Many secrets are held in the continent of today's South America, and one is the history of cocoa. It is where it all began and where tribal ancients first began harnessing the magic of cocoa. Using all parts of the pod, this source of vitality was known as "the food of the gods" with use for ceremonial purposes, fertility and a natural mood enhancer.
The fruits of the cocoa plant were treasures for these resourceful civilisations that paid much respect to the gifts of the forest around them. Today chocolate is a treasure worldwide, yet it is clouded with ethical, political and sustainable issues. There is a fight to bring these issues to the surface since cocoa exists in countries which suffer much from poverty, political unrest and diversity, particularly in West Africa. The chocolate industry is beginning to realise that unless cocoa farmers are nurtured, they will turn to other crops, making chocolate production unsustainable. This important shift in dynamic is creating significant positive change and is very exciting to watch.
The future of our chocolate.
Our couverture chocolate blends are imported from Europe, including French Valrhona, Belgian Callebaut and Swiss Felchlin. As a specialist chocolate company, we work with these suppliers because they are the best and because we are confident of their commitment to fair and sustainable cocoa production. Koko Black is not Fair Trade. Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance are excellent programs (not without their own issues) but alone is only a small part of solving the problems in a world of growing demand.
Our true motivation is to make our own fine chocolate, thereby personally sourcing every bean to ensure its quality, ethics and sustainability. We aim in the future to create long term relationships with selected farms in central and South America. We aspire to the likes of speciality coffee roasters, buying the beans directly through a positive partnership and transforming them into chocolate locally. Making our own chocolate right here in Melbourne will have many benefits including creative control, control of supply, the possibility of our own innovations, local supply of dairy and sugars and significantly reduced food miles.
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