Today we had a group of cacao growers from Santo Domingo, Ecuador. The discussion was about how they get paid. Typically growers take their cacao to centers where they sell their cacao. They said that they get paid the same price for Nacional (fine aroma cacao), than they get paid for CCN-51, the clone that is taking over both Peru and Ecuador. It also doesn't matter whether they ferment their beans or not, or if they put monilla(rotten cacao) along with good cacao. What they are looking for is a partner in countries that process the cacao into chocolate and are willing to buy the good cacao for a higher price than CCN-51 or cacao that has not been selected.
As a group, we should find a solution for these farmers, we need to let them know that if they produce excellent cacao, they should get paid a higher price. That way the heirloom varieties can be preserved.