Our decision in 2023 has been to turn our eyes and hearts to our Neighbours in the South Pacific. To focus on the amazing Cacao that grows 4-6 hours away from us in New Zealand. It makes sense - the carbon footprint of Cacao on a ship with a short journey, the ability to go and meet with Growers is now more possible,
to talk with them about their processes, farm history and learn the STORY of their Beans.
Plus the Cacao beans we are buying from these growers is unreal !
The Solomon Islands beans come from the Cathliro group who work directly with over two-hundred farming families from villages in Central Guadalcanal and Isabel, primarily working with women (70% of farmers are women). The farmers are paid cash upon weighing of the wet beans in the village. As a result, the farmers have a consistent regular income. There is a mixture of Trinitario and Amelonado varieties as is typical in the Pacific. The Solomons have strict anti child labour practices and the cacao is tested in NZ for herbicide and pesticide residue
and results have consistently been nil. So by our definition.. are organic and fairly traded.
Working closely with Oonagh from The Cacao Ambassador who is on regular visits and updates
with Diana from Cathliro, just the freshest beans and special request sacks are bought into New Zealand.
These Cacao Beans have deep fruity, raisin, bold notes with just a hint of caramel to smooth it all out.
The Beans from Malekula Island, Vanuatu, are grown organically in two small farming communities.
The Atchin Community - has 64 small Farming families and
the Larevat Community - has 50 small Farming families.
The wet beans are moved to a centralised Fermentation facility, where once fermented and sun dried,
are put in 60kg sacks and moved to the port for export. We work with Keith at SPS Biota (NZ), who is talking and working with Farmers regularly to keep consistency a priority, as the world discovers
the amazing caramel, toffee flavours of these beans.
The Beans from Papua New Guinea are in our making room and Mike is trial roasting them now, soon to be made into bars in May of this year. They come from Manabo plantation and we have met Grower Kingston and watched him taste the first Chocolate (a trial) made from his beans and seen his reaction and felt so humbled to have been part of that. We are excited for this Bar with it's fruity, deep chocolate notes - watch out world! : )
The Milk Powder we use for the dairy bars is from an organic co-op of farmers from our local Waikato region.
The sugar is from Paraguay and is certified Organic and Fairly Traded. The Cacao butter used in the dairy bars is organically grown and processed in Papua New Guinea.
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We hope to keep improving our connections with the Growers of this amazing food source
and find Cacao from other Pacific countries to join the Raglan Chocolate family.
Keep updated with us on the Raglan Chocolate Facebook and Instagram pages.