Nature has an important part to play in the quality of our cocoa beans. But we think the way we nurture them is just as important. All lovely chocolate starts with a well-loved bean.

Ours beans are born and raised in rich soils, growing up amongst the protective branches of banana trees and mahogany.

As our cocoa trees mature they sprout beautiful golden pods with dimpled shells and a soft, white inside. And when the moment’s right, a farmer picks the pods and gently opens them to harvest the new beans inside.

The pods are drained and the beans fermented and left to bask in the sun for a week to enrich their taste, before being tucked into cloth bags to continue their journey to your delicious chocolate bar.

  • Soil, climate, origin, tree variety and fermentation all contribute to a cocoa bean’s flavor.
  • During fermentation, beans change color and develop their aroma.
  • Harvesting is determined by the color and sound of the cocoa pods. While on the tree, a ripe pod has a hollow sound if carefully shaken.
  • Stamping every bag of beans with the farmer’s unique code, so we can guarantee traceability.
  • Training farmers in proper harvesting techniques such as optimal timing and ripeness, how to avoid damaging the flower cushions and the bark, and how to open pods without wounding the beans. 
  • Best practices on fermentation techniques are included in our farmer training modules to ensure quality beans are consistently delivered by farmers in our programs.
How can I get involved?

Customers of Barry Callebaut's sustainable HORIZONS cocoa and chocolate products receive full access to the Cocoa Chronicles, enabling them to commercialize their contribution to sustainable cocoa and build the strength of their brand. To learn more about HORIZONS products, please contact your regional Barry Callebaut sales representative.
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