DRAFT Master Plan For the Development and Operation of the world’s first integrated Criollo/Triniterio/Hybrid Cacao farm (near Tortuguero, Limon, Costa Rica)

For the Development and Operation of the world’s first integrated Criollo/Triniterio/Hybrid Cacao farm (near Tortuguero, Limon, Costa Rica)

Cacaitos Plantation S.A. (103 hectares)

combined with an Industrial FBM Chocolate Factory (in Heredia, Costa Rica) Chocolates Maryanto S.A. processing pure chocolate as a very Healthy, Highly Nutritious, Delicious, Tree-to-Bar, Prestige/Gourmet Chocolate under single ownership with no slave child labour, loss of the Rain Forest canopy, dozens of middle men traders, replaced cacao with soya and toxic ingredients, or false advertising.

Catica’s Fine Chocolates* ® (pending)

In Cariari/Belen, Heredia, Costa Rica with Mariano/Jeanette Valerio, Eugenia/Catalina Valerio, Moises Gomez (Belen CR), Machteld Schrama (Monaco), Robert Stewart (Laren, NL), Reg Olson (USA), Gordon Taylor (UK). www.catica.com  (pending)

June 2019

*The hybrid name CATICA combines our chocolatier’s name ‘Catalina’ and ‘Tica’, defining a beautiful Costa Rican woman processing cacao into pure chocolate in the spirit of ‘La Pura Vida’.


Section One:

  1. Introduction, Background and Executive Summary
  2. Hacienda Cacaitos S.A. (Cacao Plantation near Tortuguero National Park, Limon, Costa Rica.
  3. Mighty Earth visit and certification on the Rain Forest Protection and canopy, anti-deforestation initiative.
  4. Mighty Earth Report by Etelle Higgonet on “The truth behind Fake Global Certification for Cacao Production and Chocolate Processing”.
  5. Chocolates Maryanto (Chocolate Processing Factory, Heredia, Costa Rica)
  6. FBM Chocolate Processing Equipment, Legnano, Italy
  7. Competition
  8. Nutritional Content of the Finished Chocolate
  9. Marketing, Distribution, Logistics, Storage and Sales in the EU/Europe.
  10. Marketing Analysis
  11. Marketing Plan
  12. The Business Plan
  13. Product/Services:
  14. Management and Operations
  15. Management Structure

Section Two: Financial Data

  1. Project Financial Statements
  2. Income Statement/ Cash Flow Statement/Balance Sheets
  3. Assumptions to Project Financial Statements
  4. Break Even Analysis
  5. Source and Use of Funds

Section Three: Supporting Documents

  1. Plant Design:
  2. Cargo/Supply Chain/Retail logistics

Additional Contents:

  1. Distribution to various hotel groups, airlines, restaurants, wine shops, other coffee shops, tea rooms, etc.
  2. Costa Rica Chocolate growers and producers alliance.

CATICA’S® Fine Chocolate – Costa Rica 

1st June 2019

by Robert Stewart, Moises Gomez and Reg Olson

The Spirit of Costa Rican Fine Chocolate

Criollo, Triniterio and Hybrid Pods from Limon Province

Section One:

  1. Introduction, Background and Executive Summary

A revolution is underway in the global trade and production of quality cacao beans into nutritious, fine craft chocolate. For centuries, the raw material producers of cacao in the tropics did not process the finest chocolate-making machinery like the rest of the world.

From January 2019, a strategic alliance between two Costa Rican professionals (a plantation agronomist – Moises Gomez) and his wife (Catalina Valerio – a process engineer) with a Canadian-Swiss the Chairman/CEO of many multinational businesses (Robert Stewart) and Monacan investor (Machteld Schrama) who joined forces to create the world’s first vertically integrated plantation-to-chocolate processing company in Costa Rica.

Robert Stewart                                                                             Moises Gomez

Maggie Schrama                                                                            Catalina Valerio

The companies comprising this bold, new initiative (Hacienda Cacaitos S.A. and Chocolates Maryanto S.A.) were founded by Mariano Valerio Quesada, Jeannette Ellis, and Eugenia Valerio Ellis. Breaking this North-South global market divide by integrating a 4,000-year-old source of traditional cacao beans with the finest chocolate production marks a dramatic departure in the world of cacao/cocoa/chocolate.

A line in the sand was drawn in the sand between an industrial chocolate product today consisting mainly of soya, toxic quantities of sugar and poor quality non-Latin American cacao beans manufactured under modern industrial processes in the Northern Hemisphere and sold to a global mass market which will be challenged by a healthy, nutritious, locally-processed chocolate from its own exceptional plantation cacao beans and sugar cane grown and produced in Costa Rica.

Our Cacao are beans from the original trees from Centuries ago and their ingredients kept intact with full nutritional value. Modern cocoa/chocolate is now made in industrial processes from poorly grown, badly fermented, partially dried, uncleaned and under or overly-processed beans, usually comes in the form of powdered cocoa and heavily mixed with excessive amounts of refined sugar and other ingredients containing no nutritional values.

Industrial chocolate consists of overdoses of unhealthy, refined and addictive sugar, soya additives, chemicals and false advertising. The new craft product will promote a healthy ‘Super Food’ using pure traditional cacao beans and raw sugar cane based on a formula which sustained Central American peoples for many millennia. We call it “La Pura Vida”, Costa Rica’s contribution to a true, honest, and healthy food product coming from the finest original beans, with no manmade additives or extractions.

CATICA’S ® Fine chocolates will be produced by the world’s first company to own and operate its own 103-hectare cacao plantation (growing ultimately to 600 hectares) which will then process the beans into a finished craft chocolate to be run by the family of Moises and Catalina Gomez-Valerio.

The quality artisan chocolate market had a great revival in Europe and North America between the end of the ‘90s and early 2000 thanks to the extraordinary ability of some chocolatier colleagues who were the first to educate the consumer about the diversity of the cacao origins, the cultivation techniques and processing but also and above all the organoleptic and nutritional/medicinal qualities of chocolate.

The artisan chocolate market experienced a few years of interesting growth, inducing the industry to differentiate itself and to address the issues that were previously exclusively promoted by small chocolatiers. On the shelves of supermarkets began to appear single origin chocolates, different percentages of cocoa, and different spices allowing for the differentiation of themes began to dilute the product and the crisis was averted with the onset of the artisanal quality market around the turn of the millennium.

This crisis lasted for a few years with weak and very risky attempts at differentiation. After a few years, many chocolatiers were downsized, some had to close, the most interesting forced to sell to large companies. What was missing was the ability to innovate, to remain a precursor, to know how to communicate diversity.

Raw cacao beans: The last few years witnessed the flowering of new initiatives that, following the model of what is happening in the US and in the Anglo-Saxon market, are following new paths of differentiation.

The new Eldorado seems to be the “bean to bar” and “pure, dark, +70% chocolate”. On the widespread recent interpretation of the “bean to bar” there are strong doubts about the quality of the final result and the alleged control of the supply chain if one doesn’t own the plantation beans, ferment them oneself and process them to completion.

Beans  Nibs  Chocolate

Regarding the theme of raw chocolate: there is a serious problem of how it is currently defined (chocolate in which the temperature of 42 degrees is not exceeded throughout the supply chain and throughout the production process), raw chocolate (as defined) does not exist. In our opinion there are reasons that imply the impossibility:

– The temperature of cacao in fermentation is certainly higher than 42 degrees and cannot be so punctually controlled;

– The bacterial load without a rise in temperature can be very dangerous;
– If there is no third body that can check and certify what is declared by the raw producers throughout the supply chain then there are reasons for opportunities:
– Only through exceptionally controlled fermentation is it possible to make available the nutrients and functional capabilities of cacao;
– Roasting, although light, is necessary to develop the aromatic notes of cacao.

The goal of the raw food approach is to preserve as much as possible the nutrients and functional properties of the cacao raw material used in the first place. To sum up, we think this fundamentalist approach is wrong because: it cannot be applied, it cannot be certified, it is counterproductive to the stated objectives, it does not guarantee food safety, and the process followed does not lead to an organoleptic quality.

Raw bar: We believe instead that it is possible to achieve the objectives stated by the raw food approach using well-fermented cacao beans, toasted for a short time and not too high temperatures, working cold chocolate without conceal and that this approach allows us to have a good product, safe and with highly functional properties.

This is why we called it pure CATICA’s Fine Chocolate. It consists of only agricultural raw materials, cacao and raw sugar cane, which are refined with great care into a nutritious and delicious product without overdosing it in addictive white beet sugar, extracting the original ingredients of the beans (cacao mass, butter and liquor while replacing this with soya, chemicals, milk products, artificial flavours or other ingredients to cover the bitter taste of low quality cacao beans). This produces direct, aromatic and persistent chocolate which is organic and gluten-free.

 A Brief History of Cacao and Chocolate

 Traités nouveaux & curieux du café du thé et du chocolate”, by Philippe Sylvestre Dufour, 1685 gives a good rendition of the cacao/chocolate’s long story. The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 450 BC. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter liquid, mixed with spices or corn puree.

It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to give the drinker strength. Today, such drinks are also known as “Chilate” and are made by locals in the South of Mexico. After its arrival to Europe in the sixteenth century, sugar was added to it and it became popular throughout society, first among the ruling classes and then among the common people. In the 20th century, chocolate was considered essential in the rations of United States soldiers during war.

The word “chocolate” comes from the Classical Nahuatl word chocolātl, and entered the English language from the Spanish language. Cultivation, consumption, and cultural use of cacao were extensive in Mesoamerica where the cacao tree is native. When pollinated, the seed of the cacao tree eventually forms a kind of sheath, or ear, 20″ long, hanging from the tree trunk itself. Within the sheath are 30 to 40 brownish-red almond-shaped beans embedded in a sweet viscous pulp. While the beans themselves are bitter due to the alkaloids within them, the sweet pulp may have been the first element consumed by humans.

Cacao pods themselves can range in a wide range of colors, from pale yellow to bright green, all the way to dark purple or crimson. The skin can also vary greatly – some are sculpted with craters or warts, while others are completely smooth. This wide range in type of pods is unique to cacaos in that their color and texture does not necessarily determine the ripeness or taste of the beans inside.

Evidence suggests that it may have been fermented and served as an alcoholic beverage as early as 1400 BC. Cultivation of the Cacao was not an easy process. Part of the reason was that was due to the fact that, Cacao trees in their natural environment grew up to 60 or more feet tall. When the trees were grown in a plantation however, they grew to around 20 feet tall.

While researchers do not agree which Mesoamerican culture first domesticated the cacao tree, the use of the fermented bean in a drink seems to have arisen in North America (Mesoamerica—Central America and Mexico). Scientists have been able to confirm its presence in vessels around the world by evaluating the “chemical footprint” detectable in the microsamples of contents that remain.

Ceramic vessel with residues from the preparation of chocolate beverages have been found at archaeological sites dating back to the Early Formative (1900–900 BC) period. For example, one such vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico dates chocolate’s preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokayanan archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC.

Pueblo people, who lived in an area that is now the U.S. Southwest, imported cacao from Mesoamerican cultures in southern Mexico or Central America between 900 and 1400. They used it in a common beverage consumed by everyone in their society. Earliest evidence of domestication of the cacao plant dates to the Olmec culture from the Pre-Classic period. The Olmecs used it for religious rituals or as a medicinal drink, with no recipes for personal use. Little evidence remains of how the beverage was processed. 

By 1400, the Aztec Empire (in Costa Rica) took over a sizable part of Mesoamerica. They were not able to grow cacao themselves, but were forced to import it. All of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a “tribute”. The cacao bean became a form of currency. The Spanish conquistadors left records of the value of the cacao bean, noting for instance that 100 beans could purchase a canoe filled with fresh water or a turkey hen.

The Aztecs associated cacao with the god Quetzacoatl, whom they believed had been condemned by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans. Unlike the Maya of Yucatán, especially the Malecu of Guanacaste Province, the Aztecs drank chocolate cold. It was consumed for a variety of purposes, as an aphrodisiac or as a treat for men after banquets, and it was also included in the rations of Aztec soldiers. The same traditions continue today as chocolate drink is consumed in a mug.

Until the 16th century, the cacao tree was wholly unknown to Europeans. Christopher Columbus encountered the cacao bean on his fourth mission to the Americas on August 15, 1502, when he and his crew seized a large native canoe that proved to contain among other goods for trade, cacao beans. His son Ferdinand commented that the natives greatly valued the beans, which he termed almonds, “for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen.” But while Columbus took cacao beans with him back to Spain, it made no impact until Spanish friars introduced chocolate to the Spanish Court.

A Lady Pouring Chocolate by Jean-Étienne Liotard (1744)

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may have been the first European to encounter chocolate when he observed it in the court of Montezuma in 1519. In 1568, Bernal Diaz, who accompanied Cortés in the conquest of Mexico, wrote of this encounter which he witnessed: “From time to time they served him [Montezuma] in cups of pure gold a certain drink made from cacao. It was said that it gave one power over women, but this I never saw. I did see them bring in more than fifty large pitchers of cacao with froth in it, and he drank some of it, the women serving with great reverence. Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, described its use more generally:

Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste. Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women that are accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate. They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that “chili”; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh.

After the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, chocolate was imported to Europe. At the beginning Spaniards would use it as a medicine to treat illnesses such as abdominal pain because it had a bitterness to it. Once sweetened, it transformed. It quickly became a court favourite. It was still served as a beverage, but the addition of sugar or honey counteracted the natural bitterness. The Spaniards initially intended to recreate the original taste of the Mesoamerican chocolate by adding similar spices, but this habit had faded away by the end of the eighteenth century. Within about a hundred years, chocolate established a foothold throughout Europe.

How the word “chocolate” came into Spanish is not certain. The authority on the Spanish language, the Royal Spanish Academy, derives it from the Nahuatl word “xocolatl” (pronounced Nahuatl pronunciation: [ ʃoˈkolaːtɬ]) made up from the words “xococ” meaning sour or bitter, and “atl” meaning water or drink.[23] However, as William Bright noted[24] the word “chocolatl” doesn’t occur in central Mexican colonial sources making this an unlikely derivation.

Santamaria gives a derivation from the Yucatec Maya word “chokol” meaning hot, and the Nahuatl “atl” meaning water. More recently Dakin and Wichman derive it from another Nahuatl term, “chicolatl” from Eastern Nahuatl meaning “beaten drink”. They derive this term from the word for the frothing stick, “chicoli”. The word xocoatl means beverage of the maize. The words “cacaua atl” mean drink of cacao. The word “xocolatl” does not appear in Molina’s dictionary, Vocabulario en Lengua Castellana y Mexicana y Mexicana y Castellana.

An early 20th century chocolate advert, the new craze for chocolate brought with it a thriving slave market, as between the early 17th and late 19th centuries the laborious and slow processing of the cacao bean was manual.  Cacao plantations spread, as the English, Dutch, and French colonized and planted. With the depletion of Mesoamerican workers, largely to disease, cacao production was often the work of poor wage laborers and African slaves.

Wind-powered and horse-drawn mills were used to speed production, augmenting human labour. Heating the working areas of the table-mill, an innovation that emerged in France in 1732, also assisted in extraction. The Chocolaterie Lombart, created in 1760, claimed to be the first chocolate company in France, ten years before Pelletier et Pelletier.

New processes that speed the production of chocolate emerged early in the Industrial Revolution. In 1815, Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten introduced alkaline salts to chocolate, which reduced its bitterness.[2] A few years thereafter, in 1828, he created a press to remove about half the natural fat (cacao butter) from chocolate liquor, which made chocolate both cheaper to produce and more consistent in quality.

This innovation introduced the modern era of chocolate. Known as “Dutch cocoa”, this machine-pressed chocolate was instrumental in the transformation of chocolate to its solid form when in 1847 Joseph Fry learned to make chocolate mouldable by adding back melted cacao butter.

Milk had sometimes been used as an addition to chocolate beverages since the mid-17th century, but in 1875 Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate by mixing a powdered milk developed by Henri Nestlé with the liquor. In 1879, the texture and taste of chocolate was further improved when Rodolphe Lindt invented the conching machine.

Lindt & Sprüngli AG, a Swiss-based concern with global reach, had its start in 1845 as the Sprüngli family confectionery shop in Zurich that added a solid-chocolate factory the same year the process for making solid chocolate was developed and later bought Lindt’s factory. Besides Nestlé, several chocolate companies had their start in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Cadbury was manufacturing boxed chocolates in England by 1868. In 1893, Milton S. Hershey purchased chocolate processing equipment at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and soon began the career of Hershey‘s chocolates with chocolate-coated caramels.

Due to improvements in machines, it began the transformation from a drink to a food. Also, it happened different types of chocolate. At the same time, the price of chocolate began to drop dramatically in 1890s and 1900s because the production of chocolate began to shift away from the New World to Asia and Africa.

Therefore, chocolate could be purchased by middle class. Due to the lower cost of chocolate, it happened a problem that forced child labour. In 1900-1907, Cadbury’s was fall into a scandal that their reliance on West African slave plantations.

Theobroma cacao (Trinitarios)   Theobroma cacao (Criollos)    Theobroma cacao (Forasteros)    Theobroma cacao (Nacional)    Theobroma grandiflorum (Cupuaçu)

Although it was men leading the charge towards mass production of chocolate for everyday people, advertisements targeted women, who “were charged with providing wholesome cocoa for respectable consumption within the family,” Women were also targeted by advertising campaigns within courtship rituals, though most early advertising was aimed more at housewives and mothers than at single women.

While investors trading in cocoa can dump shares at will, individual cocoa farmers cannot ramp up production and abandon trees at anywhere near med more at housewives and mothers than at single women.

Roughly two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is produced in Western Africa, with Ivory Coast being the largest source, producing a total crop of 1,448,992 tonnes. Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon are other West African countries among the top 5 cocoa producing countries in the world. Like many food industry producers, individual cocoa farmers are at the mercy of volatile world markets.

The price can vary from between £500 ($945) and £3,000 ($5,672) per ton in the space of just a few years. While investors trading in cocoa can dump shares at will, individual cocoa farmers cannot ramp up production and abandon trees at anywhere near that pace.

Only three to four percent of “cocoa futures” contracts traded in the cocoa markets ever end up in the physical delivery of cocoa. Every year seven to nine times more cocoa is bought and sold on the exchange than exists.

Hacienda Cacaitos S.A. (Cacao Plantation)

Historic grower        Hybrid Crop               Young pod       Maturing      Criollo Pod

The HACIENDA CACAITOS S.A. cacao plantation is located in NE Costa Rica alongside the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Sea. This was for centuries, the cradle of the cacao bean which sustained Central America as a currency, a highly nutritional drink and a food rich in minerals, vitamins and many other healthy anti-oxidant nutrients. An automated Italian FBM production line will process the beans into a world-class fine chocolate for export.

Grown on the volcanic soils in a tropical rain forest, this traditional approach returns to the centuries-old formula of using two ingredients only: all of the cacao mass, butter and liquor contents of its original pure Criollo and Triniterio beans blended with local, pure, raw sugar cane filled with additional energy nutrients, vitamins and minerals.


David pruning           Fatima grafting                Pulley            Fermentation Bins

Varying in cacao/cane sugar combinations up to 70/30%, CATALINA will produce four chocolate varieties: a pure, dark, craft chocolate; milk chocolate; mid-range chocolates mixed with fruits/nuts/herbs; and white chocolate.

The product will be sold to consumers directly and for further use in pastries and other products. The products support good health to avoid sugar addiction, diabetes and obesity. Children will be introduced to a healthy chocolate avoiding addictive and refined beet sugar. The worst outcome from eating 95% of today’s industrial chocolates which cause most of the Northern Hemisphere’s health challenge: heart attacks and acute coronary disease. There is a reason craft chocolate is called “The Medicine of the Gods”.

Map of Costa Rica

The entire operation was started and will continue to be built, owned, operated and controlled by the group.  Moises Gomez is a professional agronomist and expert with the International Cocoa Organization in London for 11 years, advising growers worldwide in growing better cacao. He has perfected the fermentation and drying of the beans rarely seen in industrial chocolate production anywhere in the world.

The use of the very high quality, fermented Criollo and Triniterio beans, grown for centuries in the Western Hemisphere, is in stark contrast to the lower quality and less-controlled Forastero beans from other continents which make up +80% of industrial chocolate production

blended with other  contents lacking nutritional value.

Don Saul, 78                                                                                 Cacao Flower

Eugenia Valerio, Giovanni (plantation manager), David (planter) and Moise (Agronomist) are overseeing the initial planting of 70-200 hectares of cacao trees as well as helping other local plantation growers to achieve the same high results in their beans throughout Costa Rica and the region.

Cacaitos Plantation S.A. Tortuguero Region, Limon Province, Costa Rica

  1. Etelle Higonnet and the “Mighty Earth” global environmental lobby wholly support and will visit Cacaitos this year to provide the highest certification on the Rain Forest Protection and canopy, anti-deforestation initiative. Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect the environment.

They focus on the biggest issues facing environmental protection in the world including conserving threatened landscapes like tropical rainforests. Even as the palm oil, rubber, coffee, and other raw material commodity industries are showing signs of progress, one industry that has mastered the PR of protecting forests is clearly failing at actually protecting them: the chocolate industry.

In the countries where they operate, chocolate brands like Mars, Ferrero and Cadbury have had probably more of a devastating impact than any other forest commodity. For decades, approximately 30 percent of the cocoa coming from Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading cocoa producer, came from inside national parks and other protected areas. Cocoa has been the number one cause of deforestation that has destroyed 90 percent of the country’s forest cover and driven similarly severe impacts in neighbouring Ghana.

After decades of inaction, in November 2017 the chocolate industry was finally poised to do something about deforestation. Almost all of the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies, as well as the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, launched the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, pledging to immediately halt deforestation, rebuild protected areas, and restore forests. Mighty Earth celebrated these commitments at the time but noted that they needed to be implemented to make a difference.

We must now ask if these companies and their trade association, the World Cocoa Foundation, were playing a cruel joke on customers who desperately wanted to not feel guilty about indulging in a chocolate bar. WRI’s 2018 satellite data found that instead of going down in the two priority countries, “Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire experienced the highest percent rise in primary forest loss between 2017 and 2018 of any tropical country (60 percent and 26 percent, respectively).”

Thus, while Brazil tops the chart for sheer volume of forest loss, Ghana is the worst country worldwide for intensification of deforestation and Côte d’Ivoire is second worst.

This finding comports with Mighty Earth’s research in the recent Report entitled “Beyond the Wrapper”: in the protected areas in Côte d’Ivoire that they analysed, deforestation increased in as many places as it decreased, hardly a sign that the chocolate companies were doing anything more than greenwashing. At the same time, TV exposés by French and Swiss television that found a major cocoa trader connected to ongoing deforestation inside protected areas. The 2019 Easter Score Card clearly ranks and grades the chocolate industry, showing which companies are dragging everyone else down.

It’s not surprising: the Cocoa & Forests Initiative has spent more time on diplomacy and PR instead of the number one task at hand: establishing a serious industry-wide forest monitoring and enforcement mechanism to ensure that forests are actually protected.

One reason this hasn’t happened is that, so far, the Cocoa & Forests Initiative has not included tough advocacy NGOs like Mighty Earth or Greenpeace in their processes, perhaps in hopes that they wouldn’t be forced to deliver results. That’s what they’ve done for decades in promising to stop child labour in the cocoa industry, a problem that continues at a heart-breaking scale: 2.1 million kids are working in cocoa today, while average income for cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire continue at less than one dollar a day.

If the chocolate industry wants to actually see results, they need to demand that their industry association — the WCF and the coordinating partner IDH — get a robust monitoring mechanism operational before the end of this year.

The Rain forests worldwide that are bordered by deforested land are being cut down and prepared for the planting of pineapples, soyabeans and other crops. Climate activists are pushing the world’s largest agricultural traders to go “beyond nice statements” and enact concrete measures to tackle deforestation caused by soya and industrial cacao production. Countries especially hard hit include Ghana and Ivory Coast, two of the world’s largest producers of industrialized Forestero bean cacao production (+90%).

Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus — known as the “ABCD” of agricultural traders — as well as Cofco International and Glencore, have committed to sharing granular data on their suppliers worldwide, on formerly abundant forests producing cacao now reduced to flattened rain forests with all canopy, plants, animals, birds, insects and human population removed in favour of solid planting of cacao plants only without any of the bio-diverse support systems to insure high quality cross-fertilization of the plants.

The Soft Commodity Forum’s move to introduce a set of transparency and reporting measures follows pressure from customers and investors to ensure that traders are supplying sustainable food stuffs, and meeting their climate targets, qua;lity control of beans produced and support for indigenous farmwers living in these zones worldwide.

Major traders, buyers and cacao product retailers are signatories who have pledged not to purchase cacao from deforested land worldwide, but in fact turn a blind eye and in some circumstances actually support the total destruction of the rain forest canopies that protect the highest quality of cacao plantations.

Only Costa Rica has a protocol which defiantly protects the Rain Forest canopy of its territory including the demarcation of 25% of the country’s land mass being protected by National Parks. Our neighbour in NE Costa Rica is the world famous Tortuguero National Park which contain the most diverse collection of jaguars, monkeys, birds, insects, animal, and the famous Green Turtles that nest their eggs along the Caribbean Sea every year.

Companies, including McDonald’s, Walmart, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Nando’s and Unilever, have already called for an extension of the moratorium for destruction of the Rain Forest canopy and de-forestation protocols, however Mighty Earth’s satellite imagery proves they are the perpetrators of this destruction by openly encouraging farmers to destroy the canopy.

Greenpeace has long been a proponent of extending the moratorium. Paulo Adario, the environmental group’s head of forest strategy, said: “Time is ticking on climate pledges, and companies have the responsibility to go beyond nice statements on paper.”

The International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank that is one of the International Cacao/Chocolate Organization, UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance and Mighty Earth’s shareholders, has pressed these wholesale traders, cacao processors and chocolate retail distribution and sales companies to instigate systems for penalising farmers who illegally deforest, while several international bank and investment groups have publicly announced that they are factoring deforestation risk into their investment portfolio decisions.

Last year, Louis Dreyfus, Cargill, Unilever, Hershey’s, Lindt, Callebaut, Mondeles, Cadbury’s and dozens of other cacao purchasing and processing organizations announced support for this initiative, but it has been proven none follow the protocol and continue to secretly support the destruction of the rain forest canopy in order to boost low quality bean production at the expense of local farmers and their forests. These forests known as an upside-down forest for its deep root network, has lost half of its native vegetation to agricultural expansion. Pineapple, soya, palm oil and other crops are being supported to destroy the Rain Forest production worldwide.

An area almost the size of Wales has been cleared in the past 11 years to make way for soya, according to the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). The three biggest soya exporters from the region are Bunge, Cargill and ADM, with combined exports of 13m tonnes in 2017.

Brazil stripped its cacao production in favour of this mass produced soya and now exports it to much of the EU and China, ending up on consumers’ plates across the world, in the form of soya-fed chicken, sold at Burger King, McDonald’s, Tesco and Morrisons. The UK is the fifth-biggest importer of Cargill’s Cerrado-cultivated soya, according to SEI.

Global anti-Deforestation lobby in Washington DC, Mighty Earth’s leader Etelle Higonnet supports the Costa Rican initiative to protect its Rain Forest canopy and stop the incessant destruction going on around the rest of the world. She will visit the Cacaitos Cacao Plantation during the summer of 2019 and work with Moises Gomez to draft a protocol for the rest of the world. “Traders are doing nothing to cut off suppliers that they find to be engaging in deforestation,” said Etelle at the recent Chocoa Annual Trade Fair, from the environmental group Mighty Earth.

Cacaitos is one of a handful of small, medium and large plantations worldwide that leads the rain forest canopy protection to produce the highest quality cacao crops.

  1. Mighty Earth Report by Etelle Higgonet on “The truth behind Fake Global Certification for Cacao Production and Chocolate Processing by UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance, De-Forestation Alliance, Anti-Slavery, and other so-called charity/lobbies purporting to support cacao farmers”: 



Some of these acceptable beans will be blended with the family-owned plantation-sourced beans. FBM in Legnano, Italy are the chocolate machine manufacturers who are provided the entire processing line following an introduction and acquisition of their machines at their factory in Legnano, Italy in October 2018 by four of the principals (Gomez, C. Valerio, Stewart and Schrama).

Catalina Valerio, wife of Moises and mother of their two boys, is a graduate process engineer who has managed the family banana and dairy farm on 600 hectares. She will manage the factory processing the beans into fine chocolate varieties for sale domestically and into the high-end European and North American markets. The products are named for her.

Factory entrance in the Industrial Park, Heredia

The decision to establish the processing facility in Heredia was taken for several strategic reasons. The proposed factory space located in the outskirts of the Costa Rican central valley, has access from various main national highways (Highway 1, 3 and 27) as well as other internal paved county roads, which will ensure access to cacao beans despite of any traffic problem.

The location of Heredia is also a central point from the different cacao producing regions the project expects to source some of its beans, including the production from its own plantation, which is about 150 km, with the furthest point being 240 km. Heredia is also located near two points of export in Costa Rica.

Heredia is located 42 km from the Port of Caldera, the second largest port of Costa Rica.

Secondly, Heredia is located about 30 km from Juan Santamaría International Airport, from where we expect to export most of our products. Finally, the government of Costa Rica announced the initial stages of evaluation and feasibility studies to build a new international airport in the city of Orotina, which is located about 26 Km from the city of Heredia, making it an ideal location for the project. It is expected that the new airport will be inaugurated in 2027.             Catica’s Fine Chocolate Factory in Heredia


The property where the processing plant will be established is also owned by a friend of the family, and has all permission needed from the local council to start a food-processing activity. The property has a total area of 5,000 mt2, which allows for the expansion of the processing facility in the future. The property has access to the national water and energy grid supplies (AyA & CNFL), with the respective meters in full operation and registered. To operate the equipment required for this project, consultation were made with the national power company (CNFL), who indicated that a Three-Phase power system is already installed on the property.

Due to the proximity and good access to the central valley area, most of the qualified labour available in Heredia or Alajuela for work on a daily basis. After consultation with CINDE, which is the Foreign Investment Agency of Costa Rica, they indicated that Heredia and the property described for the project qualifies within the criterion to establish a Free-Trade zone.

  1. Chocolate Processing Equipment, Legnano, Italy


UNOX Roaster    Cracking/Winnowing            Pre Grinding               3 Rumbo Grinders


Taobroma Ball Mill            Kleego Conching          Unica 30 Tempering

Description of a multi-phased production line of processing cacao beans after the fermentation and drying process into fine chocolate bars.

After the beans have been grown on the plantation where they will have been individually grafted to prevent disease and improve hardiness, they are cultivated, fertilized with natural, organic material, then harvested and moved to the fermentation boxes. They are fermented under daily control for temperature and time, then moved to the drying shed where they are dried for a controlled period of time and temperature.

Once that process is completed, they are moved by truck to the factory in Heredia. There, they are cleaned of any refuse associated with drying or fermenting, bagging and shipment.

UNOX Roaster: On arrival in Heredia at the factory, they are equally sorted for size (small, medium and large) and condition (no cracked, diseased, mouldy, or poor-quality beans are allowed into the final sorting.  They are spread on large trays and prepared for the roasting process. The roasting profile depends on the size, quality, humidity, wet/dry aspects of the bean. Temperatures and timing controls are adjusted for each batch of trays which consists up to ten kilos of sorted, cleaned and dried beans.

After the beans have been roasted, they are taken out of the oven and cooled  before placing into the cracking and winnowing machine where the nibs are separated from the outer shells, chaff and skin of the bean.

The machine blows the waste into a bag which is collected for material to be used as natural fertilizer on the plantation helping the young and mature plants to grow. All waste matter will have been removed from the nibs as this adds to the acidity and bitterness of the final batch of the nibs and lowers quality/price/value of the final chocolate produced.

From the cracked nibs, the cacao is put into the pre-grinder which presses the nibs into a thick cacao paste. The paste is transferred to the three Rumbo Grinders where the micron particle size of the paste is reduced to 40 microns. This process can take from 20-72 hours depending on whether they are later reduced to a smaller size in another grinder, or left to grind for a day depending on their flavour, acidity, bitterness or astringency. High quality beans require less grinding while low quality beans require more to reduce the acidity and bitterness of the beans.

Once past the Rumbo Grinders (three will be utilized at Catica’s Factory in order to expedite the daily processing of the beans as this is the most time consuming portion of the operation), the paste is transferred to the Taobroma Ball Grinder for a further 3-4 hours at a timing and temperature setting based on the flavour and quality of the beans. The ball grinder reduces the chocolate mixture down to a 20-30 micron size, the optimal size for extracting the most flavour out of the bean as human tongues cannot judge flavour below 30 micron sized food particles. Everything tastes like a bland butter below that profile.

The batch next moves to the Kleego Conching machine where temperature, timing and the circular flow of the product is set to improve the flavour profile of the batch bringing out the desired taste in the final chocolate. This process requires an additional 3-4 hours of carefully controlled adjustments.

The penultimate operation is to transfer the batch to the UNICO 30 tempering machine which both conches the product, raises and lowers the temperatures to bring out the final flavour profile of the chocolate and prepare it for pouring into moulds to shape the bars. Timing and temperatures are again important to control the final flavour, flow and presentation of the chocolate with a smooth, shiny surface, no bubbles, a ‘snap’ when broken into pieces for consumption.

The final process is packaging the product into presentational bars with silver/gold foil or a bio-degradable plastic sealed cover, then wrapped in a bio-degradable paper sheath with the appropriate branding information printed on the jacket.


Although Costa Rica has a growing cacao and chocolate sector, most companies recently set-up in the country still do not manage the knowledge and quality requirements to reach international markets. At present, there are more than 65 registered chocolate manufacturing companies working the Costa Rica. Some of these companies have positioned their products in the local markets and their marketing strategy is focused mainly on attracting tourist that visit the country. Other smaller projects attend local markets and produce “rustic” rather than artisan products.


Nahua                            Sibú                                  Maleku                  Sibaeli

At present, only four companies (Nahua, Sibú , Maleku, and Sibaeli) are producing craft chocolate in Costa Rica. Their market is mainly domestic however they have started to export very small quantities to the USA and Poland. Small volumes have been sold to a hand-full of chocolate shops. One of these companies process cacao liquor and butter, without managing the process of roasting and pre-grinding. All companies in Costa Rica are relying on a large manufacturer to obtain cacao butter, as their processes tend to be more commercial than craft.

Because cacao bean production in Costa Rica is relatively small (600 MT/year) compared to other countries in the region like Ecuador (280,000 MT/year), Peru (55,000 MT/year), Dominican Republic (40,000 MT/year), there are only a few chocolate manufacturers who work with Costa Rican cacao beans.

Other Craft Chocolate producers worldwide using Costa Rican beans include manufacturers in the USA such as Dandelion and Potomac and SOMA in Canada. They are starting to source beans from Costa Rica, but still at very small volumes due to the costs of exporting small quantities.

Being located in Costa Rica, our project is in a position to source the best cacao beans in the country and have direct control over the post-harvest and movement of the cacao beans to the processing facility, meaning we have full traceability.

Depiction of a traditional multi-phased production line which processes cacao into fine chocolate. Worldwide, there are hundreds of small,  craft chocolate manufacturers appearing both in the North American, Europe and Asia, which can be considered as direct competition. These companies, particularly those in the northern hemisphere have certain limitations. Although some of these companies have established themselves in niche chocolate markets, many of these companies rely on cacao producers in producing countries to obtain their raw material.

This situation always presents a risk for these companies, as they have to rely on their suppliers to obtain the best quality beans. Most of these companies base their marketing strategy by highlighting the fine flavour of their chocolates, with some informing consumers about the true origin and type of cacao beans used.

Modern industrial craft chocolate processing plant

There is a new “trend” in consumption of dark chocolate that looks to combine the quality of the product (flavour), social aspects (direct sourcing with a proven good price for cacao farmers) and environmental criterion (cacao produced under agro-forestry systems) which consumers are starting to look for in their products.

Craft Chocolate production has boomed over the past 20 years. Here is a list of the top 191 producers worldwide:

  1. Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate Makers in the World

List of all bean to bar craft chocolate makers and manufacturers in the rest of the world outside the US.



City Country Website
Salgado / Fenix Buenos Aires Argentina chocolatesfenix.com
Spencer Cocoa Mudgee NSW Australia spencercocoa.com.au
Matale Chocolate Melbourne, Victoria Australia matalechocolate.com
Cicada Chocolate Sydney Australia cicadachocolate.com
Gabriel Chocolate Yallingup Australia gabrielchocolate.com.au
Smooth Chocolator Australia smoothchoc.com
Zokoko Emu Heights, NSW Australia zokoko.com
Cravve Burleigh Heads QLD Australia cravve.com.au
Bahen & Co Margaret River WA Australia bahenchocolate.com/
Nick’s Chocolate Salisbury, Queensland Australia nickschocolate.com.au
Daintree Estates Mossman QLD Australia daintreeestates.com
Monsieur Truffe Brunswick East VIC Australia monsieurtruffechocolate.com
Bright Chocolate Bright, VIC Australia brightchocolate.com.au
Zotter Riegersburg Austria zotter.at/en/
Agapey Bridgetown, St. Michael Barbados agapey.com
Nehaus Chocolate Belgium neuhaus-online-store.com
Mi Joya Brussels Belgium mijoya.be
Pierre Marcolini Brussels Belgium marcolini.com
Benoit Nihant Bruxelles Belgium benoitnihant.be
Belcolade Erembodegem Belgium belcolade.com
Goss Chocolate Placencia Belize goss-chocolate.com
Cotton Tree Chocolate Toledo District Belize cottontreechocolate.com
Belize Chocolate Belize belizechocolatecompany.com
Kakaw Belize belizechocolatecompany.com
Chocolates Para Ti Santa Cruz de la Sierra Bolivia chocolatesparati.net
El Ceibo La Paz Bolivia elceibo.org
Quinta Baia de Camamu Brazil thecocoacompany.nl
Nugalli Pomerode Brazil nugali.com.br
AMMA Salvador Brazil ammachocolate.com.br
Chokolat Calgary, AB Canada sochoklat.com
Organic Fair Cobble Hill, BC Canada organicfair.com
Kasama Chocolate East Vancouver, BC Canada kasamachocolate.com
Beanpod Chocolate Fernie, BC Canada beanpod.ca
Wild Sweets by Dominique & Cindy Duby Richmond, BC Canada dcduby.com
EastVan Roasters Vancouver, BC Canada eastvanroasters.com
Zazubean Chocolate Vancouver, BC Canada zazubean.com
Sirene Chocolate Victoria, BC Canada sirenechocolate.com
Hummingbird Chocolate Almonte, ON Canada hummingbirdchocolate.com
Living Libations Haliburton, ON Canada livinglibations.com
Habitual Chocolate London, ON Canada habitualchocolate.com
Ultimately Chocolate Manitoulin Island, ON Canada ultimatelychocolate.com
Giddy Yoyo Orangeville, ON Canada giddyyoyo.com
ChocoSol Traders Toronto, ON Canada chocosoltraders.com
Marigold’s Finest Toronto, ON Canada marigoldsfinest.com
Pascha Chocolate Toronto, ON Canada paschachocolate.com
Soma Chocolatemaker Toronto, ON Canada somachocolate.com
Soul Chocolate Toronto, ON Canada soulroasters.com
Ambrosia Pastry Waterloo, ON Canada ambrosiapastry.com
Chaleur B Chocolate Carleton-sur-Mer, QC Canada chaleurb.com
Olivia Chocolat Gatineau, QC Canada oliviachocolatiers.com
Chocolat Monarque Montréal, QC Canada
ÓBOLO Chocolate Santiago Chile
Manifesto Cacao Bogotá Colombia manifestocacao.com
Tibito Chocolate Bogotá Colombia tibito.co
Casa Luker Bogota Colombia casaluker.com
Cacao Hunters Popayán Colombia cacaohunters.com
Santander Medellin Colombia chocolatesantander.com
Sibu Chocolate SAN ISIDRO DE HEREDIA Costa Rica sibuchocolate.com
Nahua Chocolate Ciudad Cariari Costa Rica nahuachocolate.com
CariBeans Puerto Viejo, Limon Costa Rica caribeanscr.com
Amazilia Guácimo, Limón Costa Rica
Samaritan Xocolata San Jose Costa Rica samaritanxocolata.com
Jordi’s Chocolate Hradec Králové Czech Republic jordis.cz
Friis Holm Kirke Såby Denmark friis-holm.dk/en
Oialla Copenhagen Denmark oialla.com
Anthon Berg Copenhagen Denmark anthonberg.com
Kah Kow Santo Domingo Domincan Republic rizekcacao.com
Valdivian Quito Ecuador valdivianchocolate.com
Mayta Chocolate Quito Ecuador maytachocolate.com
Pacari Quito Ecuador pacarichocolate.com
República Del Cacao Quito Ecuador republicadelcacao.com
Caoni Ecuador caonichocolate.com/en
Toak Chocolate Ecuador toakchocolate.com
Kallari Tena Ecuador kallari.com
Hacienda El Castillo Cuenca Ecuador haciendaelcastillo.ec
Hoja Verde Quito Ecuador hojaverdegourmet.com
Adi Chocolate Nadi Fiji purechocolatefiji.com
Levy Chocolate Helsinki Finland levychocolate.com
Le Criollo ZI de Besançon/Thise France lecriollo.com
Chapon Paris France chocolat-chapon.com
Valrhona Tain l’Hermitage France fr.valrhona.com
Chocolaterie Morin Donzère France chocolaterie-morin.com
Bouga Cacao Foix France bouga-cacao.com/en
VietCacao Wolfisheim France vietcacao.com
Alain Ducasse Paris France lechocolat-alainducasse.com
Michel Cluizel Paris France cluizel.com
Ara Chocolat France arachocolat.com
Bernachon Lyon France bernachon.com/fr/
Bonnat Voiron isere France bonnat-chocolatier.com
Pralus Roanne France chocolats-pralus.com
ERITHAJ Chocolat France erithaj.com
Weiss Saint Etienne Cedex 1 France weiss.fr/index-en.html
Santome Marseille France chocolat-saotome.com
Coppeneur Bonn Germany coppeneur.de
Hachez Bremen Germany hachez.de
Raüsch Berlin Germany rausch.de/en
Grenada Chocolate Company Grenada grenadachocolate.com
Danta Chocolate Local 7 Guatemala dantachocolate.com
Askanya Nord-Est Haiti askanya.ht
Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé Budapest Hungary rozsavolgyi.com
Szanto Tibor Pest Hungary szantotibor.com
OmNom Chocolate Reykjavik Iceland
SiriuS Chocolate Reykjavik Iceland noi.is/English
Earth Loaf Mysore India earthloaf.co.in
Campco Puttur, Karnataka India campco.org
Pipiltin Cocoa Jakarta Indonesia pipiltincocoa.com
Neary Nogs Camlough Road Ireland nearynogs.com
Clonakilty Chocolate West Cork Ireland clonakiltychocolate.com
Wilkie’s Chocolate Midleton, Cork Ireland wilkieschocolate.ie
Hazel Mountain Chocolates Oughtmama Ireland hazelmountainchocolate.com
Holy Cacao Pnei Hever Israel cargocollective.com/theholycacao
Slitti Monsummano Terme Italy slitti.it
Venchi Castelletto Stura Italy venchi.com/it
Guido Costagna Torino Italy guidocastagna.it
Amedei Chocolate Tuscany Italy amedeistore.com
Domori Italy domori.com
ICAM Lecco Italy icamcioccolato.com
Minimal Chocolate Tokyo Japan mini-mal.tokyo
The Roasting Master Seoul South Korea roastmaster.co.kr
Naive Parapijoniskes Lithuania chocolatenaive.com
Menakao Madagascar menakao.com
Chocolaterie Robert Antananarivo Madagascar chocolaterierobert.com
Original Beans Amsterdam Netherlands originalbeans.com
Chocolate Makers Amsterdam Netherlands chocolatemakers.nl
Metropolitan Amsterdam Netherlands metropolitandeli.nl
Ananda Chocolate Wageningen Netherlands anandachocolate.nl
Ocho Dunedin New Zealand ocho.co.nz
Captain Pembleton Keri Keri New Zealand captpembleton.co.nz
Hogarth Craft Chocolate Nelson New Zealand hogarthchocolate.co.nz
Wellington Chocolate Factory Wellington New Zealand wcf.co.nz
Momotombo Managua Nicaragua chocolatemomotombo.com
El Castillo del Cacao Matagalpa Nicaragua elcastillodelcacao.com
Cacaosuyo Lima Peru cacaosuyo.pe
Cocama Chocolate Lima Peru cocamachocolate.pe
Tree Bar Qaqaw Lima Peru
Shattell Lima Peru shattell.com
Marañón Chocolate Peru maranonchocolate.com
Auro Chocolate Makati Philippines aurochocolate.com
Malagos Chocolate Davao City Philippines malagoschocolate.com
Theo & Philo Manila Philippines theoandphilo.com
Manufaktura Czekolady Krakow Poland manufakturaczekolady.pl/en
Britarev Moscow Russia britarev.com
Claudio Corallo Sao Tome Sao Tome and Principe claudiocorallo.com
Chocolate Tree Edinburgh Scotland choctree.co.uk
Honest Chocolate Capetown South Africa honestchocolate.co.za
CocoaFair Cape Town South Africa cocoafair.com
ChocoVic Barcelona Spain chocovic.es
Cacao Sampaka Barcelona Spain cacaosampaka.com
Blanxart Barcelona Spain blanxart.com
Valor Alicante Spain valor.es/en
Chocolate Amatller Barcelona Spain chocolateamatller.com
Kuna Yala Madrid Spain quierochocolate.com
Österlen Choklad Skåne-Tranås Sweden osterlenchoklad.se
Quinto Gävle Sweden quinto.se
Malmo Chocolate Factory Malmo Sweden malmochokladfabrik.se
Metiisto Artisan Chocolate Falun Sweden metiisto-chocolate.com
Villars Fribourg Switzerland villars.com
Barry Callebaut Zurich Switzerland barry-callebaut.com
Favarger Geneva Switzerland favarger.com
Idillio Basel Switzerland idilio.ch
Felchlin CH-6431 Schwyz Switzerland felchlin.com
Fu Wan Chocolate Donggang Taiwan fuwanshop.com
Chocolate Mamas Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam Tanzania chocolatemamas.com
Tobago Cocoa Estate Roxborough Trinidad and Tobago tobagococoa.com
Baravelli’s Conway United Kingdom baravellis.com
Solkiki Chocolate Dorset United Kingdom solkiki.co.uk
Duffy’s Lincolnshire United Kingdom duffyschocolate.co.uk
Ã…kesson’s London United Kingdom akessons-organic.com
Artisan Du Chocolat London United Kingdom artisanduchocolat.com
Hotel Chocolat London United Kingdom hotelchocolat.com/uk
Green & Black London United Kingdom greenandblacks.com
Damson Chocolate London United Kingdom damsonchocolate.com
Westminster Kingsway College London United Kingdom westking.ac.uk
Paul A Young London United Kingdom paulayoung.co.uk
Divine Chocolate London United Kingdom divinechocolate.com
Dormouse Chocolate Manchester United Kingdom dormousechocolates.co.uk
Pump Street Bakery Orford, Suffolk United Kingdom pumpstreetbakery.com
Chocolarder Penryn United Kingdom chocolarder.com
iQ Chocolate Stirling United Kingdom iqchoc.com
Willie’s Cacao Uffculme, Devon United Kingdom williescacao.com
Forever Cacao United Kingdom forevercacao.co.uk
The Chocolate Tree Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom choctree.co.uk
Salt’s Chocolate Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom saltschocolate.co.uk
Doble & Bignall Cheltenham, Gloucestershire United Kingdom dobleandbignall.co.uk
York Cocoa House York United Kingdom yorkcocoahouse.co.uk
Raw Goodies Worthing, West Sussex United Kingdom rawgoodies.co.uk
Lucocoa Chocolate London United Kingdom lucocoachocolate.com
Cacao de Origen Caracas Venezuela cacaodeorigen.com
Franceschi Venezuela franceschichocolate.com
El Rey Caracas Venezuela chocolates-elrey.com
Marou Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam marouchocolate.com


9.     List of Bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers in the US

Company Location Year founded Products Notes
Amano Artisan Chocolate USA
(Orem, UT)
2006 Single origin chocolate (bars, couverture), cocoa nibs Founding member of the Craft Chocolate Makers of America. The Madagascar bar and the Dos Rios Palet d’or have received gold medals from the London Academy of Chocolate.[2]
Askinosie Chocolate USA
(Springfield, MO)
2007 Single origin chocolate bars (dark, dark milk, white), single origin natural cocoa powder, roasted cocoa nibs Utilizes direct trade, paying farmers above fair trade prices for cocoa beans and sharing profit with them. One of the only small-batch chocolate makers in the US to press their own cocoa butter.
Castronovo Chocolate USA
(Stuart, FL)
2012 Chocolate bars using single-origin cacao from Latin America, roasted cocoa nibs and truffles Multiple awards from the International Chocolate Awards and the Academy of Chocolate.[3] Castronovo only uses heirloom beans from Latin America.[4]
Ethel M Chocolates USA
(Henderson, NV)
1980 Brittle chocolate-flavored candies, caramels, and fine liqueur-filled chocolates. Ethel M. Chocolates is owned by Mars Inc. The company is named after the mother of Forrest Mars, Sr.
Ghirardelli USA
(San Francisco, CA)
1852 Since 1998, it has been owned by Lindt & Sprüngli. Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco is named after this chocolate-making family.
Guittard USA
(Burlingame, CA)
1850s Couverture Guittard makes couverture chocolate using original formulas and traditional French methods, and supplies chocolate to See’s Candies.
Hershey’s USA
(Hershey, PA)
1894 Hershey’s, Hershey’s Kisses, KitKat, Bliss, Heath Bar, Reese’s, Dagoba, Scharffen Berger and many others. Hershey ceased bean-to-bar manufacturing around 2007 or 2008. They produce only the Scharffen Berger from bean to bar.[7] See also List of products manufactured by The Hershey Company.
Mars, Incorporated USA
(McLean, Virginia)
1911 M&Ms, Snickers, Dove Chocolate, and others. Large chocolate manufacturer, with $30 billion USD revenue in 2008.
Mast Brothers USA
(Brooklyn, New York)
2007 Chocolate bars, chocolate beer, and chocolate confections Mast Brothers is a small manufacturer with flagships in Brooklyn, London, and most recently Los Angeles.[8] A part of the Brooklyn craft movement and NYC’s first bean-to-bar producers.
Mindo Chocolate Makers USA
(Dexter, MI) and Ecuador
2009 chocolate bars, baking chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa mass, raw whole beans, nibs Member of the Craft Chocolate Makers of America. A micro-batch bean to bar chocolate maker which ferments and roasts beans. Practices Direct Trade.
Mondelez International USA
(Deerfield, IL)
1896 Milka, Suchard, Toblerone, Côte d’Or, Marabou, Cadbury and many others Bought Cadburys in 2009
Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company USA and Ghana 1991 Corporate headquarters in the US; chocolate grown and processed in Ghana
Parliament Chocolate Redlands, CA 2003 Single origin chocolate bars. Chocolate & Caramel Jars, Drinking Chocolate, Cocoa Mix, Miscellaneous chocolates.
Patric Chocolate USA
(Columbia, MO)
2006 Craft chocolate maker of bean-to-bar products. The product line includes dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate bars, and chocolate bars with inclusions. Winners of the 2016 Good Food Awards in the chocolate category.[9]
Perugina Italy and USA 1907 Baci chocolate, Italian chocolate, pernigotti gianduiotti, glacia mints, sorrento hard candy, spicchi hard candy, perugina glacia mints, perugina sorrento, lazzaroni cookies Now a division of Nestlé.
Rick Jordan Chocolatier USA

(St. Louis, MO)

2011 Organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar chocolates and confections. Winner of Dessert Professional Top Ten Chocolatiers of North America 2012.[10]
Scharffen Berger USA
(Robinson, IL)
1996 Chocolate bars, varieties of dark chocolate Purchased by Hershey in 2005; the original Berkeley, CA factory closed in 2009.
Taza Chocolate USA
(Somerville, MA)
2006 Bean-to-bar organic, stone ground chocolate
TCHO Chocolate USA
(Berkeley, CA)
2005 Bean-to-bar chocolate factory. Has a program called TCHOSource where they partner with bean farmers to help them improve the quality of their crops and to process their beans more effectively.
Theo Chocolate USA
(Seattle, WA)
2006 Bean-to-bar chocolate factory. The first chocolate manufacturer in the US to be both 100 percent organic and fair-trade.[11]
Whitman’s USA 1842 Best known for Whitman’s Sampler; now a part of Russell Stover Candies.
Wilbur Chocolate USA
(Lititz, PA)
1884 Purchased by Cargill in 1992.
World’s Finest Chocolate USA
(Chicago, IL)
1949 The company is known for chocolate bars commonly sold by schools and social service organizations as part of fundraisers. Family-owned and based in Chicago for over 50 years; purchased by Barry Callebaut in March 2015

Moreover, craft or artisan chocolate consumers are starting to recognize that the “colonial” model of purchasing raw material from “developing” countries to be processed in a developed or “rich” country is not as sustainable as it looks. Therefore, many consumers are looking for products which are produced and manufactured at origin country, arguing that a greater value of the product consumed stays in the country of origin.

In view of these situations, a proposed chocolate manufacturing facility in Costa Rica will address many of the concerns that consumers are looking for in their product. This, combined with information about health benefits, and a campaign aimed at improving consumption habits of children towards tasty but also healthier chocolate products, will set our brand and products above many possible competitors.

Few other companies will produce an equivalent high-quality chocolate from world-class beans and no other company will have a vertically integrated company owning the entire process from plantation to bar. Eugenia Valerio acts as the in-house legal counsel for the company in Costa Rica. Reg Olson (USA) is our civil, electrical and mechanical engineer assisting with the plant design, layout and operations.

This will not only be a world first, but the only major chocolate processing factory in the country (located in the industrial zone of Heredia near San Jose) to grow the beans in the country of origin, and also process them into the high, value-added finished products for export.

For centuries, cacao growing and chocolate production have been separated into different ownerships and operations, causing a dysfunctional market which does not support local farmers, improve the quality of crops, sustain a fair price to farmers or promote anti-slavery amongst children in Third World settings.

CATICA’S workers will be fully integrated into the company’s long-term growth strategy with support in employment, training, wages and family life. This is a far cry from present conditions worldwide in spite of efforts by Fair Trade, Rain Forest Alliance and other organizations purporting to support farmers but rarely passing on verifiable benefits. It is one of CATICA’S key building blocks.


Industrial chocolate comes mainly from inferior Forestero beans that are cultivated, fermented and grown with little regard for quality, taste or final nutritional content.

Serving Size 3 pieces (38 g)     5 x 3 pieces per 100 gram bar

Amount Per Serving           Weight    % Daily Value*

Calories                                    0.21g           0.798%

Calories from Fat                      0.12g          0.315%

Sodium                                     0.02g          1.000%

Total Carbohydrate                     0.2g          7.000%

Dietary Fiber                               1.0g          4.000%

Sugars                                       18.0g        50.000%

Protein                                         3.0g          0.789%

Vitamin C                                                      0%

Iron                                                               6%

Calcium                                                        6%

Vitamin A                                                    0%

Given the meagre percentage of any nutritional content of this form ogf industrial chocolate, it is not hrd to consider that the impact of a human body is not just neutral, it is significantly negative.


The truth behind UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance, De Forestation Alliance, Anti-Slavery, and other so-called charities/lobbies purporting to support cacao farmers is that these claims are purely public relations exercises.

None of these organizations track the use of or cost of child slavery, origins of each plantation, quality of the beans, protection of the rain forest canopy, or any other issue pertaining to improving the quality of the work force, the beans, the plantations or the quality of the beans. Claims made by dozens of chocolate manufacturers that they are in any way protecting the workers, improving their lives, that they know the origin of their beans or any other factor are outright fraud, false advertising, and frequently mislead consumers on content, source,


According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 100 gram bar of dark, artisanal, craft chocolate with 70–85 percent cocoa solids provides:

604              of calories

7.87 g          of protein

43.06 g        of fat

46.36 g        of carbohydrates

11.00 g        of dietary fiber

24.23 g        of pure or raw cane sugar, not industrial sugar beet

12.02 mg     of iron

230.00 mg   of magnesium

3.34 mg       of zinc

There are NO additional contents other than pure cacao mass, pure cacao butter and pure cacao liquor for the original bean. None of the ingredients of the bean have been removed and no additional contents such as cocoa powder (with zero nutritional content), industrial whire refined sugar beet (a toxic and addictive commodity responsible for obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases when eaten in excess (such as an entire 100 gram industrial chocolate bar in addition to a daily intake of sugar hidden in most modern processed food.

CATICA’S brand will lead a revolution in creating a fine, craft chocolate which is highly nutritional, healthy and safe for all age groups. High quality fine chocolate which contains in all of its original beans including the total cacao mass, butter and liquor, has been proven in hundreds of clinical trials to provide a healthy, nutritional, even medicinal food product.

CATICA’S Fine Chocolates will be labelled and branded as a nutritious ‘Super Food’.

Years of scientific, laboratory research projects by Dr. Stephen Gundry (California, USA), Dr. David Katz (Yale University, USA), Dr. Rob Verkerk (Dorking, UK), and nutritionist Meleni Aldridge (UK), have consistently proven that +70% pure cacao products contain the following healthy positives:

  1. Fine dark chocolate has excellent antioxidant properties, is rich in flavonoids, naturally formed from original cacao. The primary antioxidants present in fine, dark chocolate include catechin, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidins.
  2. Chocolate reduces platelet aggregation, particularly due to its epicatechin content. This reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  3. It lowers blood pressure, better renal function, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as cardiovascular mortality.
  4. In addition, the antioxidant effect of cacao directly influences insulin resistance, thus reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  5. Furthermore, cacao consumption stimulates changes in redox-sensitive signalling pathways involved in gene expression and the immune system, thus boosting the immune system.
  6. Cacao protects nerves from injury and inflammation.
  7. It protects skin from ultraviolet-induced oxidative damage.
  8. It improves cognitive function and mood.
  9. The major benefit of eating chocolate is lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction. In patients who already suffered from heart attacks, eating chocolate twice a week reduced the risk of mortality from heart diseases by 66% compared to the group that never consumed chocolate.
  10. Chocolate may also be effective in reducing blood pressure as well as improving flow of blood through the arteries preventing atherosclerosis.
  11. Chocolate consumption on a regular basis lowers triglycerides and improves blood level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  12. Preeclampsia is a major complication of pregnancy with cardiovascular manifestation and can be alleviated with dark chocolate intake.
  13. The recommended daily intake is 25 g of dark chocolate, This prevents heart diseases and to obtain optimal health benefits.
  14. Milk chocolate is rich in calcium for healthy bones and teeth, but eating milk and/or white chocolate other than for enjoyment and taste provides only little benefit. It is recommended that milk chocolate not be consumed because milk proteins may inhibit absorption of antioxidant flavonoids present in chocolate.

The FBM Class of October 2018, Legnano, Italy:  Start of the Catica Fine Chocolate company. The Members: Moises Gomez and Catalina Valeria kneel at the front. Standing at the right, Robert Stewart (Swiss/ Canadian) and Machteld Schrama (Dutch resident in Monaco) will add investment capital and marketing support for the company.

Giuseppe Dichiano (in red), General Manager of FBM is overseeing the design and manufacture of the modern, new processing line which will start in the first year with 40/100 tons per year and build up to 400/500 tons per year over five years.


Robert Stewart (Laren, Netherlands) and Maggie Schrama (Monte Carlo, Monaco) will oversee CATICA’S product distribution worldwide through chocolateries dealing in fine quality products, high end hotels, restaurants, airlines, coffee shops, wine outlets, supermarkets, health/fitness centres, and networks that support genuine fine chocolate.

These will start in Europe with Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Monaco, other EU countries and progress to sales in North America, the Middle East and Asia. Children will be taught to eat non-addictive, non-obesity forming and non-diabetes related industrial chocolates in which sugar plays a devastating role in contributing to these serious diseases including cardiological impact.

These conditions represent the three largest health problems worldwide, especially in Europe and North America. Given the highly addictive impact of refined white beet sugar and other substances found in over 95% of a modern industrial product falsely marketing itself as a ‘chocolate’, CATALINA fine chocolates will offer the opposite.

13. Market Analysis: Over the last two decades, the world chocolate market has experienced a steady increase in consumption. This increase in demand is partly due to new scientific information which shows that consumption of chocolates with high coent of cacao (+70%), also known as dark chocolate, has a wide range of health benefits, from regulating blood pressure to reducing the risk of cancer.

a.)It is now widely recognized that cacao contains high levels of flavonoids, the same chemical compounds found in red wine and other food-products. This new range of chocolate products with higher cacao content, as opposed to the traditional confectionary product, is the major market driver for increase in consumption.

b.) Although the health benefits have being a major element in driving the increase in cacao and chocolate consumption worldwide, in recent years consumers in mature markets (Europe, Asia, & North America) are becoming more and more aware about the different qualities and organoleptic characteristics of the cacao bean origins.

c.) In addition, consumers are more aware about social and environmental aspects related to cacao production and manufacturing and are becoming more interested to know how cacao is produced and whether it meets basic standards of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). Our project will be able to “tick” the three boxes and ensure that this is communicated to our customers.

d.) Based on the experience of the project partners, there is an evident growing demand for higher quality chocolates in both the European and North American markets. More than ever, consumers are looking your unique and niche products to differentiate themselves. These products have to comply with ever more strict demands of social, environmental and economics sustainability for all those involve in the cacao and chocolate value chain.

e.) Costa Rica is a country that is able to project itself as a sustainable source of various products and is also a country committed to preserving its nature and all the resources that surround them. In the year 2012, Costa Rica took upon the challenge to become a Carbon Neutral country by 2021 (https://thecostaricanews.com/costa-rica-promotes-carbon-neutral-program-2021/). This environmental image, combined with other quality factors about or business model, will be a key marketing tool.

f.)Although there are known chocolate brands in the European and North American markets, there is still not one well-known craft chocolate maker from Costa Rica in neither these markets. Considering the numerous factors that make Costa Rica and chocolate processing a unique product in various dimensions, there is a huge market potential for introducing and placing the first bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer made in La Pura Vida!

  1. Marketing Plan

a.) The first production of bars will be shipped to Europe and introduced to the Netherlands, United Kingdom and other EU markets. Distribution channels will be established with chocolate venders, supermarkets, wine boutiques, restaurants, hotels, airlines, duty-free shops, and on-line marketing supported by videos, photos and lengthy descriptions of the plantation and processing operations in Costa Rica. Robert Stewart will oversee marketing from Netherlands and Monaco.

b.) The product will be heavily advertised in social media, print, television and video media throughout Europe as a healthy, nutritious and unconventional, pure chocolate.

C.) Assistance with be provided from Gordon Taylor in the UK, Reg Olson in the US and others. Packaging, labelling, contents, definitions, descriptions, pricing and distribution will be determined at the outset to appeal to:

i.) The children’s market avoiding highly toxic, sugar addictive industrial bars;

ii.) Health products with full list of nutritional/healthy contents;

iii.) High quality pure cacao with best beans from country/plantation of origin;

iv.) Consumers of all ages seeking honest marketing and quality products.

d.) Marketing has already commenced in May, 2019 with visits paid to three largest department stores in London which sell high end priced, but not necessarily the highest quality chocolates in the UK. The owner of Fortnum and Mason as well as the chocolate floor managers, sales clerks and buyers were informed of the product and expressed a keen desire to acquire the chocolate for their London store as well as their Dutch subsidiary Bijenkorf. The Dutch stores have subsidiary stores in all major Dutch cities. So too were the stores Harvey Nichols and Harrods in the same region of Knightsbridge in London.

e.) As soon as a packaging machine has been purchased and placed in Heredia, the designs for labelling and packing will be completed.

f.) Moises Gomez has spoken at Chocoa, the largest Chocolate Fair in the world held annually in Amsterdam. Two of CATICA’S European representatives travelled recently on February 21/22, 2019 to CHOCOA and met with +300 people engaged in the cacao, cocoa, chocolate production and trade. https://www.chocoa.nl/. As other cacao/chocolate trade fairs take place around the world, CATICA’S Fine Chocolates will present their products.

g.) The Annual World Chocoa Trade Fair in Amsterdam is attended by over 3,000 international producers of cacao/chocolate. Representatives of Catica attended the Fair and spoke to over 300 cacao and chocolate producers worldwide. These include the CEO Jack Steijn, plantation owners, bean growers, tasters, chocolate processors, packaging equipment vendors, chocolate equipment manufacturers and the leaders of the Rain Forest Alliance, Might Earth (Etelle Higgonet), UTZ, and confectioners.

h.) CATICA’S Fine Chocolates will be imported into the EU at Rotterdam Port or Schiphol Airport Import Duty Free under the EU/Central America Free Trade Agreement Most Favoured Nation Status. Products will be distributed throughout the UK, Netherlands and Monaco on the first test basis, then broadened as the market expands. https://www.cbi.eu/node/2690/pdf/ Import rules dictate strict adherence to EU production standards which CATICA’S Fine Chocolates are fully compliant.

i.) Inspection of facilities, complete description and written definition of the process and uniqueness into the EU market will be defined in accordance with EU regulations. https://www.cbi.eu/market-information/cacao/semi-finished-cocoa-products .

15.  Handout at Chocoa International Cacao/Chocolate Fair in Amsterdam 2019

 Catica’s Fine Chocolate

Our cacao beans are grown in Costa Rica on our world-class, true fair trade, model cacao plantation beside Tortuguero National Park . It is owned and developed by The Valerio Family of  Cariari/Belen, Costa Rica.  Eugenia Valerio, the Plantation Administrator and Moises Gomez, our a professional Agronomist (World Cacao/Chocolate Organization in London 2005-2016) assisted in initiating the  first beans grown on the plantation to create the start-up nursery and early crops, Moises helps local farmers to create sustainable agro-forest plantations in the Rain Forest with a full protective canopy. They contribute to our stock which we process into the highest quality craft chocolate with pure, cane sugar at the world’s first, major, integrated plantation/factory in the Tropics for export.

The beans are grown form our seed stock into strong, healthy, disease-resistant hybrids from the finest Criollo and Triniterio pedigrees, fermented and dried to perfection, creating exceptional nutrition and flavours, safe for children and all ages. Cacao grew +4000 years ago in Central America creating the “Medicine of the Gods”.

The beans are processed into pure, healthy, +70% Craft Chocolate by his wife, Catalina Valerio (Process Engineer) using modern Italian FBM bean-to-bar chocolate machinery in Heredia. Five years of soul and “La Pura Vida“ go into every chocolate product. First European sales in Europe over the Summer, 2019.

Contact us now for Dark, Milk and White Chocolate bars and bricks for Confections:

Catalina Valerio: Chocolate Processing in Heredia, CR: catavalerio@gmail.com

Moises Gomez: Cacao Plantation in Costa Rica : moisesgomez@hotmail.com

Robert S. Stewart:Netherlands, the EU and Switzerland  rss1@interopag.com +31 (0)35 538 8005

Gordon Taylor: Sales in the UK, Scotland and Ireland, +44 12966 25563 gordtay@btinternet.com

Machteld Schrama : Sales in France, Italy and Monte Carlo  +377 640625125 machteld.schrama@gmail.com

Exceptionally rare, unparalleled value and prestige/gourmet quality chocolates


a.) This proposed business plan describes the process, financial statement and action plan to establish a cacao-processing facility in the city of Heredia, Costa Rica, with the view to produce fine cacao-based products such as dark, milk and white chocolate, cacao nibs and couverture, for export to the European and North American markets.

b.) Costa Rica currently has a total of 3,500 hectares of cacao planted in the country, with an annual production of 650 tonnes of dried cacao beans. According to the International Cocoa Organization Fine and Flavour Cocoa Panel, Costa Rica produces 100% fine or flavour cacao due to the genetics of the planting material available in the country (ICCO, 2015).

c.)Although there is evidence that the genetic root-stock of the planting material in the country is considered fine and flavour, there are still knowledge gaps in the postharvest management of the cacao beans (fermentation and drying) which prevents some cacao beans to reach their highest flavour and aroma potential. As a result, cacao beans produced in the country can still improve flavour characteristics.

d.) The project idea started with the establishment of a cacao plantation in the province of Limón, Costa Rica, which was a family-owned grazing land for beef cattle and a Banana plantation. Through the selection of high quality planting material such as Trinitario and Criollo trees and other improved planting material developed by the Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), the plantation started with the establishment of 11 hectares of cacao from the year 2016 up to 2018.

e.) The total area destined for start-up cacao production is estimated at 70 hectares, with the ability to expand the plantation to 200 hectares and beyond. Through a strict control of the production, fermentation and drying, the project will ensure the highest quality standards by developing and applying specific postharvest protocols for each cacao variety, which will allow us to develop unique flavour profiles for our wide range of proposed products.

f.) The project also expects initially to purchase cacao beans from other sources through the establishment of strategic partnerships with cacao producers in the country who have proven fine cacao. Farmers through Co-op’s in the region of Guatuso, including native Maleku farmers who have produced cacao for millennia, will contribute over 1 ton of beans each year. Other farms from growing regions in Limon and throughout the country will also provide high quality beans for processing. Years of effort and contact since 2016 by agronomist Moises Gomez in helping the Guatuso farmers to professionally grow, cultivate, ferment and dry their beans of will be utilized.

g.) Through our knowledge of the Costa Rican cacao sector, the project has identified potential cacao-producers who also apply strict postharvest protocols and are already selling dried cacao beans to craft chocolate manufacturers such as Dandelion, Potomac and SOMA in North America, and also to award winning chocolate makers in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

h.) The second phase of the project is the establishment of a cacao processing facility in the city of Heredia, province of Alajuela. It is expected that within the first five years of the project, the plant will reach a processing capacity of approximately 250-300 tonnes of dried cacao beans per year.

i.) The plant will source at least 50% of all cacao beans from the farm if and when the plantation is extended to 200 hectares. The plant expects to produce a range of cacao-based products using high quality raw material combined with some of the best craft-chocolate machines in the market. The high-end nature in the quality of these products allows the project to easily establish itself in international niche markets.

17. Product/Services:

a.) The processing facility will produce a range of cacao-based products for different consuming markets. The core principal of this project is to use the best quality raw materials to produce exquisite flavour cacao and chocolate products which also provide a health-benefits. To allow the production of these fine products, the company will ensure full traceability of the cacao beans from the farm source to the processing plant. Strict quality controls will be applied to all cacao bean sources, whether it’s from its own cacao plantation, or from other cacao bean producers in the country.

b.) The ability to source fine flavour cacao beans from several parts of Costa Rica will allow the project to offer a range of flavours and qualities, serving a wide number of consumers and market ranges. Originally, the project will focus on four products: dark, milk and white chocolates (various presentations) as well as couverture for the pastry and restaurant markets.

c.) The main features of our project will be based on the flavour and health benefits of the product. From the organoleptic point of view, the project will generate fine flavour chocolates with a description of the geographic origins, the type of beans used, type of fermentation and roasting profile, and other information which will inform the consumer of its uniqueness and quality of the products.

d.) From a health point of view, the project will work with a community of scientists and food-chemistry experts to describe nutritional content and develop the health benefit information about the products, ensuring full transparency in our communication and marketing strategy.

e.) This will be the first chocolate products to be marketed and sold worldwide with the proof on the package that only the purest cacao with a list of nutritional/healthy features is sold into the mass markets.

f.) Present day industrial chocolate, which makes up +95% of global consumption, is far from either nutritional or healthy, contributing to the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases prevalent in the Northern Hemisphere. This Costa Rican chocolate will return to the historic formula of being not just a “Medicine of the Gods in Central America” but a very healthy alternative to industrial chocolate produced in Europe and North America.

g.) There will be a second line of products which is aimed for a more “commercial” consumers, which is chocolate products with lower cocoa content such as milk and white chocolates. These products will be marketed in hotels, banks, coffee shops, as a complementary product served with hot beverages (mainly coffee).

h.) A third line of product will be developed once the processing plant is fully operational. This line of products will be aimed for children and those wanting to start consuming fine chocolate products with higher cacao content. The project believes that “training pallets” is an essential strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. We want to secure our consumers in the short and long term.

i.) An additional service that this project will offer to consumers is assurance that our project has social responsibility through our close collaboration with farmers’ groups and cooperatives from which we will source some of the cacao. At present, there a more than 12 cooperatives operating in Costa Rica. Some of these cooperatives produce Trinitario and Criollo cacao beans. However, due to their lack of knowledge about adequate post-harvest practices, most of these cacao beans do not reach their potential and are sold as bulk cacao beans with a discounted price.

j.) To add to this situation, there are several middle-men and women traders who take advantage of this situation and buy cacao beans at a price lower than the international market prices. This model is not sustainable either for the farmers (and their families) or the manufacturers who rely on good quality beans. We will work in close collaboration with some of these coops to assist them in improving their processes and also ensuring a fair price and payment at the time of purchase for their cacao beans.

18. Management and Operation

The company and processing plant are today a Valerio family-owned business which is operated by some members of the family as part of the General Board. Of Hacienda Cacaitos S.A., the Valerio family in the name of Mariano Valerio Quesada owns 55% of the issued shares and capital investment, Eugenia Valerio Ellis owns 30%, Jeanette Ellis Zamora Ellis owns 10%, and Catalina Valerio Ellis owns 5%. Of Chocolates Maryanto S.A. Mariano Valerio Quesada owns 52% of the factory, equipment, investment and running capital; Eugenia Valerio Ellis owns 16%, Jeanette Ellis Zamora Ellis owns 16%, and Catalina Valerio Ellis owns 16%.

a.) Two foreign investors (Robert Stewart and Maggie Schrama) have also placed funds € 27,300 into the Chocolates Maryanto S.A. company (processing factory and equipment) as an investment (the specific percentage is yet to be determined until all investments are completed on both companies) and will assume some management roles. In line with new gender equality requirements, the company will operate with 90% female workers, with only around 10% of male workers.

b.) The administrative and legal obligations of the company will be managed by EugeniaValerio Ellis. Eugenia has a B.Sc. degree in law from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, as well as a PhD degree in International Contracts. Over the last 16 years, Eugenia took charge of many of the family agricultural businesses, such as a banana plantation with 200 hectares of production in 2001, followed by the management of the cattle ranch with over 600 livestock. She will be assisted by Giovanni (Plantation Manager after August 2019) and David (Planation Planter).

c.) Throughout this last 16 years, Eugenia has been able to obtain vast experience in the operation of the Costa Rican agricultural sector, with extensive knowledge on legal requirements and tax-law. She has been working with a team of external accountants and tax-advisers to ensure efficiency in the management of financial resources and compliance with tax regulations and requirements.

d.) The second member of the team is Catalina Valerio Catalina has a B.Sc. degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and has being working with her sister Eugenia in the management and operation of the family farms. During the last six years, Catalina moved to London, United Kingdom, for five years (2013-2017) where she established a family.

e.) During her time in London, Catalina took several courses on chocolate manufacturers with high-end chocolatiers such as William Curley (https://www.williamcurley.co.uk/), the School of Culinary Arts of London and Le Cordon Bleu. Catalina shares a huge passion for food processing and food manufacturing, recently taking the chocolate making course at FBM Factory in Legnano, Italy. Catalina will be in charge of the overall operation of the processing plant, working on the area of processing and product development.

f.) Moisés Gómez has a B.Sc. degree in agronomy from EARTH University in Costa Rica (https://www.earth.ac.cr/en/). After graduation in December 2003, Moises moved to Ecuador, where he worked for one year at an organic banana farm, followed by a year working with a consultancy company in the area of capacity building with farmers’ coops. In mid-2006, Moises applied and successfully obtain the job as Project Officer for the International Cocoa Organization, based in London from 1973 up to 2017.

During these 11 years as Project Officer, Moises worked with most cacao-producing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia and the worlds’ largest chocolate manufacturers (MARS, Mondelez, Barry Callebaut) and cocoa traders (Cargill, ADM, ECOM) in the formulation and implementation of cocoa development programmes around the world. Being the only Latin American citizen in the ICCO during those 11 years, Moises was also in charge of developing the supply chain for the fine and flavour cacao and chocolate markets.

During this time, Moises gained vast knowledge in the fine chocolate world and continues to act as judge in international chocolate tasting events. Last year, he was selected as part of the Grand Jury for the ICA Chocolate Awards for Central America and Perú. This year, Moises was invited to both editions of this event, one which took place in mid-July in Lima, Peru, while the other is taking place from 1-5 December in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Since returning from the UK in October, 2017, Moises continued to be involved in cacao  development project. He has done several consultancies for government and farmers groups, assisting them in the development of Programmes and Action Plan.

From January to April 2018, Moises worked in close collaboration with the APEN (Association of Private Companies of Nicaragua) and the Nicaraguan government, to formulate activities within the national cacao plan. He initiated the relationship with the Malecy farmers in Guanacaste Province, Gutuso and provided finance and professional assistance in constructing and operating fermentation boxes and drying tables on the farm of one of the Guatuso C0-operative farms. A visit to the farm took place in May, 2019.

The farmers have been growing a high quality of Criollo, Triniterio and Hybrid beans for many decades, including some who are members of the local Malecu Indigenous tribe who have produced cacao for millennium.

In addition, Moises has worked with the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA) on a capacity building programme for small/medium cacao cooperatives in Costa Rica to improve their capacity to produce and trade fine and flavour cacao, from production, to identification of fine and flavour cacao varieties, as well as developing models for centralized fermentation and drying facilities.

g.) In addition to this group, the company will hire the services of at least two or three additional operators that will assist the project in the processing of the cacao beans. These operators will be women and will be locally hired in order to improve job conditions in Heredia. As the processing plant increases volumes of processing through time, the project will increase the number of operators accordingly, ensuring they are women living near their cacao plantations.

h.) Robert Sandford Stewart (a Swiss-Canadian living in Laren, Netherlands) and Machteld (Maggie) Schrama (Dutch citizen resident in Monaco) are outside investors in the project. They have offered their management skills, global contacts, marketing, sales and distribution access to European and North American markets and additional investment to assist in contributing to the success of the project.

Robert is a graduate International Economist, with 50 years of management experience in building, owning and operating several of the world’s largest and most successful mining companies (Falconbridge, INCO, American Mineral Fields), Petroleum companies (Ocelot) construction/engineering companies (Bechtel), telecom companies (Justice and Franklin Telecom) in the role of Chairman, CEO. He wrote the Master Plans and oversaw the construction of many international, national and industrial projects worldwide to transform entire regions, improve the infrastructure of whole countries and build, own operate and transfer technology in many global industries.

He has worked with many of the world’s largest and most successful companies as Joint Venture Partner (Exxon-Mobil, Lockheed Martin, Electrowatt) as an advisor to many Boards of Directors/Chairman and CEO’s of multinational corporations. He worked for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada (1970-1976) in Foreign and Economic Policy. He represented Canada at International Institutions and Organizations such as The World Bank/IMF, World Economic Forum, UN (UNCTAD), OECD, World Petroleum Institute, International Mining and Metals Conference, World Telecoms Union and others.

He grew up in in Canada, lived the  USA (NYC/CA), Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and England, worked in 30 African, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian countries and travelled to over 165 countries worldwide. He was the first person to circumnavigate the Earth overland in 1968/69 in a Land Rover. He has four children and lives between The Netherlands and Monaco. Together with Maggie Schrama, he will market, store, distribute and sell all the chocolate products destined for the Netherlands and EU markets and assist the Costa Rican entities in their development, management and investment requirements. With the help of Moises Gomez, and Reg Olson, he has written this Master Plan.

i.) Mechtildis (Maggie) Schrama is a Dutch national and Monaco resident who has lived in The Netherlands, Belgium, the USA and Monaco. She travelled to over 30 countries worldwide and conducted investments over 40 years in dozens of multinational corporations and industries worldwide including banking and financial services, energy, manufacturing, raw material production, marketing, hotels, residential housing, healthcare and food production enterprises.

A professional secondary school teacher in the Netherlands, Maggie taught languages, culture and history to her students. She specializes in up-market real estate and property upgrades, complex financial transactions and investments and is a renowned interior decorator and garden designer.  Maggie has contributed an investment in the Chocolates Maryanto S.A. operations and will offer advisory services to the company in marketing the final products throughout Europe.

j.) Reg Olson is an American professional engineer with 60 years of experience as a degreed electrical engineer with civil and mechanical engineering expertise and experience. He spent a number of years abroad on four continents as principal civilian project manager for construction and installation of some of the U.S. government’s largest classified reconnaissance, missile firing and nuclear programs.  Reg has been co-founder and an executive of publicly traded companies in wind turbine technology, and maritime collision avoidance technology.

He also developed a nationwide multiple residential housing project for which he was responsible for the primary financial analysis and structuring and placing of both registered and unregistered securities offerings.  Reg also has extensive experience in naval architecture and ocean engineering. Recently, Reg has designed and built the largest offshore mussel ranch in the US (Catalina Sea Ranch) and has previous work experience in Costa Rica. He has assisted in setting up the Chocolate processing factory in Heredia and contributed the financial cash flow statements and spread sheets for the future investment, production, and operational needs of these corporate entities.

k.) Gordon Taylor is a Canadian Marketing expert who worked for 20 years with the aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft of Canada marketing and selling thousands of STOL aircraft worldwide. He has been an investment banker and financier in London and lived in the UK for over 30 years. In addition, he was co-founder of the British aircraft corporation Hybrid Air Vehicles which built the world’s largest aircraft, the LEMV hybrid aircraft. He is a marketing specialist who has researched and developed contacts in the UK market with high end chocolate vendors, chocolateries, coffee shops, restaurants and hotels.

The beginning and end of the cacao/chocolate process

  1. Management Structure:


Sales and Marketing UK




Section Two: Financial Data (See Attached Tables in E-mail)

a.) Project Financial Statements

b.) Income Statement Engineering

c.) Cash Flow Statement

d.) Balance Sheets 2016/2019

e.) Assumptions to Project Financial Statements

f.) Break Even Analysis

g,) Source and Use of Funds

Section Three: Supporting Documents

a.) Plant Design:

Revised drawing coming from Architect.

b.) Storage Area

2. Traditional Cacao Logistics to Factory to Retail Distribution Chain:

This is a typical supply chain for cacao beans from plantations to ports in the country of origin. Our supply chain is much more simplified as we own both the plantation and factory prior to overseas shipment, then ship to a single end retailer who markets he product directly to his consumers.

  1. Plantation —-Factory—–Airport or Port For shipment Overseas.

Instead of 99% of all cacao beans being shipped to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp,      Calais, Le Havre, or Southampton by ship, our finished chocolate products will be flown to Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport) and distributed to retail outlets and consumers directly in The Netherlands and the UK to start, with the market widened to the rest of the EU/EEC countries upon completion of the initial market research and acceptance. The USA/Canada, Middle East and Asian markets will be added later.

2. Tasting Protocol Oferta Técnica-Económica


OFERENTE: Cristóbal Herrera , Marzo, 2019

Contenido ANTECEDENTES………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

ALCANCES DE LA CONSULTORÍA. ,,…………………………………………………………………….. 3

COMPROMISOS DEL CONSULTOR ……………………………………………………………………… 5


METODOLOGÍA DE TRABAJO. ……………………………………………………………………………. 7

CRONOGRAMA DE TRABAJO. …………………………………………………………………………….. 7


OFERTA ECONÓMICA Y FORMA DE PAGO………………………………………………………….. 8



Catalinas´Chocolate es un proyecto de producción de chocolate de la más alta calidad para ser exportado al mercado europeo principalmente a Holanda, Inglaterra y Sur de Francia.

La empresa cuenta con una finca ubicada en el cantón Pococí, provincia de Limón, cuya área potencial de cultivo es de 70 Ha. Actualmente se cuenta con 20 Ha ya establecidas, de las cuales 14 ya han sido injertadas, siendo el material utilizado: CATIE (11 ha) y trinitario amelonado de la zona (FINMAC) (3 ha).

Adicional a su finca, la empresa trabajará con organizaciones/ cooperativas dedicados a la producción y acopio de cacao ubicados en el cantón de Guatuso, provincia Alajuela. Y se está evaluando trabajar con productores de Upala, quienes están iniciando operaciones.

Todo el cacao, tanto el producido en la finca propiedad de la empresa, como el recibido de las diferentes organizaciones deberá ser acopiado, fermentado y secado bajos estrictos protocolos que permitan potenciar el aroma y sabor para satisfacer los paladares más exigentes.

Una vez el cacao ha sido secado, será trasladado a la provincia de Heredia donde será transformado a chocolate para luego ser exportado a los mercados de interés.

Para llevar a cabo el procesamiento, la empresa ha adquirido maquinaria con capacidad de 60 MT por año, que espera llevar a plena capacidad en los primeros dos años.


1. Identificar los perfiles de sabor en Chocolate de mayor preferencia en los mercados objetos de análisis o bien, definir con claridad aquellos perfiles que resulta de interés para los clientes objetivos. Esto ayudará a definir los criterios que se buscan en los granos fermentados y secos.

2. Identificar los potenciales de sabor que tienen el cacao que se procesa actualmente en la zona de Guatusos y Upala. Con el objetivo de identificar alguna particularidad de la zona, que logre una diversidad en el portafolio de cacao procesados por el proyecto.

3.Hacer una valoración del potencial fermentador del cacao (Índice de pulpa) que se tiene en la finca propiedad del proyecto, así como de las principales zonas donde se acopiará cacao para el proyecto. Esto servirá para perfilar el protocolo de acuerdo al cacao que se tiene.

4. Realizar una proyección de las Toneladas de cacao que serán producidas y procesadas en la finca, durante los próximos 5 años. En base al conocimiento teórico y práctico que se tiene.

5. En base a los volúmenes de cacao a ser producidos, definir los requerimientos de inversión para establecer un centro de post-cosecha que garantice las condiciones de adecuadas de procesamiento, en la finca Cacaitos.

6.Proponer una serie de protocolos para alcanzar los perfiles de sabor requeridos para lograr la producción de chocolates, en caso que se requiere más de uno.

7. Definir procedimientos de calidad para dar seguimiento al proceso durante la post cosecha.

8. Definir procedimientos de calidad para la aceptación de lotes de cacao fermentado y seco provenientes de centros de postcosecha de terceros.

9. Definir los equipos de laboratorio mínimos para llevar a cabo un control de calidad del proceso de postcosecha garantizando de esa manera un cacao de calidad para la producción de chocolate.

10. Definir un procedimiento de catación tanto para el cacao en granos como para las barras de chocolate.

11. Definir perfil de sabor tanto para el cacao en granos como para los chocolates, información que podrá ser usada en su documentación promocional.


  1. Realizar la catación de chocolates que servirán de referencia para la producción propia, con el objetivo de definir un perfil del cacao usado como materia prima. Ver ejemplo en Anexos.
  2. Realizar las cataciones necesarias de cacao fermentado y seco que actualmente se producen en la zona objeto de interés.
  3. Llevar a cabo la valoración del potencial de fermentación del cacao proveniente de cada zona, con el objetivo de determinar el potencial de fermentación de cada cacao.
  4. De acuerdo con la información brindada por el proyecto ( variedad de cacao, cantidad de plantas por ha, edad de la plantación) se hará una proyección de la producción de cacao para los próximos 5 años. Para que sirva de insumo en la proyección de la inversión del centro de postcosecha que estará ubicado en la finca cacaitos.
  5. Definir requerimientos de inversión para la construcción y puesta en marcha del proceso de Post cosecha en la finca Cacaitos.
  6. Hacer propuesta inicial de protocolo para postcosecha, para llevar a cabo las primeras fermentaciones.
  7. En base a la retroalimentación de las cataciones proponer las correcciones al protocolo inicial y continuar el proceso de mejora.
  8. Establecer un protocolo de seguimiento de calidad durante el proceso de post-cosecha, para lograr el cumplimiento de los lotes procesados.
  9. Proponer un protocolo para la aceptación de lotes en aquellos casos donde el proceso de postcosecha es llevado por otras partes (asociaciones, cooperativas etc).
  10. Presentar una lista de equipos mínimos para llevar a cabo el control de calidad del proceso de postcosecha.
  11. Definir un procedimiento de catación tanto para el cacao en granos como para chocolate.
  12. Elaborar con la información de las cataciones el perfil de sabor del cacao en granos y el de chocolate para el cliente pueda usarlo en su documentación promocional. Ver Anexos.
  13. Capacitar a un máximo de 3 personas para llevar a cabo el proceso de Postcosecha.
  14. Capacitar a un máximo de 3 personas para llevar a cabo el seguimiento de calidad y liberación de lotes.
  15. Informar al Director del proyecto sobre los defectos encontrados en la catación de chocolate (en caso que estos ocurran), con el objetivo de mejorar el proceso.


1. Facilitar toda la información requerida por el consultor para llevar a cabo su trabajo.

2. Adquirir los equipos mínimos para llevar a cabo el control de calidad en el proceso o bien pagar los servicios de un laboratorio externo que realice la preparación de las muestras.

3. Dar las condiciones necesarias para llevar a cabo las cataciones, incluye las muestras de chocolate y muestras de cacao para catación.

4. Designar una persona que realizará la parte operativa para la preparación de muestras de acuerdo a las indicaciones del consultor.

5. Designar una persona para realizar la parte operativa de la post cosecha, quien deberá dar cumplimiento a las indicaciones del consultor

6.Las personas designadas para realizar la parte operativa deberán disponer de medios de comunicación que facilite una fluida comunicación con el consultoR.

7. Hospedaje, alimentación y transporte del consultor corren por cuenta del proyecto.

8. Transporte desde Nicaragua a Costa Rica corren por cuenta del proyecto.

9. Cumplir con el pago establecido en el período acordado.


La ejecución de la presente consultoría se llevará a cabo bajo las modalidades siguientes:

1- In situ: para aquellas actividades que requieran la presencia en campo del consultor (visitas de campo, capacitación del personal, cataciones, implementación de protocolos etc). Una semana al mes se realizará visita al sitio.

2- Orientaciones y seguimiento en línea: el seguimiento y orientaciones dia a dia de los protocolos que se estén evaluando será coordinado con el personal operativo designado por el proyecto. Esta comunicación podrá ser por video llamadas, llamadas o cualquier otro método que la tecnología permita. Dejando en todo caso un respaldo de la comunicación. Toda la información recibida será plasmada en formatos electrónicos creados por el consultor para dar seguimiento a la operación con el objetivo de lograr la calidad del producto.  CRONOGRAMA DE TRABAJO.

El trabajo está planificado para ser realizado en 6 meses calendario.

Ver Anexo 1.


En los últimos 4 años se ha desempeñado como Chief Operating Manager en Ingemann Fine Cocoa, lo que le ha permitido desarrollar un sólido conocimiento sobre el impacto positivo para el desarrollo de aromas y sabores en el cacao fino de aroma que tienen la genética, cuido de la plantación y proceso post-cosecha.

Durante este tiempo ha dirigido procesos de innovación para satisfacer las necesidades de los clientes, fortaleciendo la cadena de valor y desarrollando ventajas competitivas que ayudan a la estrategia de mercadeo y comercialización. Ha establecido alianzas estratégicas con proveedores para darle a la empresa una ventaja en el acceso a sus materias primas, encontrando el balance adecuado en el beneficio de las partes. A lo interno ha trabajado para lograr un proceso más eficiente en el uso de los recursos, mayor productividad y la potencialización del equipo de trabajo para que sean capaces de asumir nuevos retos.

Adicional a esto ha liderado el panel de Catación de la empresa y ha siendo parte de Jurados de catación de Cacao Fino de Aroma en certámenes realizados en la región Mesoamericana.

Cuenta con amplia experiencia en normas ISO de calidad, medio ambiente e inocuidad. Ha liderado procesos de certificación en FSSC 22 000. OFERTA ECONÓMICA Y FORMA DE PAGO.

La realización de esta consultoría es por un monto de US $ 17000 (Diecisiete mil dólares netos). Este monto es libre de impuestos.

La forma de pago propuesto es 50% con la firma del contrato, 25% a los 3 meses de la consultoría y el 25% restante se cancelará al finalizar la consultoría.

Los pagos serán realizados vía transferencia a los números de cuenta que indique el consultor.


Ejemplo de perfil de sabor en granos de cacao.


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 CACAO













S 1 S 2 S 3 S 4 S 5 S 6 S 7 S 8 S 9 S 10 S 11 S 12 S 13 S 14 S 15 S 16 S 17 S 18 S 19 S 20 S 21 S 22 S 23

S 24

Realizar la catación de chocolates que servirán de referencia para la producción propia, con el objetivo de definir un perfil del cacao usado como materia prima.                         Hacer un consollidado de la información brindada por las cataciones, procesar esta informacion para inferir el perfil de cacao que sera necesario para llevar a cabo elproceso.                         Realizar las cataciones necesarias de cacao fermentado y seco que actualmente se producen en la zona objeto de interés.

Llevar a cabo la valoración del potencial de fermentación del cacao proveniente de cada zona, con el objetivo de determinar el potencial de fermentación de cada cacao.

Elaborar los protocolos a aplicar para cada centro de aocpio, con el objetivo de alcanzar los perfiles que se requieren

Recabar toda la información necesaria para llevar a cabo la proyeccion de la cosecha

De acuerdo con la información brindada por el proyecto ( variedad de cacao, cantidad de plantas por ha, edad de la plantación) se hará una proyección de la producción de cacao para los próximos 5 años. Para que sirva de insumo en la proyección de la inversión del centro de postcosecha que estará ubicado en la finca cacaitos.

Hacer correcciones en las estimaciones en caso de ser requerido

Definir requerimientos de inversión para la construcción y puesta en marcha del proceso de Post cosecha en la finca Cacaitos.

Implementar propuesta inicial de protocolo para postcosecha, para llevar a cabo las primeras fermentaciones.

En base a la retroalimentación de las cataciones proponer las correcciones al protocolo inicial y continuar el proceso de mejora.

Establecer un protocolo de seguimiento de calidad durante el proceso de post-cosecha, para lograr el cumplimiento de los lotes procesados.

Proponer un protocolo para la aceptación de lotes en aquellos casos donde el proceso de postcosecha es llevado por otras partes ( asociaciones, cooperativas etc).

Presentar una lista de equipos mínimos para llevar a cabo el control de calidad del proceso de postcosecha.

Definir un procedimiento de catación tanto para el cacao en granos como para chocolate.

Elaborar con la información de las cataciones el perfil de sabor del cacao en granos y el de chocolate para el cliente pueda usarlo en sus documentación promocional.

Capacitar a un máximo de 3 personas para llevar a cabo el proceso de Postcosecha.

Seguimiento y control del proceso de postcosecha

Capacitar a un máximo de 3 personas para llevar a cabo el seguimiento de calidad y liberación de lotes.

Seguimiento y control del proceso de calidad

Ajuste de los procesos y actualizacion de protocolos

3. Financial Projections: Cash Flow Statements


4. Fine Cacao and Chocolate Defined

Most cacao grown in the world is considered to be ‘bulk’ or ‘commodity’ cacao, which is often poorly processed, defective and mostly sold to be used in the candy and ingredients sectors. Poor flavor and defects in bulk cacao are usually hidden by high roasting, high proportions of sugar and additions such as milk powder, vegetable fats, flavourings and other ingredients, leading to a generic and unsophisticated taste experience.

Cacaos from some countries and some varieties are usually considered to be ‘fine’ and have superior flavour. There is no consistent accepted definition or standard though to determine which cacaos can be considered as ‘fine’ cacao. Various attempts have been made to define or label fine cacao according to its chemical content and other technical parameters, but these have proved unsuccessful with no resulting useful definition. Other schemes based on countries and percentage of exports are arbitrary and do not account for the huge variation in cacao genetics and processing quality found in each country. Fine quality must instead be based on specific varieties, origins and post-harvest processes.

As the fine and craft chocolate movement has developed, and as interest grows in recovering lost cacao varieties and discovering new flavours, there is a need for a clear and accepted definition of what is a ‘fine’ cacao.

To help improve understanding and recognition of flavor quality in cacao and chocolate, the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting has agreed on a standard definition of ‘fine’ cacao based on flavor and an understanding of how the human brain works when tasting chocolate.

Cacao is grown for the pleasure it gives to millions around the world, and fine cacao is considered superior and can fetch a higher price because it can deliver complex and distinctive flavors. The Institute definitions of ‘fine’ cacao and chocolate are based on the ‘pleasure principle’, that we eat chocolate for enjoyment and that we eat fine chocolate for complex and interesting flavors. The following definitions sit alongside the Institute’s profiling system and quality standard scoring, which can be used to identify fine cacao and chocolate using the principles expressed in these definitions.

  • Fine Cacao

‘Fine’ cacao is considered superior to other cacao because it can be made into chocolate with a flavor profile that:

      has complexity, richness and varied or distinctive flavor notes in harmony and balance

      is free of defects that hijack the sensory experience when eating or in the aftertaste

       is not easily recreated by substitution with another origin or variety of cacao

Flavor potential in fine cacao is ultimately expressed through the skill of the cacao grower and chocolate maker in the selection of varieties, agronomic techniques, undertsanding fo flavour and mindful processing of cacao and chocolate.

  • Fine Chocolate

Chocolate is considered to be ‘fine’ when it also fulfils the flavour profile criteria for cacao above and also:

      respects and reflects the inherent flavor profile notes of the cacao

      is free of process defects or ingredients that obscure or distract from the flavour notes of the cacao

      is in good condition and free of damage or contamination

Fine chocolate can only be made from fine cacao and cacao can only be considered fine it it can be made into fine chocolate that fully fulfils the criteria of these definitions.

5. The Future:

It is considered that two new managers of both Hacienda Cacaitos S.A. (Plantation) and Chocolates Maryanto S.A. (Chocolate Processing Factory) will most likely be Mariano Gomez (Future Agronomist and Plantation Manager) and Jose Antonio Gomez (Future Process Engineer and Factory Manager). They are already knee-deep in cacao and chocolate.

Jose Antonio Gomez (5)                   Mariano Gomez (6) with Mom

Future Process Engineer              Future Agronomist at the Plantation

About Robert Stewart

Robert S. Stewart is a Canadian/Swiss entrepreneur, financier, investor, Master Planner, explorer, scientist, adventurer, athlete, Corporate Director, Chairman and CEO of numerous global enterprises including those in mining, petroleum, infrastructure, telecoms, aviation, hospitality and medical research . Currently, he has invested in the construction of the world's first integrated cacao plantation (103 hectares), chocolate processing factory in Costa Rica. Cacao beans are normally sold into the world market and processed into chocolate in the Northern Hemisphere, far from the planters and plantations of the Tropical zone where they grow. Modern, industrial chocolate has had the bitter mass from poor quality beans provided by 95% of Forestero beans removed from them and replaced by massive amounts of white beet sugar, soya and other additives. Criollo and Triniterio beans from Central America are the best beans in the world, where they first grew 4000 years ago. Adding value and paying the workers adequate salaries and prices for their high quality beans will lift them and Third World economies out of poverty. He created the World Ocean Corporation to clean-up plastics, toxic chemicals, municipal and industrial waste; replenish decimated fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic Oceans; and to build protection and exclusion zones for reproducing fish, mammal, animal and aviary species found in the oceans covering 71% of the Earth's surface. He writes frequently in the OP ED pages of the New York Times, Financial Times of London, The Economist, Toronto Globe and Mail, Mining.com, The Times and Telegraph of London, Winnipeg Free Press and the Victoria Beach Herald. These are reprints of his editorial and OP ED pieces and comments on those who write better articles than his own. While he uses his own name or Email address to identify the writer of his articles, occasionally he is forced to use a "nom de plume" by the editors. "Beaverbrook" passes for that, after three generations of family dogs of the same name. It's a dog's world.
This entry was posted in Op-Ed's in Major Publications. Bookmark the permalink.