Puratos expands its Cacao-Trace program to build a sustainable future in cocoa-producing regions
A long-term partnership is formed with select farming communities to train farmers and guarantee the best quality cocoa beans, allowing farmers to earn a quality premium on top of the already fair pricing for the beans.
August 13, 2019
Puratos Canada, the Canadian arm of global Belgium-based ingredient supplier, Puratos, is working with the global team to bring its passion for great-tasting chocolate with a sustainable future to cocoa-producing regions by growing its Cacao-Trace program.
The Cacao-Trace sustainable cocoa sourcing program is not only about sustainability but is also about bringing the passion and commitment that Puratos has for providing great-tasting, high-quality chocolate to the industry. The unique focus on taste can only be achieved by being truly sustainable.
After the successful introduction of Cacao-Trace in Vietnam, Ivory Coast and the Philippines, Puratos recently launched the program in Papua New Guinea this past June. Its fifth region, Mexico has now started to ferment with Cacao-Trace standards and its first chocolate will be produced before the end of 2019.
“The Cacao-Trace program goes far beyond the average industry standards for sustainable chocolate by creating value throughout the supply chain, starting with the cocoa farmers down to customers,” says Liesbet Vandepoel, Director of Marketing for Puratos Canada. “We are there on the ground, alongside farming communities to coach farmers to grow higher-quality cocoa and give guidance to run plantations in a more sustainable way.”
Where the chocolate industry traditionally focuses on an increased quantity of dried cocoa beans, Cacao-Trace takes a different approach. Similar to wine, properly controlled fermentation is the key to great tasting quality chocolate.
Based on years of research, expert fermenters set new criteria for the fermentation process. They collect the finest fresh beans and take control of the natural fermentation process in post-harvest centres to let the beans’ original taste potential develop in the best possible way.
Closely monitoring the whole process, they adapt the fermentation sequence, time, moisture and temperature to result in different chocolate flavours made from the same beans. As fermentation is an essential step to produce delicious chocolate, this makes the difference between average and superior quality.
The Cacao-Trace program has all the elements of sustainable certification programs such as farmer field training, fair pricing and diversification of the farmer’s production and revenues. But, Cacao-Trace does not stop there. Additionally, every year, farmers receive an added Chocolate Bonus. Per kilo of Cacao-Trace chocolate sold, C14¢ (10eurocents) goes to a Chocolate Bonus Counter which is redistributed every year entirely amongst the cocoa farmer community.
The Cacao-Trace chocolate offered by Puratos includes Belcolade and Carat; both available in Canada. Belcolade, the real Belgian chocolate, is one of the finest chocolates available on the market today while Carat offers a range of compound chocolate coatings.
Puratos aims to inspire at least 50 per cent of its customers to switch to Cacao-Trace chocolate solutions by 2025. By this time, they are also looking to set up two new post-harvest centres in cocoa-producing regions yearly, thereby also considerably growing the number of farmers they support.