The other day, we held a signing ceremony for a direct transaction of cocoa beans with the WINAK Union in the Amazon region of Ecuador! The WINAK Union is a group of small Quechua farmers indigenous to Ecuador who have been using WINAK beans for about 5 years in Mamano.
At WINAK, we practice the chakra farming method (agroforestry) that uses no pesticides and no chemical fertilizers, and grows cacao in various flora without logging in the rainforest. The varieties we are growing are national varieties (also known as Ariva), which are characterized by a gorgeous scent, and are different from the CCN51 varieties, which are highly productive and have a slightly weak scent.
As a general rule, Mamano uses only cocoa beans from the WINAK union. I think it is rare for a store to offer chocolate using only one union's cacao beans, but by conducting long-term direct transactions with a specific union (direct sourcing), mutual trust can be built and various things can be done. I strongly feel that we can find the possibility of collaboration.
↑ At the signing ceremony with the members of WINAK, we talked about the future.
From WINAK, we heard about the determination to continue to protect our forest, collaboration with nature conservation related NGOs, expectations for crops newly cultivated by the chakra farming method, points for improvement in the processing process from cocoa bean cultivation, etc. He talked about the outlook for chocolate shops that protect the forest, new product development, plans to improve the quality of cacao beans, and the development of new products that can only be done at farms.
In the near future, we will switch to cocoa bean chocolate harvested in 2021 and deliver chocolate with a more fruity and strong aroma to everyone. Please look forward to it!