Our farms are where the magic begins. We are clear that, no matter how good a chocolatier you are, if the bean is not properly tended, the chocolate will not taste well. This is why we make sure that our processes follow rigorous standards, to ensure quality and consistency.
The cacao we are so proud of growing is unique for many reasons:
ORGANIC: We exclusively handle certified organic crops. By avoiding pesticides and other chemicals, we help preserve the health of our land, our families and of you, the consumer.
THE LAND: Esmeraldas is located right in the middle of the equatorial line, in one of the most biodiverse countries on earth: Ecuador. Our land is very fertile, allowing us to grow numerous kinds of plants, which in turn give back to the soil and influence the flavour of our cacao. Grown within shaded and wild plantations, our cacao absorbs unique profiles, making the bean so much more complex.
VARIETY: To make our Herencia chocolate bars, we only use one variety of cacao: “Fino de Aroma”. This species, native to Ecuador, differs from others, as it is one of the most complex cacaos out there. It is charged with wonderful organoleptic characteristics, not common in other chocolates, such as floral and fruity flavors.
Our Collection Centres
Each association member of Herencia Esmeraldas, has its own collection centre(s), making it a total of 10 collection centres. Located in different parts of the province, they all work with the same standards and procedures to ensure quality and consistency.
They all have three-level, 250 kg sized fermentation boxes allowing a proper process, and raised drying beds allowing even ventilation. We work with hygrometers and thermometers to ensure that humidity and temperature levels throughout the process are optimal. Along the process it is our duty to ensure a strict record regarding the origin and details about the procedure that allows us to account for traceability of our cacao beans at every moment.
To make and package our chocolate bars, we have partnered up with a local chocolate maker in the highlands of Ecuador, in Quito. As a third party within the process, they contribute in ensuring our cacao is at the right point for processing through humidity measurements, lab analysis and selecting each bean by hand.
The factory is compliant with national manufacturing standards (equivalent to HACCP), as well as up-to-date certifications for organic and Kosher.