Cacao is a product with globalized prices governed by the New York and London Stock Exchange, bought and sold internationally in the World Market. The market price is determined by a series of factors that include supply and demand, political conflict, natural disasters, speculation, etc. Small cacao producers have no control over the price of cocoa beans and have very little influence with buyers to negotiate the prices of their own crops. This means that, in general, the incomes of cacao producers are linked to fluctuations in the volatile prices of international markets based on many variables that are beyond their control with unscrupulous intermediaries. This reduces the incentive to invest time, energy or money in improving the quality of cocoa. But that’s not all, here in Ecuador the intermediaries, push the farmer to harvest and deliver the cocoa on certain days, paying lower prices than the conventional world market, that makes the farmer, harvest without worrying if the pod is ripe or not, without separating the fungus or the sick cacao, without protecting it from contamination of birds or animals, without fermenting it properly, without separating the qualities, often the farmer receives the same price for Criollo Cacao Arriba Nacional than for GMO and without fermenting it at all nor dry it so the intermediary earns more money than the farmer because of the discount they give to the percentage of moisture in the cocoa, therefore, the quality of conventional industrial cocoa delivered by the country is of very low quality because of the seasons in which beans get mouldy or fungi and all that the multinationals buy, and this is how the quality of life of the farmer goes down, they live without access to education, their business perspective is totally wrong.
What we are doing is raising awareness about international markets, it is to offer quality, acculturate the farmer and empowering them to make things right, to unify the chocolatiers buyers with producers in Ecuador generally ordinary markets pay farmers the same price for all varieties of cocoa, National, CCN51 or Criollo Arriba therefore the incentive is lost by the producers. First the cost of production, the flavour profiles and genetics all we must consider and evaluate each source, paying for the different unique qualities of its kind brings us closer to the goal that the farmer earn decent income for their hard work.
We seek to link the price of cocoa directly for the quality of it. This means that prices receive increases, creating significant financial incentives to make investments and increase the quality of life and productivity. The most important fact is that the farmer can only worry about the harvest and good maintenance of its plants, while we take care of the whole process of cacao and their existential problems. All prices are determined directly between us and our customers, according to quality parameters for each harvest season. Under this model, farmers know how much income to expect from their harvest, which allows us to make financial plans for the future with transparency throughout the distribution chain.