Our Co-Ops

The quality of the beans in our supply chain go through rigorous evaluation and ongoing training from UncommonCacao. Farmers who produce high quality beans achieve greater business stability, as growing chocolate makers depend on these beans and farmers for their award-winning chocolate. Decommoditizing cacao is vital to improving farmer livelihoods. While the commodity market treats all cacao identically, costs of production, flavor profiles, and environments vary widely across origins. Paying for the unique qualities of cacao through higher farmgate and export prices brings farmers closer to earning a living wage. 

Finca Chimelb is a magnificent private farm in Lanquín, Alta Verapaz. Its scale is unparalleled in the region: the farm spans 4,500 hectares, 2,298 of which are natural and planted forest protected by the farm. Chimelb is the largest cacao farm in Alta Verapaz, at 250 hectares of cacao cultivation, and also grows specialty coffee, rubber, eucalyptus, and pine. Finca Chimelb employs approximately 400 workers across all crops on average, reaching more than 2,000 workers during peak harvest of coffee, and pays 40% above Guatemala’s minimum wage, as well as social security for all employees. Finca Chimelb has an exceptionally diverse clonal garden to evaluate both heirloom and new clones, monitor tree productivity and compatibility, and use data to increase yields. The farm espouses environmentally friendly cultivation, planting cover crops like rubber trees to control soil erosion control and analyziing micro-organisms in the most fertile areas of the farm to reproduce and introduce them into less fertile areas. Finca Chimelb has hosted multiple trainings for local smallholder farmers in collaboration with Cacao Verapaz, and takes its social responsibility seriously in contributing to the Guatemalan cacao industry through a combination of trainings, employment, clonal development, and research into best practices for the local climate.

 

Our farmers are being taught the best agricultural practices by highly trained field staff, including unique fermentation techniques.