With a yearly production of approximately 220 thousand tonnes, Indonesia is the world’s third largest cacao producer. However, due to the rapid growth of the industry, many of the smallhold farmers used for national production struggle to afford the materials and maintenence required to produce high quality cacao. Therefore, it is more important than ever to offer a fair price and work with plantations that support the local community.
The Kebun Kendeng Lembu Estate is a government funded Cacao Plantation that employs local workers in order to support the local community, whilst investing in a sustainable future for farming and producing incredible quality cacao beans.
Java Light Breaking cacao is simply world-class and is a testament to how cacao in this region should taste: its unique genetics, the volcanic soils it grows on, and 3 day fermentation in wooden boxes result in a complex flavour. The beans are are remarkably white, and have a distinctive caramel and spicy flavour; making for a delicious chocolate... in fact, it is our expert chocolatier Louise's favourite!
Malagasy cacao is a very unique and rare, with only 0.1% of world cacao production coming from Madagascar. The first cacao trees were brought to the island in 1822 and since then they have adapted to the Malagasy climate and soil, resulting in unique hybrids of criollo, trinitario and forastero varieties.
Antsamala farm is a family run cacao plantation, nested on the banks of the Sambirano River. With distinct spicy, woody and nutty flavours, this cacao is quite different from other cacaos on the island. With the unique growing conditions and carefully designed post-harvesting process resulting in the unique, soft chocolatey flavour profile.
Cacao has been grown in the Soconusco region of Mexico for centuries, with the Mayans and the Aztecs using the precious ingredient in rituals and as gifts. In fact, more than 300 years after the Spanish conquest the Spanish Royal family continued to receive its household chocolate from the region. Giving the cacao its name 'royal cacao'.
We source our 'royal cacao' from Champolapita Organic; a cooperative of 60 family farmers, all of which are indigenous farming familes for whom cacao is a substantial source of income.
The Soconusco Chantuto cacao grows under the canopy of the forest and are intercropped with mandarins, oranges, coffee and other crops. The cacao is characterized by balanced acidity and a full chocolaty body. It has nutty flavours with notes of dry fruits, prunes, and hints of spices, such as pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. A unique flavour indeed, it is a fantastic
ingredient for chocolate makers.
The Idukki hills are part of the Western Ghats mountain range; a biodiversity hotspot with tropical forests and a diversity of flora and fauna.
Cacao was not an important crop for the farmers in Idukki until the arrival of Ellen andLuca, a Belgian-Italian couple with a passion for driving change in rural communities. They founded GoGround with the purpose to support farmers to grow
premium cacao whilst receiving a premium payment.
Idukki Organic cacao is characterized by a chocolaty profile with a pleasant smooth and creamy texture. The fresh tones of green apple are followed by an interesting spicy flavour development with hints of sea salt, cardamom, black pepper, and even
white wine, finishing with notes of nuts and dried fruits.
The Franceschi family from Corsica settled in Sucre State in 1830, where they started a cacao plantation. From generation to generation the family has been involved in cacao production. The past decades the Franceschis focused on preserving and improving the quality of Venezuelan cacao, together with farmers and other stakeholders in the industry.
Rio Caribe cacao grows in Sucre State, where the climate is described as ‘hot and oppressive’. Temperature varies so little throughout the year that there is no cold season; although people might find this climate unappealing; cacao trees prosper in the warmth and humidity.
The result of the climate, soil and genetics give Rio Caribe its beatiful flavour profile; producing beans that are low in acidity, and have an intense and strong chocolaty body with sweet, nutty and floral hints.
We are proud to be one of the few UK producers to craft chocolate from bean to bar. As farmers ourselves, we know that good food starts on the farm, so our priority is sourcing incredible cacao from small scale growers in rare origins around the world. We believe in chocolate that is both environmentally & economically sustainable, from forest to food hall.
Once the sacks land at Darts Farm, our lengthy six stage process begins. In small batches, Chocolatier Louise carefully roasts the beans, before cracking the shell to release the nib. We then grind the nibs in our granite mixer, the ‘conche’, for up to 55 hours before aging our chocolate in 5kg bricks for 2-3 weeks. Finally, we melt it down to create bars, truffles & all things chocolate!
In this month’s blog, Michael Dart explores the wonders of our very own Exe Estuary...
Courgette Flowers are a real summer treat here on the farm and we love this delicious recipe!
Over this 6 week course, well known Devon Landscape photographer, Adrian Oakes, will take you on a wonderful photographic voyage, teaching you the basics, from learning about the different settings on your camera, through to shooting landscapes, people and animals.
It’s time to get creative, hand making your very own owl using locally sourced, sustainable & natural willow. With brilliant local artist and sculptor, Victoria Westaway, on hand to help you every step of the way, this relaxed & informative workshop is perfect for all abilities!
Dine at home with ingredients used by world-class chefs! Our Spring Roast Hampers include everything that you need for a succulent lamb roast... including a box of Rococo Chocolate Eggs for a sweet treat!