World Cocoa Foundation Meeting

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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If anyone is interested, the World Cocoa Foundation is having a conference in Santo Domingo on 15th and 16th of October. The cost is US$750 to register so it is not for hobbyists. I hope to attend and if anyone on the board is interested in cacao and chocolate, feel free to contact me.

World Cocoa Foundation
 

frank12

Gold
Sep 6, 2011
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Tom,

let us know how the conference goes, and please take some pictures of the different chocolate if you get the chance!

I'm a chocoholic and proud of it!

Thanks, Frank
 

Ringo

On Vacation!
Mar 6, 2003
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Thanks Tom F. I would think and hope that this organization gets better support here in the D.R. A natural product for the Dominican Republic and growing demand and prices you would think that the D.R. gov. would get behind this kind of project. As well as so many natural potentials.

Please let us know what goes on.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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I do my best to learn about Dominican cacao as I can. My focus is on the fine or flavor cacao, nut the stuff sold into the bulk market. The supply of fine cacao is about 5% of world production and number is around 10-40% here in the DR depending on who you talk to and how you define fine. The DR is on the map because of the large amount which has been certified organic, whether fermented or not. There is also a fairly large amount sold through farmers cooperatives and labeled fair trade. There is a small movement within the chocolate world to have a "direct trade" type relationship with the farmers and the post harvesting of the cacao. There is support within the Dominican government, USAID, European governments and other NGO's. Then there are the major cacao producers which really move what is going on and have long business relationships with the fine and bulk cocoa bean buyers in the US. I am also seeing more and more medium size farmers and associations being formed and getting involved in the export market. The big and small chocolate makers in Europe and the US are also doing a great deal with developing and supporting sustainable cacao production. I have so much more to learn and the teacher in me feels the need to educate.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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Just arrived tonight after having to extend the trip a couple of weeks longer. The World Cocoa Foundation Meeting was fantastic and had a chance to meet a lot of people working with cacao and chocolate at all levels. Their pictures on the wcf.org website are better than mine. The is one of me in the background while standing among the trees while we took a tour at the Sendero de Cacao outside of SFM. I have the pink and white stripped shirt on with jeans.

I was also able to purchase some chocolate licor (processed 100% cacao) from Conacado (the largest farmer's cooperative) and put in on a plane to pull out of Newark airport tomorrow. I used to receive a lot of solar panels in the aduana when I worked for Soluz, but now I am learning how to send chocolate out.
 

mountainannie

Platinum
Dec 11, 2003
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elizabetheames.blogspot.com
evidently Haiti is getting some recognition for its cocoa as well // I think that I remember back in Grenada.. being around some cocoa drying sheds which were on slides to push them under cover for the afternoon rainfalls.. and when you got close, it smelled like a thousand cats had peed in one place. I was absolutely in awe of the Indians or whomever had gone through the process to discover that if you watied through that you could come out with chocolate.. amazing..

I do wish there were regular tours for the chocoholics... Imagine.. chocolate, growing on trees! paradise.

Haiti [stand A22] is the guest of honor at the International Exhibition of chocolate, a global event that has become a truly international label, will host for 5 days from October 30 to 3 November 2013, more than 550 participants, chocolate makers (chocolatiers), Chefs and Pastry chefs, presenters and experts of cocoa from around the world, held in France Viparis, Porte de Versailles Pavillons #5 on over 20,000 m2 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.

Christophe Chauveau, director of cooperative programs at AVSF (Agronomists and Veterinarians Without Borders) stresses "In a few years we have gone from a low cocoa quality, purchased at low cost by large intermediaries, to a high-quality cocoa, a vintage sought by French chocolatiers. The recent selection of the cocoa FECCANO [Haitian cooperative of producer] at International Cocoa Awards makes proud all smallholder cooperative and encourages them to continue the work towards greater quality and equity."

To achieve this, AVSF and its two partners, the Haitian farmers cooperative FECCANO and French cooperative of fair trade "ETHIQUABLE", working together for several years for small cocoa producers can live with dignity of their work, while producing a high quality product. The producers were trained in the fermentation of cocoa, a fundamental step to reveal its subtle aromas.

Join Haiti at Chocolate Fair (Salon du Chocolat). Sale of Haitian chocolate fair and bio : stand A22
Conferences tasting "Haiti - Land of Cocoa !" Sunday, November 3 at 3:00 pm with Guito Gilot, Federation of Cooperatives of cocoa growers of northern Haiti, David Millet (AVSF), Valentine Tib?re and Christophe.
Show of Haitian artists (dancers, storytellers, drummers) Saturday, November 2 at noon.

Learn more about the project to support small producer of cocoa in Haiti : AVSF - Projet - Du cacao de qualit? et ?quitable au Nord d'Ha?ti (in french)

More information about the Salon du Chocolat : Le Salon du Chocolat
 

frank12

Gold
Sep 6, 2011
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Tom, i'm back in Cabarete. I got your card that you left at O'shay's. I just bought a homemade chocolate bar at a new cafe (Chocolate Cafe at the entrance of Royal Residence--across the street from Banco Popular in Cabarete) which carries a lot of homemade chocolate made by the Beautiful Russian girl. I will take some pictures of it when i get home and post them here.

Frank
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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Tom, i'm back in Cabarete. I got your card that you left at O'shay's. I just bought a homemade chocolate bar at a new cafe (Chocolate Cafe at the entrance of Royal Residence--across the street from Banco Popular in Cabarete) which carries a lot of homemade chocolate made by the Beautiful Russian girl. I will take some pictures of it when i get home and post them here.

Frank

Frank, In July I passed by Cabarete a number of times and Janet's was all sold out. Maria did not answer her phone in July or on this trip in October. I would really like to speak with her and see if we can work together.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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Haiti was well represented at the WCF meeting. There production levels are half per tarea which they are in the DR and are only exporting about 4000 metric tons a year, compared to the DR which is over 50,000. I think the DR is the 9th largest producer of cacao in the world. Haiti two cacao growing regions are in the North, on both sides of Cap Haitian and on the very tip of the peninsula in the South. Very, very little of the Haitian cacao is used in the fine flavor chocolate being they are just starting to ferment or restarting fermenting. The groups mentioned in your post were there and two other people working on a USAID funded project. I hope to someday work with both Dominican and Haitian chocolate and will be seeing about teaching small scale manufacturing to women associations in Haiti someday soon. I am currently working with 2 groups in the DR and hope to work with the 8 I know about as time goes on.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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and when you got close, it smelled like a thousand cats had peed in one place. I was absolutely in awe of the Indians or whomever had gone through the process to discover that if you watied through that you could come out with chocolate.. amazing..

i agree with you. it is amazing how what we take for granted today was discovered and developed over time. chocolate, bread, even vodka. from raw, unappealing produce to fantastic end product.
 

frank12

Gold
Sep 6, 2011
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Tom,

Apparently, Maria just got back from Russia. Here are some pictures of one of her chocolates i just bought last week.

1.


2.


3.


Frank
 

frank12

Gold
Sep 6, 2011
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Did she bring back a melanger with her.

I just saw her right now in town. I told her to stop by this weekend at O'shay's and i will give her your card. When you see this girl, you will want to propose marriage to her. You will want to smoother her in creamy dark chocolate. You will want to make a chocolate fondue out of her breasts. wait...i'm getting hungry...i got to go.

Frank
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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I just saw her right now in town. I told her to stop by this weekend at O'shay's and i will give her your card. When you see this girl, you will want to propose marriage to her. You will want to smoother her in creamy dark chocolate. You will want to make a chocolate fondue out of her breasts. wait...i'm getting hungry...i got to go.

Frank

I just spoke with her and due to the street noise had to limit the conversation. Too bad I already have my Dominicanita (almost 24 years of marriage) who looks like she is already covered in chocolate fondue. So no need to waste any. Maria has seen my website and we will keep in touch by email until my next trip in February or so, May at the latest.
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
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did you go to the factory in altamira i wrote about? if yes, what did you think?
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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did you go to the factory in altamira i wrote about? if yes, what did you think?

I was up there 3 years ago and spent a whole day there with a Peace Corps volunteer and took tons of pictures and had a great time tasting their chocolate and loading a box of their various wines for a ride back to SFM. The pictures of their equipment are on my website. I returned in July of this year and was treated with a very cold shoulder. I complained, bought some chocolate and this time was in a rent a car, so drove back to SFM though PP, Sosua and up through Gaspar Hernandez to Tenares.

Their chocolate is OK at the best. First they add way too much sugar and I have been telling them for the tourist market and even some in the bigger cities, prefer 70-8% cacao content. Their darkest is probably 60% or less. Their white chocolate is good, a little more sweet and I recommended they add nibs. White chocolate is just, cocoa butter, milk powder and sugar; refined. I is kind of hard to mess it up. They also use a ball refiner which is what the guy who makes the machines, thinks is best. I have seen roller refiners to a conch, or a melangers which refines and conchs at the same time using using granite rollers over a granite bottom. But no one I know uses these ball refiners, but these women associations in the campos. I have had conversations with people who say it does impact developing flavors in the chocolate when using a ball refiner. My guess is they are not conching for enough time to get enough of the acidity out. I would also guess that they do not source premium beans in order to save a little money. All these adds up to mediocre chocolate in the end.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
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The main person at Chocal also presented at the WCF meeting on the women in cacao producing communities. We spoke and maybe some day I will source processed chocolate licor from them and eventually the other 7 women associations. Quality control would be a big part of working with any of these groups. They all have great potential to create sustainable, viable businesses with the right support in business management and in developing sales. I hope to make it happen in the next year with at least two of the groups I am currently working.