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Showing posts with label cacao. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cacao. Show all posts

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Starting an Indigenous Chocolate Factory

Original Chocolate from the Source

Piaroa Organic Wild (POW) Cacao from the Amazon

Globcal International is starting a new sustainable development project with Ecology Crossroads of Kentucky to help establish the first indigenous owned and operated chocolate factory in Venezuela under the observation and guidance of the international community through our organization.

Piaroa Organic Wild Cacao from the Guiana Highlands grown by the Guardians of the Forest.

The new venture will offer true wild forastero 'chocolate of origin' harvested and crafted by the indigenous Piaroa tribe of the Guiana Highlands in Amazonia's Orinoco River watershed, one of several potential original sources of the cacao tree. It is from the Orinoco and Black River (Rio Negro) that the tree may have made it's way north to the Caribbean, Trinidad including Mexico and south to Brazil by river, further through the indigenous peoples that have used and traded beans for thousands of years.

The project will be developed online as a crowdfunding campaign to form a social enterprise and will feature cocoa beans that are wild collected and harvested, then cured and sun-dried before being transformed into an amazing flavorful aromatic chocolate bar by members of the indigenous Piaroa tribe of Amazonas, Venezuela. The chocolate will be offered for direct international shipment using EMS (Express Mail Service) and made available through a distributors network for resale.

Cacao Piaroa

The Piaroa are new to the chocolate making scene, but they are not new to growing, harvesting or curing cacao beans, they have been propagating and planting cacao trees as a forest crop at least "since the late 1950's," according to tribal elders; they have been practicing ecologically sustainable agriculture for over 1,000 years. Cacao represents a major portion of their income with some communities producing several tons each per year. Agriculturally they are one of the most autonomous indigenous societies in Venezuela. The Piaroa also harvest other non-wood forest resources like fruits, nuts and honey as well as make handicrafts.

Traditionally (with cocoa beans) the Piaroa have not been treated fairly in the marketplace (selling their beans for a mere fraction of their value to predatory middlemen), this caused our organization to take an interest in their case in 2018. We were pleased to discover after doing research that their beans were being produced into premium craft chocolates by several bean-to-bar entrepreneurs in North America and were prized and cited with recognition internationally. Now because of governmental imposition into the cocoa trade it is difficult for anyone to purchase their beans.
"Knowing the importance and quality of their beans after receiving a sample and investigating other companies who have purchased their beans for making bar chocolate we came up with the ideal of them taking their operation one-step further by helping the Piaroa make the chocolate themselves here in Venezuela for international distribution and sale, which will ensure a them a fair-trade price to the grower and new work opportunities for the community." - David J. Wright
This year because government interference in the cocoa trade and changes to the local economy the Piaroa have not been able to find a fair price for their beans so they consulted with our organization to help them develop a crowdfunding project to both ensure them that they will get a premium price for their excellent beans in coming years and so they can earn more by producing the chocolate themselves, in our view by using the beans themselves they can increase the cacao farmer's income by 6x which is welcome news to the producers and creates new employment opportunities for others in the community.

Objective: Build a Chocolate Factory

The objective is to build a chocolate factory with international cooperation efforts and goodwill in the social media through a crowdfunding campaign to find investors, members and partners for the program.

The crowdfunding project we are developing with chocolate company involves the use of up 49% (49,000 shares) of the company being cooperatively (collectively) owned by independent investors while the other 51% will belong to members.The preferred shares are valued at $10 each and will be sold for $11-$12 each to cover funds transfer fees and crowdfunding commissions. The funds are needed in order to have adequate operating capital to start the business and operate for two years until such time the company can become solvent.

In a the business plan being crafted the preferred investor is offered a 15% return over their investment after one calendar year or they can wait until the third year to double or perhaps triple their original investment with when the company is valuated. The calendar year begins once the first 30,000 shares are sold, the equipment is installed and the factory is opened. We are looking to fund the program by May of 2020, begin the project before the end of the month and start producing chocolate by early July of 2020.

The other 51% of the company belongs to the De'Aruhuä Cacao Cooperative & Trust (in formation) through Ecology Crossroads who is legally responsible for the delivery, development and execution of project, providing management and oversight is our organization Globcal International.

The Piaroa recently brought us 2.9 metric tons of cocoa beans from the Amazon to the factory location in the city of Caracas, which will soon be under construction. In the coming months (now in less than 1 year) using state of the art stainless steel pots and high-impact chocolate molds the Piaroa will begin to make their own fine chocolate. Several members of the tribe will be attending bean-to-bar chocolate workshops in Venezuela to learn about making chocolate.

Its not unusual for Venezuela to offer such exquisitely good chocolate considering that it is believed the cacao tree holds its origins there, some say in the Orinoco basin which is where our chocolate originates. Different original cultivars and varieties of cacao are also grown throughout Venezuela. One of the oldest companies in Venezuela, Casa Franceschi has been growing and supplying cacao beans to European chocolate makers since 1830, they also have a genetic collection of different sub-species, varieties and strains used in the industry.

Chocolate is an excellent business, according to the Internet there will be over 130 billion dollars worth of chocolate sold this year worldwide, about 30 billion dollars of that is in the craft chocolate bar industry.

Chocolate as a Financial Solution for Globcal

Globcal International has been looking for a method of producing income without depending on donations and we think we found our way with chocolate as our fundraiser. For the past several years we have wanted to become more sustainable and earn a transparent income from our non-governmental activities, the problem has been that most of the programs we have offered are provided for those who have no money or in need our assistance. The time between program development and the effort it takes to subsequently raise funds often stalls or slows program formation.

The remedy is to have a constant source of funding (from business) so the organization can administer its programs quickly, efficiently and constantly develop new missions. Our involvement in the chocolate business will help us create such an annual funding source, fill social needs and being in a profitable business with the indigenous Piaroa tribe which will complement our international non-government organization profile with the United Nations.

Join Us as an Investor

We believe these are the best cocoa beans in the world, there are many factors that we can attribute to their taste and special flavor as well; unlike other cocoa beans these beans are from 'wild' forastero cacao trees, the trees do not receive any pesticides or chemical fertilizers, moreover they are harvested and cured using natural ecological methods.

Join our chocolate factory venture with the Piaroa tribe in a 'forest-to-bar' single-origin organic chocolate business. Our organization is providing operations and oversight management as well as operating the marketing/sales aspect of the business. Private shareholders and members are being accepted now by Ecology Crossroads, preferred shares are $10 each via Credit Card or by PayPal, investors can buy from 100 to 1,000 shares to become a shareholder or a member. You can read more about the opportunity online at the De'Aruhua Cacao website.

An invitation letter was delivered to all Globcal International members in late September several of them have signed onto the program development as investors or members including Maria Veneke-Ylikomi, Luis Cruz Diaz, Maya-Lis Wright, Nicholas Wright, Xi 'Alfred' Ng, Sonia Ceballos, and Clay Gordon; thank you all for joining the project. We are still expecting others to join us. You can learn more about the project and how the project came to be and how it is shaping up on their blog,