Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Geographical Indicators (and their place--and potential--in Chocolate)

Thus far in the development of the specialty chocolate & cacao economy, there's been very little exploration of the use of geographical indicators to discipline and add value to specific markets and production regions. The only major exception is the Chuao growing region in Venezuela, justifiably famous worldwide (for several hundred years now) for its fine flavor cacao. In 2000, the Empresa Campesina de Chuao y MPC Aragua--which cooperatively manages all sales of Chuao cacao--was granted recognition of its appellation of origin, becoming the first region in the cacao-growing world to do so.

(The video below is of the historic 'patio de secado' in front of the town's colonial church.)

At Bittersweet, we very much hope that this current-day exception will eventually become the rule, and that unique and high-quality cacao regions around the world will begin to make use of geographical indicators to enhance and control the value and quality of their crops.


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