It's Fairtrade Fortnight! We're dedicating this time to celebrate the farmers who grow the cocoa that makes the chocolate we love so very much. All of our chocolate is Organic, Fairtrade and single-origin from the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is the second poorest country in the Caribbean after Haiti, with forty-two per cent of its population of 9.6 million living below the poverty line. Cocoa is grown by around 40,000 small-scale cocoa growers. One of the main agricultural exports, it is worth around $60m a year to the economy.
CONACADO is made up of 182 small-scale producer associations with a total membership of 10,000 cocoa farmers. The average farm is 4.3 hectares (10.6 acres). Cocoa is grown under the shade canopy of tall native trees and smaller banana, citrus, and avocado trees whose fruit is sold at the local market. Vegetables are grown for home consumption.
Almost half of members’ production is now sold to the Fairtrade market. The additional income has been invested in processing and warehouse facilities to improve the quality of their cocoa. 30 officers have been employed to provide technical training to improve yields, convert to organic production and plant new trees.
Schools have been built and repaired, with scholarships and equipment provided to students from poorer families. The new IT centre helps children with school work and brings the internet to the community. A clinic, free medical checks, and clean water projects are improving health.
We have always and will always be Fairtrade certified. We believe that chocolate tastes even more delicious when you know that there's no been exploitation involved in it's making. So, thank you. Every time you chocolate from our range, you're ensuring that the incredible farmers from the Conacado Cooperative are paid fairly for their work.