HB Ingredients are proud to support a non-profit organization in Grenada called The Organic Chocolate Project of Grenada. This co-operative organization has been formed to promote and help organize organic cocoa farming and processing in Grenada.
We became involved last year because we were searching for a way to 'put something back' into a part of the Industry which we are mainly involved in, by contributing a percentage of our net annual profits at source. Our business creates secure employment and income for our employees so the purpose was to ensure that funds we provide, go directly to help fund investment in the infrastructure which therefore creates sustainable long term employment locally, in a cocoa growing community .
We were very fortunate to come across the Grenada Chocolate Company (www.grenadachocolate.com), and after various discussions found that they were trying to develop Organic Cocoa Farming to supply high quality beans to their small Chocoate Refinery high in the rainforest of Grenada. They produce only Retail tablets which they sell locally on the Island and export to the US and UK - here through Rococo. This is truly 'Origin Chocolate' in the purest sense.
Our initial contribution has funded the purchase of a cooperative pick-up truck for a new mobile team of 4 (including the organiser/driver of the team Ken, who is an agronomist). They travel around the five farms currently Organically certified, working on the trees and canopy (a lot of work needs to be done to re-instate the farms and canopy which were damaged by recent hurricanes) and also harvesting beans and delivering once a week to the fermentary. There are 5 more farms that have joined and Organic Certification is just starting in mid-March.
We are also funding the purchase of a weed-cutting machine (string cutter) to go along with the mobile crew and truck. Mott Green, the driving force behind the Project says, "Although much of the farm rehabilitation work cannot be done with a machine, it will drastically reduce the labour for maintaining the areas that we have initially cleared up with machetes for re-planting of cocoa and bananas and legumous trees. Until a canopy is truly re-created in areas that are open, we need to keep the weeds down between the new plants and this consumes a lot of time. So, with judicial use of weed-cutting machine, we can be much more efficient.
The harvest is great this year and we have 5 certified farms contributing now, including the Hope Estate. The fermentry is going pretty well, too, which is so vital to the quality of our chocolate of course. There are several more farms pending certification, so much paper work to do for them now. Our certification inspector comes again in mid-march and we have 5 more farms to begin the process for."
All of us here at HB Ingredients are proud to directly support this project and we will keep you informed of progress and pictures over the coming months.