Rio Nuevo Chocolate and Falmouth University's visionary Design team have come together for a project that seeks to boost sustainability, and strengthen the ties between academic innovation and real-world impact.
A Ripple of Impact
The secret to crafting high-quality, flavourful chocolate isn't just about the type of cacao; it's also about what happens after the fruit is harvested. Fermentation is the key to unlocking the full potential of cacao flavour, unveiling those fruity, nutty, floral, and caramel-like notes we all love.
Sadly, many farmers have been unable to dive into proper cacao fermentation due to limited training, resources, and economic challenges. As a result, their incredible harvests often go untapped.
We're changing that narrative. Together with Falmouth University, we're developing solutions that empower our farmers, boost their livelihoods, and elevate the quality of their produce.
The Heart of the Matter: A Farmer-Centred Project
Our mission? To revolutionise post-harvest cacao production and empower our incredible farmers.
We're crafting adaptable fermentation boxes that not only tap into the wisdom of our local experts but also seamlessly adjust to the unique conditions of the Cloud Forest, where our farmers grow the cacao we use in our delicious chocolate.
These versatile fermentation units will be designed to cater to varying volumes, handle temperature fluctuations, and make the most of locally available materials. In doing so, we empower our farmers to boost their production and nurture a sustainable cocoa ecosystem.
"The team will develop the prototype, test and evaluate it, and then share the knowledge and measure its impact with the farmers, chocolate producer, and local community. A perfect example of Knowledge Exchange activity. This project also demonstrates how our talented technical staff can make a real and social difference, leading significant projects with international reach and providing a valuable case study."
Andy Harbert, Technical & Facilities Manager at Falmouth University
A Unique Connection: Rio Nuevo's Founder and Falmouth University
The roots of this exciting collaboration run deep. Rio Nuevo's founder, Sara Castaneda, a former graduate of Falmouth University, felt a profound connection to the place that nurtured her passion for sustainability, design and innovation. It was only natural that when the opportunity arose to collaborate it was seised with enthusiasm.
"Working with Falmouth University represents more than just a professional partnership; it's a homecoming filled with excitement and nostalgia. The chance to give back, to merge knowledge with experience, and to contribute to something greater is a dream come true for Rio Nuevo Chocolate"
Throughout this collaboration, we've had the honor of working closely with Andy Harbert, Falmouth University's Technical & Facilities Manager. Working alongside Andy and his team of design technicians has been a real inspiration. Their unwavering enthusiasm for this project, even when hailing from diverse disciplines, serves as a testament to the broader implications of sustainability and interdisciplinary collaboration.
At its core, this project revolves around our shared commitment to sustainability and empowering the unsung heroes of the cacao world – our farmers. But the impact of this project extends far beyond the Cloud Forest. It reaches across continents to touch lives and communities on the other side of the world. By investing in the knowledge and capabilities of our farmers, we create a ripple effect of positive change that resonates globally.
Join us and follow us on this incredible journey as we work hand in hand with our friends from Falmouth University, turning knowledge into action and making a real impact.