Wine News

The chocolate trade is based on ‘colonialism and slavery’, but things are changing Wine News

It is an inflammatory substance and, Coady admits, this system is justified by the fact that it is “very difficult” to make chocolate in hot climates because it requires a cool, dry environment to take on the bright, crisp consistency that it is. is the mark of a good bar. But it also means that, according to the Fairtrade Foundation, only six percent of what we pay for a bar of chocolate goes back to cocoa farmers and much of the rest remains in the developed world.

The Grenada Chocolate Company was founded in 1999 to challenge this. Mott Green had dropped out of college in Pennsylvania and was living “off the grid” in a hut on the Caribbean island. He was intrigued by the chocolate drink the locals made from homemade roasted beans and coarse grains and wondered why “good” chocolate couldn’t be produced there.

Green helped start a cooperative of organic farmers and at the Belmont Estate in Granada he perfected the techniques of drying, fermenting and roasting the beans, creating a factory to produce real chocolate. The Grenada Chocolate Company became the first company to produce high quality chocolate in the country where the beans are grown.

In 2012, I visited the company in Granada as they started shipping some of their bars to Europe via a zero emission sailboat. Green picked me up from the harbor side and I sat in the back of his van, hanging onto the ground as he drove at breakneck speed around winding nutmeg-lined lanes to the factory: a brightly colored residential building on the outskirts of Hermitage, a town in the north of the island, surrounded by banana trees and opposite a house belonging to the Prime Minister.

It was only a run of a few hundred yards, through a stream bordered by stepping stones and up a steep slope, to see the cocoa trees. Their rugby ball pods grew strangely, straight from the trunks, in all shades of orange, yellow, green and red – a sign of the precious biodiversity of the trinitario trees. A farmer sliced ​​a pod with his machete and we sucked the tangy lime and sorbet pulp from the pale purple beans, each the size of a Brazil nut, as we made our way back to the factory.

Co-founder Doug Browne had passed away in 2008, but Green and Edmond Brown continued the business using refurbished older machines alongside gadgets handcrafted by Green, an engineer by training. A small “lab” – more like a cupboard – housed an air conditioning unit where the heat-sensitive parts of the process were carried out, as well as the hand-wrapping of each bar. After the old Italian conching machines – which grind chocolate liqueur down to the sublime silky smoothness we expect – a Heath-Robinsonian arrangement of car jacks squeezed the beans to extract the precious cocoa butter. Green himself slept on a mattress in a bare room upstairs near the roasters, Caribbean breezes blowing from the lanai.

The car jacks are in place to this day, Coady tells me, but the mattress was gone by the time I returned two years later. Mott Green was killed in an electrical accident in 2013. Edmond Brown was – and still is – heavily involved and by that time Coady, via Rococo, had partnered with the company. But two years ago Rococo went into administration, and while a buyer was found, Coady reluctantly left and was no longer involved in the business she created.

Although she is deeply unhappy with the split – especially since money was owed to the Grenada Chocolate Company – she admits: supporting chocolate [workers]. “

She embarked on the creation of a new company, the Chocolate Detective (subtitle: “The best chocolate discovered by Chantal Coady”), through which she sells both her own creations and those of reputable manufacturers ( its “organized collection” includes bird eggs made from praline and chocolate hazelnuts of Ecuadorian origin, which are particularly coveted). It aims to shed light on chocolate production, by making quality, ethically produced chocolate more available. The company sports a logo designed by illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, whom Coady met through Rococo’s work with the Roald Dahl Foundation.

Coady’s commitment to Grenada Chocolate Co remains unwavering. The company remains a pioneer, she emphasizes. Since its inception in 1999, countless small businesses around the world have taken the bean-to-the-bar route, shipping beans and turning them into chocolate, with the help of CocoaTown, an Indian-American company that turned countertop spice grinders into affordable spice grinders. small conching machines for artisan chocolate makers. But very few of them still practice what Coady calls “tree-to-bar” production, where the entire chocolate journey is transparent. The Grenada Chocolate Co still buys all its beans from the farmers’ cooperative and supports the farmers by providing them with assistance with land management and agriculture, as well as paying a premium of 65% on the standard price of the beans. .

Now she has a new goal, because the Granada Chocolate Company needs help. The owners of the factory building want to return it to residential use and therefore new premises have to be found. Coady has set up a crowdfunding page to raise £ 10,000 for the design of a new solar-powered factory that will secure the future of the business as well as the farmers and workers behind the chocolate. The rewards for donations include lots of chocolate bars, which will arrive in time for Christmas, and the simple act of purchasing the bars supports Grenadian farmers.

It could be real guilt-free chocolate: not promoted by the Healthy Eating Squad, but chocolate that you can really feel good about eating.;

Other ethical bars to try

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-11-08 05:00:00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *