An Exciting Update on Sara and Andres' Journey Across Ecuador!
Exploring the Cristóbal region of the Ecuador’s incredible Chocó Cloud Forest was an incredible opportunity for our colleagues, Sara and Andres.
Meeting with many of the small-scale farmers that we’ve partnered with in the region, we were able to gain a renewed appreciation of the incredible kindness, dedication and generosity of our Ecuadorian friends.
Hiking for three hours into the forest to stay with Marjorie, the president of her village’s farmers’ association, we feel incredibly touched by the unconditional hospitality that we received upon our arrival in this remote, scarcely visited region.
Making incredibly long, difficult journeys on foot in order to access their farms and deliver their crops to the nearest village, the farmers of Marjorie’s association are an incredible collection of people. Staunchly invested in the success and wellbeing of their local community, and undertaking their work with a deep, abiding respect for the health of the ancient woodland that surrounds their farms, they’ve been ideal partners and valued friends at every step of the way.
Witnessing the day to day lives of our parters across the region renewed our belief in the power of chocolate as a tool to enact real, positive change. After being blessed by the opportunity to spend time in one of the planet’s most beautiful and unique great forests, we were also strengthened in our resolve to ensure that we continue to use our business as a vehicle to promote ethical, sustainable farming and agroforestry methods.
Signing an agreement with the association that commits us to buying 1.5 tonnes of their cacao crop annually for three years, the farmers of this special, precious region agreed in turn to continue the good work that they’ve been doing to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the forest around them. Armed with the financial stability that this agreement provides, our partners can now refuse to use pesticides and harmful chemicals without fear of loosing out financially. Promising not to deforest the Cristobal region any further, our friends were also happy to recommit themselves to the protection of many unique key species that inhabit Ecuador’s Cloud Forest.
Additionally on our part, we offered to provide our friends with extra support. By helping these farmers to get as much as possible out of their harvests by helping them to access specialist training and equipment, we want to help Cristobal’s farmers to become a more educated, equipped and empowered workforce, with full agency and control over the course of their own futures.