Map's 2017 sourcing report

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2017: Where we sourced our cacao

This is our first Sourcing Report, so you will notice harvests going back to 2015 when we made our first full-bag purchases. Moving forward into 2018 we are using these same origins, and will add any new ones as they are chosen. Please feel free to reach out with any questions mapchocolate@gmail.com

xxoo,

Mackenzie, Map Maker in Chief

Belize cacao

2015, 2016, 2017 harvests via Maya Mountain Cacao/Uncommon Cacao. Used in the following bars: Belize 60% dark milk, Nightswimming; Belize 60% dark milk with pinebud syrup + doug fir, Starry Night; Belize 70% with cardamom + dried plum, Secret Garden; Belize 65% with orange, Still Life with Pi; Belize 70% made with brownies crafted from cocoa powder pressed from Belize beans, Long Winter's Nap; Belize 70% dark, A Driftboat Named Desire.

About the Belize beans: Maya Mountain Cacao (now a part of Uncommon Cacao) was founded in 2010 with the mission of improving Belizean farmer livelihoods by directly connecting smallholder farmers to the specialty chocolate industry. Within three years, MMC became the largest exporter in the country. Today, the company works with over 300 cacao farmers, most of them Q'eqchi' and Mopan Maya that speak their own languages in addition to English. MMC has grown farmer incomes by 20% and farmer children’s school attendance by 85%. Still, a staggering 69% of the local indigenous Maya community live at or below the regional poverty line. Cacao in this region is grown all organically. {info via Uncommon Cacao}

 

Fiji cacao

Fiji cacao, 2016 and 2017 harvests via Cacao Fiji. Used in the following bars: Fiji 78% dark, I Dream of Fiji; Fiji 78% dark with lemon white chocolate, Man in the Moon; Fiji 72% dark with salted caramel white, Yellow Brick Road.

In 2012, Arif Khan of Cacao Fiji met several farmers on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, who were “passionate about cocoa farming” but struggled to find markets for their products.Read a bit more of this Backstory: "The history of cacao in Fiji can be traced back to the 1880s when British colonizers first introduced the crop to the islands. A subtle relic of this colonial legacy remains on the country’s flag — the British lion pictured in the coat of arms holds a cacao pod in its paws.

The flow of Fijian cacao peaked at around 500 tons in 1987 and gave way to an ebb so deep the industry virtually died out. This crash occurred largely due to the fact that the government had monopolized the purchase and distribution of cacao in Fiji. When the country’s markets dried up in the midst of political unrest in the late 80s, the government simply stopped buying cacao from its nation’s farmers who were then left with no means by which to sell their beans. Cacao trees planted in the 1960s as part of a government effort populate the island still today, though many are left untended." {info source Medium, Conscious Cacao Stories}

After tasting a bar made of Fiji beans Arif Khan was inspired to move back to his home country and make it his mission to help revive Fiji’s cacao industry. Cacao Fiji Ltd began operations in the Fiji Islands in 2014. The company is involved in the farming, processing and exporting cocoa beans for craft chocolate, and places high emphasis on quality at every aspect of production. Cacao Fiji Ltd works with a network of cocoa farmers throughout the Fiji Islands. {info source Arif Khan}

 

Honduras Wampusirpi " la mosquitia" cacao

Honduras Wampusirpi, la Mosquitia cacao, 2015, 2016, 2017 harvests, direct trade via Cacao Direct/Biosphere. Used in the following bars: Honduras 78%, Le Chocolat Chaud; Honduras 65% dark milk with black sesame, Meteor Shower (Academy of Chocolate 2017 bronze), Honduras 85%, Milagro {beanfield war}, Honduras 65% dark couverture.

Biosphere Cacao comes from the village of Wampusirpi, a location immediately adjacent to Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras, which has been a World Heritage site and biosphere reserve since 1982. In 2011, UNESCO placed the reserve on the List of World Heritage. Cacao Direct went to Wampusirpi with the sole intention of re-starting cocoa production as a way to create a livelihood for native Hondurans in a drug trade-ravaged country. CD financed the construction of a fermentary, provided the farmers with the tools (solar-powered weed-whackers) necessary to reclaim the cacao trees growing in the rainforest there and sustainably harvest cacao, and provided oversight of the fermentation, transport, and marketing of the beans. Farmers are paid immediately at the time of delivering the raw/unfermented cacao, a step which required special dispensation by the Honduran government. Beans are organic certified. {info source Jorge Schmidt, Cacao Direct}

 

Vietnam cacao; Tien Giang, Lam Dong, Ben Tre regions

Vietnam cacao, Lam Dong, Tien Giang, and Ben Tre regions, all 2016 harvest; source: Marou Chocolate. Beans used in the following bars: Tien Giang 74% with lemon and pink shortbread, Love Shack (Academy of Chocolate 2017 bronze); Tien Giang 80%, Days of Heaven; Lam Dong 73%, Red Poppy; Lam Dong 73% with miso-yogurt pretzels, Boddhisaltva; Ben Tre 75%, Surprise Valley; Ben Tre 75% with oatmeal stout biscotti, Mt. Hood; Ben Tre 72% with coconut, peanuts, and thai chile, Tybee.

Marou Chocolate is based in Vietnam and works with 15-20 farmers who are cacao fermentors: five or six n Tien Giang, and 2 or 3 in each of the other 5 provinces where they source cacao. They pay nearly twice the market price (96,000 VND = 4,160 USD /t) at the farm, for top quality cacao, more than 3 times what African farmers get. Backstory: a wonderful recap of the history of cacao in Vietnam. {info source, Marou Chocolate}

 

Dominican Republic, Reserva Zorzal cacao

Dominican Republic Reserva Zorzal, 2017 harvest. Beans used in Reserva Zorzal 72% with pistachio, Mozart's Starling; Zorzal 72% with xoconostle, cile, lime, and peanuts, X Marks the Spot.

Cacao, wildlife conservation, and sustainable development unite at Reserva Zorzal (or the Bicknell’s Thrush Reserve, as it is known in English) — a 1,019 acre bird sanctuary and organic cacao demonstration farm in the northern mountain range of the Dominican Republic.

Bicknell’s Thrush (Zorzal de Bicknell) is a rare migratory songbird with a swirling, flute-like song. What it lacks in color, the thrush more than compensates in conservation value. By migrating annually between the Dominican Republic and North America, this endangered species establishes a conservation link across hemispheres. We work to strengthen that link by uniting farmers, governments, scientists, non-profits, chocolate producers and investors behind cacao production and habitat protection for the Bicknell’s Thrush in the tropics as well as in the United States and Canada. It turns out that chocolate, a culinary force in its own right, can also be a force for international conservation!

On Reserva Zorzal, they’ve set aside 70% of the land to be ‘forever wild," and is the Dominican Republic’s first private reserve as part of the National Protected Area System, establishing a model for private landowners to participate in landscape-level conservation. On the reserve, they are demonstrating to the world the abiity to produce some of the world’s finest cacao and safeguard while enhancing biodiversity. {info source, Zorzal Cacao

More of the truly wonderful Zorzal story here

Sugar, cocoa butter, and milk powder

Organic cert cane sugar sourced from Native Organics, Brazil.

A vegan sugar, as Native, unlike other sugar producers, does not use bone char to bleach the sugar. 

Native uses a global green sugarcane production and harvesting system called the Green Cane Project, initiated in 1987. Its main objective consists of a self-sustainable sugarcane production system, which seeks to perform the crop's entire ecological and conservationist potential.

The work included thousands of hours of research and major investments, including the development of a raw sugarcane harvester in collaboration with the manufacturer, area systematization for mechanized harvesting, sugarcane variety adjustments*, organic fertilizers, and soil phytosanitary treatment and preparation, among other actions.

From soil preparation for planting to industrial sugarcane processing, there was the integration of the most advanced technologies available and the human being's ancestral knowledge in the organic land stewardship. As a result, the São Francisco Sugarmill (UFRA) was granted the organic producer certificate in October 1997.

UFRA currently plants 12,500 hectares of land with sugarcane organically. To complement the Plant's organic raw material needs, over 7,500 hectares of 11 farms belonging to the Santo Antônio Plant were converted and certified. The current 20,000 hectares of certified sugarcane plantations are processed organically by the São Francisco Plant.

{info source: Native sustainability report}

Cocoa butter: pressed at Map directly from each origin. 

Whole milk powder: certified organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed dairy from Humboldt Creamery; the creamery sources the milk from family farms, is organic cert, and utilizes a zero-waste initiative that has enabled HC to reduce the footprint of their manufacturing process, with over 98% of materials diverted from landfill in its Modesto production facility.