Fostering close relationships with our cacao farmers is a key value at Raaka. Earlier this May, Raaka’s Director of Sales, Brielle Milano and I had the opportunity to travel to Belize to visit one of the wonderful cacao cooperatives that Raaka sources from - Maya Mountain Cacao. We spent a week working alongside the MMC team buying wet cacao, giving out samples of Raaka to local cacao farmers, and learning about cacao farming, processing and exporting.
We created Raaka to make chocolate that reflects the human element in every bar. Chocolate, a source of joy for many in the West, is often the product of great injustice throughout the developing world. The chocolate industry has historically exploited the two most crucial and meaningful foundations of its business: the farmers and the land. In the past decade, several major chocolate producers have been linked to child labor and poor wages, while the monoculture model of the cacao farm has been responsible for rampant deforestation.
Maya Mountain Cacao is helping to change the industry.
A couple of weeks ago we returned from an inspiring trip to Belize. In tropical paradise, Cotton Tree Lodge and Taza Chocolate combined forces to host an educational chocolate week highlighting local cacao production. There we met with farmers and Maya Mountain Cacao and learned what the "food of gods" tastes like.