Winners of the 2018 International Chocolate Awards!

At Maya Mountain Cacao & Cacao Verapaz, our origin operations, our teams work tirelessly to bridge geographic, economic and cultural gaps by connecting rural farmers with an international craft chocolate market. Both Maya Mountain and Cacao Verapaz are constantly pushing boundaries to find new cacao sources, improve quality control and export more ultra premium and delicious cacao.

We are proud and honored to announce that between both Maya Mountain Cacao and Cacao Verapaz, in partnership with many hard-working chocolate makers listed below, collectively won 25 awards at the 2018 International Chocolate Awards.

Shout out to these makers for their incredible chocolate making skillz and creative new flavor combinations with these wonderful beans:

-Dick Taylor (Maya Mountain)

-Dandelion (Maya Mountain Belize 2015 & 2016)

-Boho Chocolate (Maya Mountain)
-Cultura Craft Chocolate (Maya Mountain)
-Cacao 70 (Chivite)
-Goodnow Farms  (Chivite)
-Chocolat Encuentro(Chivite)
-Kakau Worship (Chivite)
-French Broad  (Lachuá)
-Mayer Schokoladen(Lachuá & Maya Mountain Cacao)
-Coco Caravan (Lachuá)
-Fresh Coast Chocolate Co (Maya Mountain)
-Fresco (Polochic)

Uncommon in the news!

Take a look at these interesting reads from Huffington Post, Triple Pundit, and Impact Alpha. "By working closely with farming communities on transparency, efficiency and quality, the Berkeley-based startup is able to offer growers a highly competitive price for their cacao—outpacing even local fair trade collectives—and it provides premium product to cult-favorite labels like @Videri Chocolate Factory and @Dandelion Chocolate.

Farmer Interview -- Gerardo Sotz of Asochivite, Guatemala

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Gerardo Sotz Asig de 30 años de edad, vive en San Juan Chivite, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, forma parte de la Asociación de Desarrollo Maya Chivite, ADEMAYACH (antes ASOCHIVITE), tiene una hija de 09 meses de edad, todos los días se despierta a las 4 o 5 am para iniciar sus labores, tiene más de 12 años de cultivar cacao, maíz y frijol con su papa, don Santiago Sotz en un terreno de 4 manzanas propiedad de la familia, su vivienda la tiene dentro de esta parcela, casa de tablas de madera, lamina de zinc y piedra, debe caminar durante 45 minutos dentro de la comunidad para salir a la carretera principal montaña arriba.

Con su familia en su parcela tienen áreas demostrativas de manejo eficiente de cultivos como frutales, achiote, canela, pimienta, caña de azúcar, piña y verduras. Ellos tienen una hectárea de cacao en producción, el cual cosecha cada 8 o 15 días, corta los frutos de cacao los martes y miércoles, el cual está certificado como cacao orgánico, este lo entrega en el centro de acopio de ADEMAYACH, dependiendo de la época de cosecha para entrega entre 1 a 5 qq de cacao en baba en un día, además tiene una hectárea más recién plantada; el manejo de la sombra y podas lo hace entre agosto a septiembre de cada año, la limpia o desmalezado entre junio a agosto.

Gerardo Sotz Asig, 30 years old, lives in San Juan Chivite, in the region of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. He forms part of ADEMAYACH (formerly ASOCHIVITE), renamed as “The Association of Development for the Maya of Chivite.” He has a 9 month old daughter. Every day he wakes up at 4 or 5 AM to start his work. He has been cultivating cacao, corn, and beans with his father, Santiago Sotz, since he was 12. The family’s farm is 4 hectares in size, and the family’s house made of wooden planks and a zinc and stone roof, is on the farm. To reach the closest road, they have to walk 45 minutes through the jungle and the village.

On the family’s farm, they have demonstration plots using fruit trees, achiote (annato), cinnamon, allspice, sugar cane, pineapple, and vegetables to show efficient production methods. One hectare of the farm is certified organic cacao, which they harvest every 8 or 15 days, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday. After harvesting, they bring the fresh cacao to the ADEMAYCH’s fermentery. During the peak season, they’ll harvest 500 lbs of fresh cacao in one day. Gerardo recently planted one more hectare of cacao that is not yet producing. Every August, after the harvest season ends, the family farm activities are focused on shade management, pruning, and chopping down the weeds around the cacao trees. Gerardo is proud of his experience in farm planning, planting, shade management, as well as his recently learned skills in fermentation and drying.

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Sus conocimientos respecto al cultivo de cacao abarcan siembra, trazo de terreno, manejo de sombra y manejo de tejidos y post cosecha.

G. S. En cuanto a los cambios en mi comunidad desde la llegada de Cacao Verapaz he visto fortalecimiento en el trabajo como organización, estabilidad en precio que se paga al productor por el cacao en baba y a la asociación por el cacao seco fermentado, ademas recibimos asesorías que Cacao Verapaz nos da en manejo de nuestras parcelas, fermentación y secado.

He sido encargado de beneficio de ADEMAYACH (mi sueldo es proporcionado por Cacao Verapaz) y eso me ha permitido aprender acerca de fermentación y secado, manejo de temperaturas, pruebas de corte de granos.

Yo estoy orgullos que nuestro cacao va al extranjero y se hacen ricos chocolates con el, nos comenta el Ingeniero Roy que hemos ganado premios, especialmente con doña Monica y Tom de Goodnowfarms que nos han apoyado en muchas ocasiones.

Gerardo says: “In terms of the changes in my community since Cacao Verapaz started working with us, I’ve seen us work together stronger as a community and as a business. The stability of the price paid to farmers for fresh cacao, and to the association for fermented and dried cacao, has been so important for our quality of life. We also receive trainings from Cacao Verapaz to improve the management of our farms, and fermentation and drying..”

Gerardo has been the Fermentation Manager at ADEMAYCH in 2016 and 2017, paid by Cacao Verapaz. He says this has taught him important new skills in fermentation and drying, temperature control and analysis in fermentation, and cut tests of dry beans.

"I am so proud to see our cacao make it all the way across the world to other countries where delicious chocolates are made and winning awards with it.Roy tells us that we have won prizes, especially Monica and Tom of Goodnow Farms, and we are so proud because they have supported us so much.”

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Triple Pundit Features Uncommon

Small Businesses Can (and Should) Do More to Align with the SDGs



Two small businesses make SDG alignment work for them

Founded in 2010, Uncommon Cacao connects small farmers in Central America and the Caribbean with chocolate companies looking for traceable ingredients. By working closely with farming communities on transparency, efficiency and quality, the Berkeley-based startup is able to offer growers a highly competitive price for their cacao—outpacing even local fair trade collectives—and it provides premium product to cult-favorite labels like Videri Chocolate Factory and Dandelion Chocolate.  

With a core team of fewer than 10 people, Uncommon Cacao is an early mover on the SDGs. It was among the first group of 16 startups to participate in Unreasonable Goals, an SDG mentorship network spearheaded by the impact entrepreneurship accelerator Unreasonable Group. “SDG alignment was a natural decision for us,” Emily Stone, co-founder and CEO of Uncommon Cacao, told Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “We are a registered public benefit corporation and have a clear mission-driven focus to our business.”

To avoid overextending its lean team, Uncommon Cacao focused on two SDGS that are a clear and natural fit for the business: eliminating poverty (SDG 1) and decent work (SDG 8). The company committed to publish all pricing across its supply chain to further align with these goals and boost transparency. “We believe transparent pricing is a first, big step toward greater equity,” co-founder Maya Granit said in a statement last year."


Read the full article here:

Introducing ABOCFA!

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Introducing ABOCFA, Ghana! We’re excited to offer you a sneak preview of this delicious cacao. In partnership with @tazachocolate, we’re making this cacao available to craft chocolate makers. ABOCFA is a farmer cooperative based in the Eastern Region of Ghana and is known for producing high quality traceable cacao. These beans are rich in flavor with the classic fudgy, cocoa, and nutty flavor profile chocolate consumers continuously reach for and love in their chocolate. Organic certified in 2009 and Fair Trade certified in 2010, ABOCFA is one of only four Organic/Fair Trade farmer cooperatives in Ghana.
Want to be one of the first to try these beans? We have a limited amount - DM us for order details. Image courtesy of @tonyschocolonely_nl 
#craftchocolate #chocolatemaker#transparenttrade #ghana #cacao #cocoa#chocolate