I'm looking for other sources for couverture grade Fair Trade Organic chocolate. I currently purchase wafers from Puratos and Ciranda (both from Peru). I'd consider blocks or wafers/pastilles/chips and would also be interested in organic chocolate that is not Fair Trade certified, if it is made into chocolate by the folks who grow it (no Fair Trade partners). Any leads would be appreciated. Thanks!
Hi Dale, You might try Madagas. Good luck John R.
John - Do you mean Madecasse? From Madagascar?
John and Clay--Thanks, I am familiar with Madecasse. They only fairly recently began experimenting making wafers for couverture. Last I checked, it was fairly expensive (even for Fair Trade/Organic).
Blommers has an organic line, but I don't know who their farmers are. I'm in the process of looking for organic, fairly traded chocolate, too. And i'm curious about prices...Blommers quoted me $2.70 per pound of dark, but their minimum order is 2000 lbs. It has soy lecithin, which I'm not crazy about. I have ordered from Cocoa Camino (Canada) but they're price is $8.18 / lb...good chocolate, though. Ciranda doesn't have milk..as far as I can tell. Would love to know of more sources...as well as any info on the difference between organically grown cacao, and non organic...do they spray cacao?
The company that I have found that caries the broadest range of Fair Trade/Organic chocolate is Sweet Earth Chocolates in San Luis Obispo, California. Their prices are a good bit higher than the Blommers price. They have 54% and 65% dark, 32% milk and white chocolate for $8.95 a pound retail, $6.75 a pound wholesale (requires establishing an account), with a 10% discount on orders exceeding 100 pounds. Shipping is on top of these prices. The dark does not contain lecithin, the white and milk do. They purchase their chocolate from Puratos, who also requires a minimum order of 2,000 pounds (which is why I've not yet ordered directly). Ciranda carries the Cocoa Camino in 56% and 70% dark (currently $4.95 and $5.15 respectively for a recent order of seven hundred pounds). Their prices seem to fluctuate with the market a bit more, and might be lower were one to order the magic 2,000 pound quantity. You will have to get approval from TransFair to order Fair Trade certified stuff from Ciranda (they'd sell simple organic labeled stuff without this, and at a cheaper price). In my last discussion with Madecasse, it seems that they were thinking of asking around $8.00 per pound for their wafers. They had 55, 60, and 73%.
Here's the argument about the value of using organic chocolate as I understand it: Organically certified chocolate may in some cases mean it has not been sprayed with pesticides or fungicides, but more often means that it is not plantation grown, where the forest is clear cut, and the trees are mono-cropped with the associated use of petrochemical fertilizers. Because the trees are grown in close proximity, there is more likelihood that blights, fungal infections, pests, etc. can spread from tree to tree, and so the use of other chemical control agents becomes more likely. These petrochemicals (fertilizers and the rest) run off and pollute the watersheds in their vicinity. Most organically certified cacao is grown in smaller plantings spread out under the canopy of the rain forest, and requires no fertilizers beyond the natural composting of the forest vegetation.
I think that's enough for now. I hope some of that was useful. Let me know if you find other good sources or information in your explorations.
All the best,
Thanks, Dale...o.k so Camino gets their dark Peruvian chocolate from Ciranda... they also have dark and milk couverture from Europe. I'd love to know who their supplier is for it... It's sounding like Camino's European milk couverture is the only one without lecithin. hmmm....
and what's up with Blommer's...their prices are a third of everyone else's...I just wonder about their integrity...plus I'd rather go without the lecithin...but where to find lecithin free organic milk chocolate?
thanks for the specifics on the organically grown...plus the growing of sugar that is not organic is very toxic as well...the milk, too. Hopefully the organic Certifiers are doing a decent job of ensuring the standards...but it's all we've got for now, anyways... short of travelling to the farms and factories ourselves., which I hope to do one day...to establish personal relationships with the communities growing and processing the chocolate.
I'll let you know if I find any new leads...please do the same for me...
Thanks for your insights.
I'd be happy to hear from any single source importers out there (or permaculture grown cacao producers).
All the best,
Me too! My dream is to travel to the source of the cacao used in my creations. Any single source importers out there wanting to share their source? And are there any other farmers other than Ancel who can provide organically grown and processed cacao?