Darker Than the Taste
Cacao is celebrated for its delicious dark, bitter, and signature chocolatey flavor! Though cacao started in South America, cacao is now cultivated around the world. This is due to demand for the unique flavors that only the cacao bean can provide.
Today, approximately 70% of the world's cacao is grown in West Africa in countries like The Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. 90% of cacao is grown on small family farms. Unlike other crops, the cultivation of cacao has barely been innovated for almost 100 years, and so relies on manual labor. As the global demand has grown to enormous levels, the industry is wrought with fraud, slavery, and abuse. Child labor, farmers struggling with wages lower than $2/day, and unfair and unethical supply chains are what major chocolate production companies rely on to get chocolate bars into consumers' hands. In addition, deforestation is widespread in order to clear land for cacao trees.
The industry is built on an inefficient and unsustainable model where a few massive companies control the supply and market price. This leaves farmers at the mercy of these giant companies, leaving them with no bargaining or leveraging power to demand fair prices.
Organizations, programs, and initiatives are combating industry ills to help bring fairness and prosperity to the cacao industry. These initiatives include coalitions, government programs, certifications like fair trade, and global nonprofit organizations advocating for the livelihoods of farmers. There are also many companies in various areas of the cacao industry that are creating more sustainable and direct fair trade models to do their part to heal the cacao industry.
When buying any product with cacao, be sure to check and make sure the brand deals justly and fairly with the farmers they work with, and do not support brands that don't care about the livelihoods of farmers and put their profits before the welfare of people. As consumers, we have the power to demand fairness and high quality throughout the supply chain, down to the last nib.
Téo Cacao Blends is aware of the industry's bitter side, and for that reason we do our part by doing direct trade with a family farm in Naranjal, Ecuador. We ensure fair wages and fair prices are paid for our cacao. Our farmers are skilled and due to their special techniques, Téo Cacao Brew has a signature and unique smooth taste. We are grateful for their mastery and it is a pleasure to do business with them. Téo Cacao Blends does direct trade to make sure our cacao brew leaves a good taste in everyone's mouth.