BIO MIGUEL ORELLANA
I was born, grew up and live in the wonderful Cacao World. My great grandfather was Coffee and Cacao farmer, my grandfather acquired knowledge for trading it in the city, and my father and uncle kept this tradition alive, taking it to the next level: exporting Cacao to several countries since 1980. My first job at the age of 18 was to teach farmers to understand quality standards, so they have better prices and our family business can offer better quality. I have dedicated the last 10 years to research, praxis and study Cacao: traveling to very remote areas in Ecuador, where cacao grows. Sharing knowledge with the farmers, living with them under one roof: that’s how I could made a connection and it allowed me to have a better comprehension of farmer’s needs. As well as while working for my family I understood the situation within big corporations.
The farmers for example live in areas without access roads. The ones they have are only passable in summertime. During rainy season some towns are almost isolated and it’s very difficult going or out in an emergency. They also don’t have electricity or tap water. Small producers live without basic education or technical influences and so it makes it harder for them to understand the market needs and they depend on the middle man to trade their beans. Low incomes is pushing everyday to the new generations to leave back the farms and/or grow another crops. Some of them migrate to the city looking for basic jobs, they do what they can in the pursuit of a better future for their children. Without noticing promising future of staying and properly working their farms and precious Cacao trees. Today the average age in some small producer towns is 65 years. One of our goals is to create a growth development to keep young people in the farms working sustainably in this world renown product.
Looking for technical improvement I have trained with foreign experts in the field of cocoa in many areas:
- Certifications: BCS Öko Garantie: Global fair certification company, good agricultural practices, organic agriculture with standards of the European Union, Japan and the USA.
- Foreign trade
- Auditor for Organic Farms
- Quality practices in harvest and post-harvest to reach ultra premium standards.
- Logistics and distribution of Cocoa to European, Asian and North American markets.
Looking for new markets to sell Ecuadorian Cacao led me to travel around Europe, visiting customers and chocolate makers. In these trips I was able to participate in:
- Fair of ORIGIN CHOCOLATE in Amsterdam, Holland. In which artisanal chocolatiers from all over Europe participate.
- BIOFACH Fair Nuremberg, Germany. The largest organic products fair in the world.
- World Cocoa Conference, Guayaquil-Ecuador.
- International Chocolate Awards 2017, Hanover, Germany (DACH) In which I participated as Judge.