What is Peruvian Bagua cocoa
Il Peruvian Bagua cocoa is one of the oldest varieties of cocoa grown in Peru, in the tropical region of Bagua, which is located in the province of Amazonas. It seems that it was known as early as 3000 BC and that the Mayo Chinchipe populations they used it for the preparation of drinks.
It is a highly sought after variety, from light color and from aromatic and delicate flavor. Nowadays it is used to produce fine products chocolate bars, dark or milk.
Plants mostly grow spontaneously, except for some crops on a small scale.
In recent years this supply chain has been "discovered" by fair trade market. Several companies, including the country, have invested in projects aimed at enhancing this quality product, while improving working and social conditions of the subjects involved in the entire production cycle, from the field to the shelf.
The production of cocoa
As we read in this interview, the cocoa produced in Bagua is almost entirely Creole cocoa, considered the rarest in the world.
This plant has never been hybridized by man, needs very constant care and has one lower productivity than other varieties; a factor which is amply compensated by his own superior quality.
La cocoa processing it is very special. When they are still fresh, i seeds are odorless and they taste bitter and astringent. Their pulp is made ferment for a few days, to ensure that the phenolic compounds undergo oxidations that vary the color, taste and smell of the seeds.
After fermentation, the seeds are dried and toasted, thus acquiring the characteristic flavor and aroma of cocoa.
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Why fair trade cocoa
The fair trade circuits undertake to pay the farmer a lowest price, which ensures its subsistence. Several international projects also go a step further by starting training programs to ensure that crops become more and more efficient and productive.
This issue is particularly urgent in the cocoa supply chain. Fair trade, the international fair trade certification mark, emphasizes that in just one year i world cocoa prices fell by more than a third.
To pay the consequences are the farmers, which in most cases are the weakest link in the supply chain.
From a Fair Trade study it emerges that the average income of an Ivorian peasant family it amounts to only $ 2.600 a year, a much lower figure than the $ 6.133 a year that is essential in that area to maintain a decent standard of living.
Pay a few extra cents for a bar of chocolate, for us Westerners, it makes little difference. But it is a small gesture of responsibility with which we contribute to ensuring a better life for farmers in the global South.
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Credit foto: serezniy