DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ORIGIN CACAO
Cacao in the Duarte Province, Oko Caribe
In this lush area of the Duarte Province in the Dominican Republic, Oko Caribe owners Adriano de Jesus Rodriguez and Gualberto Acebey Torrejon intercrop cacao trees with avocado, zapote, and orange trees for maximum biodiversity, which creates quite a beautiful sight too. We have been using their flavorful beans since 2014, and we were ecstatic to meet Gualberto at the Chocoa conference in Amsterdam in 2019.
Gualberto and Adriano work with 165 farmers over 900 organic hectares to harvest more than 500,000 tons of high-quality cacao per year. After harvesting only the ripe cacao pods, farmers sell the wet cacao beans to Adriano and Gualberto, who ferment the beans in wooden boxes for six days and dry them in the sun for about a week. This is called a centralized fermentation model. Uncommon then finds a home for these beans with chocolate makers looking to pay higher prices for higher-quality beans.
Adriano and Gualberto have close relationships with the farmers, and they offer microfinance loans for cacao-related expenses as well as personal loans for family emergencies or other community needs. They also work closely with farmers on technical training as well as agronomic and organic practices.
The resulting beans are deliciously chocolatey, with hints of dried red and brown fruit like raspberry and dried plum.BUY NOW
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