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Cacao Fermentation Consulting

Online Bean to Bar Course

As part of our inclusivity efforts, we offer cacao fermentation consulting (post harvest) services to Indian Cacao farmers. These services are offered in india, by Indians and for Indian cacao farmers. Demand for cacao and chocolate is continuously rising but the farmer continues to get neglected in this growth. Traditionally, cacao farmers have not been subject to receiving the same benefits as the other partners in the cacao/chocolate value chain. They have forever been excluded. Post harvesting is arguably one of the most important variables after genetics that determine the final flavour profile of the cacao bean and hence the final chocolate bar. However, there is a clear distinction between bulk and fine flavour cacao. Let’s first start with busting the myth about cacao varieties. Please read about the different cacao varieties in India here.

Kocoatrait Zero Waste Chocolate
Indian Cacao

Once you have read the contents of the above link, you would also notice that the cacao and chocolate industry has started to distinguish between varieties of cacao and started to group them as as Bulk or Fine flavour cacao. It will help to understand the difference between the two. But before you read ahead, kindly observe that there is no such thing as quality in cacao. The term Quality is used most often by the buyer to negotiate a better price from the seller and there are some parameters which are used to determine the quality and give the power of negotiation in the hands of the buyer (large corporations in the case of cacao). A cacao farmer does not have much play or say in this situation because he cannot change the genetics of already planted cacao and hence the associated physical characteristics like bean size, bean count etc. The fact is that these parameters rarely define the flavour of cacao and are used against the farmers of bulk cacao during price negotiations. Given the growth of the bean to bar industry globally and in India, chocolate makers require flavour to be delivered rather than bean size and count. Smaller sized beans do not always mean inferior bean! It is time farmers change the benchmark and focus on improved product delivery through flavour enhancements, control over off-flavours and consistency. The cacao farmer often stands to loose with the current approach of negotiating for cacao on these parameters! Further, the cacao farmer in India does not invest on improving the flavour profile of cacao because they feel they do not find buyers who will buy their entire produce and compensate them for their efforts. It is a catch 22 situation, since cacao farmers would never be able to negotiate a better price for their produce if they do not invest into improving their consistency and flavour. This is the reason we have invested our efforts to provide cacao fermentation consulting in india to deserved cacao farmers and help them increase their incomes.

Kocoatrait Zero Waste Chocolate
Indian Bean to Bar Chocolate

While specific genetics help us bring out interesting flavours, consistent and sustainable post harvesting practises are essential to ensure that those interesting flavour characteristics are carried forward to the beans for chocolate makers to take advantage of. These flavours make the job of chocolate makers, of creating delicious defect free chocolate, much easier and helps them deliver memorable and immersive chocolate experiences to the discerning consumer. This is the reason farmers charge a premium for these value added cacao and chocolate makers can charge a premium too! Most hierloom cacao varieties are fine flavour and grow in the south americas. In the case of bulk cacao, which is what makes for most of indian cacao, the hybrid varieties are engineered to either provide disease resistance and/or offer more yield with a compromise on the final flavour potential. This is a reason why bulk varieties of cacao are not sold at a premium.

However, it is not all bad news for Indian cacao farmers! With a lot of discipline and effort in the post harvesting practises, it is proven that we can elevate the flavour delivery ability of bulk varieties of cacao and make it more valuable from a flavour and consistency perspective. It does not mean it can compare or compete with fine flavour varieties, but it certainly means more remuneration for indian cacao farmers and chocolate makers. As the bean to bar market evolves, variations in post harvesting practises also give cacao farmers an opportunity to offer different products to meet different requirements of the chocolate maker. Our cacao fermentation and post harvesting consulting services in india help cacao farmers charge a premium for their produce. This increase in farmer income goes a long way in farmers investing efforts and achieving our goal of placing Indian cacao on the global map! Please read why we should choose to consume bean to bar chocolates made in India here.

Kocoatrait Zero Waste Chocolate
Indian Bean to Bar Chocolates

Having executed several small, medium and large scale post harvest improvements projects in south india over the last 4 years, we remain committed to improving the quality of the Indian cacao bean. While discovering and working in various cacao growing regions including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamilnadu, it is interesting to learn about traditional fermentation practises (and beliefs) of Indian cacao farmers. We believe that Indian cacao has potential to find a place in the global fine flavour map. Further, we provide end to end bean to bar chocolate manufacturing, planning & set up services. We have set up several small and medium size award winning bean to bar projects in India. To understand the definition of bean to bar chocolate in india, click: https://cocoatrait.com/bean-to-bar/bean-bar-chocolate-india-definition/ and to explore more about the bean to bar making process watch video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0srVqupalpQ

We aspire to take Indian cacao international and call for support from the farmer community. L Nitin Chordia, India’s 1st certified chocolate taster believes that this is an inclusive offering and will work in the benefit of the farmer and the overall growing bean to bar chocolate industry. “This will further help us decrease our reliance on imports of cacao/chocolate” says L Nitin Chordia. “While the government is trying hard to increase the area under cultivation of cacao in India, this added effort and investment from the farmer would help him increase farmer income and make good quality beans available to the Indian bean to bar chocolate makers. We are happy to share our expertise and experience for this cause. This will ensure many more chocolatiers will have access to fine flavour beans and I see this as a win-win situation for the Indian cacao and chocolate industry. This will set the foundation to support the unprecedented growth this industry is witnessing” says L Nitin Chordia. Kocoatrait further provides buy back options to farmers and clearly documents the ROI to enable farmers make an educated and informed decision.

Contact us for a detailed discussion on how to improve the post harvest practises of Indian cacao. nitin@cocoatrait.com and/or +919600064846

Contact us for a detailed discussion on how to improve the post harvest practises of Indian cacao. nitin@cocoatrait.com and/or +919600064846