As a bean-to-bar producer, we're very particular about our cocoa beans. Quality of the beans is obviously paramount, as we'll never be able to make great chocolate from mediocre beans. However, we're also equally as passionate about ensuring that the farmers growing the cocoa beans are getting their fair share.
Natei Family, Guadalcanal Island
The Solomon Island produce some very exciting cocoa with a surprising diversity of flavour depending on local conditions. We source beans from a single estate on Guadalcanal Island, one of the many islands making up the nation of the Solomon Islands.
The Natei family farm is in Tenaru, about 45 minutes drive east of Honiara. Diana Yates regularly visits the farm and purchases wet beans from the Natei family. The beans are dried and fermented at Diana's facility in Honiara to ensure optimal quality.
The plantation in West Papua is based in Ransiki and forms part of the remains of an old large scale (1,800ha) plantation which was founded by CDC (a British Government-backed development fund) and a Dutch and Indonesion NGO. Due to mismanagement, CDC left in the 90s which basically sent the plantation on a declining path.
In 2016 the co-op Eiber Suth (Unity to Arise) was founded. With financial support from the district authorities the co-op has rehabilitated 160Ha of the plantation. A lot of knowledge from post-harvest originally training provided by CDC remains, ensuring an adequate level of quality.
The field workers receive a salary, incl. one month extra, 14 days holidays and health insurance.
Lenard Nahurua, Makira Island
Cacao is grown on many of the Solomon Islands. Aside from Guadalcanal, we also source beans from Makira Island which is about a 40 minute flight from Honiara.
Lenard's beans placed first at the 2019 Solomon Islands Chocolate Week.