We started MAMANO in 2013.
The characteristics of our brand are the protection of the Amazon rainforest, the protection of local plant varieties, the contribution to climate change mitigation, the protection of the rights of small farmers, the contribution to the development of farmers and the transparency, in balance with the happiness of our customers and the satisfaction of our workers.
This symbolic word is called “sustainability”.
However, the word sustainability has many aspects.
Let me explain what kind of sustainability we have focused on.
First of all, the cocoa variety.
We have only used cacao from Arriba Cacao (Cacao Nacional), which is a local species from Ecuador and has one of the most wonderful flavors in the world, although it is a low-yielding crop.
New varieties of cocoa have been invented such as CCN51 and Super Arbo which have good yields although they do not taste as fantastic as Cacao Arriba.
I want to point out that we are not against inventing new varieties of cocoa for good yields as there are even many positive aspects for farmers.
We want to protect the diversity of species.
If all cocoa is alternated with cocoa already invented, the fame of Arriba Cacao will decrease. So we strive to protect the local cocoa variety as a specialty product that tastes great and has a high market value.
One of our purposes is to buy the local special cocoa with a higher value, that is, to pay more to the farmers who harvest the cocoa to motivate them to continue harvesting variety.
Second, biodiversity and deforestation.
We have used cocoa in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, its farms have a diversity of fruits, crops for food, trees, medicinal plants and commercial crops such as cocoa, guayusa and banana in the forest garden. In the indigenous Kichwa language of Ecuador, the way of cultivating is called "chakra" this combines the forest, life, ritual and economy. It is a bit different from "agroforestry", despite its similarities.
The Chakra farming system does not use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers because there are many environments enriched with natural fertilizers in the Chakra. If you've ever used any chemicals, you won't be certified organic for some time. Also, insects, fungi and plants will die even if you can't see them. The soil, the river and the sea are connected, so the way of farming in the forest is very important for the land.
Monoculture in which only cocoa is harvested with chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the farm is efficient to produce a lot of cocoa. Let it be clear, I do not intend to deny this type of cultivation.
There is a background behind the choice of cultivation mode, such as the state of the soil, politics, weather conditions, etc. I want to highlight that the region with which we are connected has been practicing "chakra = forest garden" as an option to be able to maintain this form of cultivation in the future or change it to a monoculture system for short-term efficiency.
We want to support the "chakra = forest garden" system which they wish to preserve.
To start cocoa monoculture, it is necessary to cut down many trees in the tropical forest, which would lead to deforestation. All human beings, animals, insects and plants need the richness that the rain forest offers to live on earth, and the Ecuadorian rain forest is one of the most important forests in it. We want to protect her.
Third, climate change.
There are 2 aspects of the "chakra = forest garden = traditional agroforestry" system to mitigate climate change.
1st, as I mentioned before, in order for there to be a forest that absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and that in turn cocoa can be harvested in the forest, it is not necessary to cut down the trees.
2nd, the chakra system compared to monoculture contributes to carbon absorption.
In addition, small farmers are one of the most vulnerable people to the effect of climate change. They depend heavily on the natural environment, so this rapid change would directly affect them more than us, so I think that the forest should not be cut down so easily. I hope that the farmers adopt the chakra system or some other agroforestry system as well as that people support them.
Fourth, the advantage of chocolate lovers.
Giving back to the forest environment and indigenous farmers (or those who choose to work with quality chocolate) is a way for chocolate lovers who want to taste unique, rich-tasting chocolate to really enjoy chocolate without worrying too much about the aspects. cocoa bad.
The flavor of cocoa is affected by the natural environment such as the terroir in the wine
Everything looks good, right?
I also believe it. To be a really good company from a social point of view, transparency is important, which is why we have been working directly with the local association WINAK, which is an indigenous organization that works for their well-being, maintaining tradition and preserving the environment. with the collaboration of some 260 Kichwa farmers.
We value and price your cocoa the highest (compared to other customers in terms of price). At the same time, fair pricing and fair trade are an aspect of sustainability, and we do not see them as an isolated social good.
We have donated the Internet installation in the post-harvest center so that they can connect directly with us, including our customers. Mainly cocoa and chakra system events have been held to directly impart both knowledge and reality to our customers.
We want to connect many people and organizations that have similar visions and passions for a sustainable world.
We are not the extremely radical type of company.
For example, do you think we should change all packaging to be made from natural sources? Yes, we expect that too. I have been looking for a container of natural origin for our chocolate, but so far I have not found a material that suits us. What would happen if all packaging became paper?
The members of Mamano will have to work hard until Valentine's Day. That's because the expiration date is shorter if we pack the chocolate with paper. You may have heard the sad news from employees of a chocolate company who work during the high season.
We have been gradually reducing plastic and will continue to reduce it as long as we can find a balanced way of satisfaction for workers and customers. This is our policy. We are sorry that some customers want us to be more kind to the environment, but we do have this kind of policy.
For the readers.
We want to connect more people and organizations that have the same passion and vision for the future. We are not only a chocolate shop, but also a chocolate company for professionals such as chocolate shops, bakeries, and so on, with cocoa and some Amazonian ingredients imported from Asia.
Get in touch with us to collaborate and test our products.
Thanks for reading this article. These are the reasons why we are passionate about working for MAMANO. We hope that many of you will join us on this journey.
General Manager of MAMANO CHOCOLATE