Engaged Ethics

Our Ecuadorian beans come to us through Vicente Norero at Camino Verde Cacao, which works with a community of around 40 members, selected on the basis of their organic methods and the conditions of their cacao farms. The organisation’s focus is on flavour-profile protection and development of the beans.

The farmers and organic associations Camino Verde works with receive technical assistance and training in harvest timing, post-harvest techniques, proper processing procedures, reducing post-harvest loss, visual inspection of fermentation, cut tests and flavour profiles.

Camino Verde’s cacao specialists value beans from Calceta for their incredible genetic heritage and flavour profile. The town in the heart of Ecuador’s Manabí province is renowned for its heritage Nacional trees, as well as its unadulterated soils and mountains.

In 2017, climatic conditions were particularly favourable for cacao in the region. Wet beans were sent to Camino Verde’s post-harvest centre for fermentation, so they could realise the full potential of the beans through one of the most innovative cacao fermentation techniques in South America. The result: nutty cacao with a fruity or gently floral flavour profile that we brought to you in our chocolate.

Wet Cacao

Fresh cacao beans, straight from the pod. When you cut them open, they’re bright purple and bitter, surrounded by sweet-tasting, fruity cocoa pulp.

Dry Cacao

Cacao that’s ready for chocolate making. It has been fermented in its fruity pulp, so most of its flavour is now locked into the bean. It’s stable, dry and transportable.

More recently, aware of the demand for beans from the Manabí region, Camino Verde have begun collaborating with three different associations to learn more about the difference that terroir makes to the final flavour of cacao; for example, though beans grown across Manabí have nutty notes, those from the mountains are more fruity, while those that flourish nearer the coast have more floral notes. This work is ongoing.