In Saint Lucia, we partner with over 220 farms employing over 500 people.
We call them Island Growers. Since 2006, we’ve guaranteed to buy each harvest, pay more for it and give support, farming advice and high-quality cocoa seedlings for higher yields and premium quality.
This has reinvigorated a once thriving cocoa industry, encouraging people to return to cocoa farming.
How did we do it? We cut out the middlemen, going direct to farmers and committing to buy their cocoa and pay a premium for it. Fewer people, less bureaucracy, lower costs – so more money available to invest with farmers themselves. We kept our promises, and as they gained confidence in us they reinvested in cocoa farming, too.
We think of our approach as everyone getting more of the cake. But not just any cake – a bigger, better cake, because ours is made with less cheap sugar that dulls flavours and more satisfying, complex cocoa grown to the highest standards, by people properly compensated for the fine work they do.
This higher value and stabilisation to the market has given local people the cash in their pocket and the confidence to do everything from invest in their farms to buy cars, improve their homes and send their children to college. And, together, we’ve put fine-flavour Saint Lucian cocoa in the spotlight – the island’s prized variety of Trinitario cocoa has since won a clutch of internationally acclaimed awards.