Our philosophy is that great chocolate is born in the field. In other words, it starts with the best quality cacao beans. Therefore, at Shattell we go above and beyond to build strong and lasting relationships with the cacao farmers we work with through direct trade. We do this by proving the community of farmers we work with a great value for the extra work they put on harvesting, fermenting and drying the cocoa beans for us.
This great value comes in the form of monetary compensation, paying nearly 3 times more than market value for our cacao beans, and also in the form of facilitating training and mentoring on organic farming best practices, fruit selection and fermentation process, which increases the value of each harvest and ensures the best quality for the cacao beans we source. We also provide field training and internships in our chocolate factory. That is the essence of how we give back to the communities we work with.
We’re always reminded that many of the farmers we work with used to grow coca plants, which is a dangerous practice because it’s not only illegal, but it also puts farmers in harms way because of the dangerous exchange with narcotraffickers. Therefore, our mission is to help them realize a higher economic value from cacao farming, so they don’t have to go back to growing coca plants.