Variety: A mix of trinitario, criollo and forestero
Source: UCLS Cooperative
Certification: Organic certified
Fermentation: Fermentation boxes located in local collection centres
Our Madagascan cacao grows in the Sambirano region in the north-west of Madagascar. In this area, the cacao grows amidst tall fruit trees of mangoes and bananas to provide enough shade for the cacao. The cacao is grown amongst fragrant plants such as ylang-ylang, vetiver and patchouli which make the air thick with humidity – an ideal growing condition for cacao trees.
Because of the limited infrastructure, cacao farmers were initially dispersed and non-organised. This meant the farmers generally sold their beans to middlemen, resulting in high price fluctuations and uncertain availability of transport means. By forming cooperatives the farmers started to strengthen their position in the local market. The UCLS cooperative was formed in 2009, and covers 24 small cooperatives and 400 farmers.
UCLS also empowers cacao farmers to protect the Sambirano’s unique rainforest ecosystem, that is so important to both the characteristics of the cocoa beans and for local eco-tourism. With support from Rainforest Alliance, a project was launched to plant new trees to battle soil erosion. Farmers are encouraged to grow the cocoa under a canopy of indigenous shade trees, which creates buffer zones around primary forests. This reduces the environmental pressure of monoculture on the habitat of the famous lemur monkeys in remaining forest fragments and supports thousands of different species of birds, insects and lizards.
This bean is very fruity with a distinct cherry flavour. In our Madagascar 70% Dark, it has taste notes of maple syrup, raspberries and cherries.
A little bit about us:
We are Cameron and Lara, the makers behind Bare Bones Chocolate. We have been obsessed with specialty coffee and food for the last 10 years, and that passion quickly translated into chocolate about 3 years ago. We dreamed of having our own chocolate company and can't think of a better way to spend our days.
With a passion for coffee and bicycles, Cam is a mechanical engineer and is behind the precision and focus that goes into being a chocolate maker. He is constantly tweaking and designing new machinery and makes sure the chocolate tastes better with every batch.
Lara is a food photographer and chef with a passion for cats and cookies. She is the person behind the handwritten notes in each order, curates the Bare Bones Instagram and wraps each bar in the beautiful brown paper.