate its unique and distinctive personality, richness and flavour.