About our chocolate

Our Fairtrade sugar comes from cooperatives in Paraguay and Belize. Most of our Fairtrade cocoa comes from cooperatives in Ghana (Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited Ghana). We also source beans from cooperatives in the Dominican Republic, Peru, Panama and Ecuador. Depending on what we are making our chocolate is blended in Belgium, Switzerland or in the UK. It is then moulded and packed in the UK.

'Food of the Gods'

The Latin name for the cocoa tree is Theobroma Cacao which means ‘Food of the Gods’. Chocolate is actually made from a fruit – the cocoa bean.  Each cocoa pod contains about 40 almond-sized beans – enough to make about eight bars of milk chocolate or four bars of dark chocolate. 

A cocoa tree will produce two harvests per year of about 50 pods. When a cocoa pod is ripe it will turn red, yellow or orange. Most cocoa trees are cultivated on small farms in amongst other rain forest crops such as maize and bananas.  

West Africa has been the centre of world cocoa cultivation for over 60 years and today produces 70% of the world’s cocoa. The biggest producer in the world is the Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana. Cocoa is also grown in Nigeria and Cameroon.

The chocolate from our buttons comes from the Dominican Foundation of Organic Producers. In the year 2,000 the Foundation had 84 members. Today it has more than 1000 organised in to small farmer cooperatives in the main production areas. 

In recent years The Dominican Foundation has invested the Fair Trade premium (a cash donation which is paid in addition to the fair price) into the following projects:
• Renovation of cocoa trees in the farms
• Introduction and distribution of new plant material to the farmers
• Community projects (Building of wells and improvements of roads)
• Strengthening of the technical and management capacities

To sustain the farmers we work with partners who commit to

Purchasing the entire crop of the FUNDOPO members and paying a bonus price for organic and Fair trade quality
• Pre-financing the production and the harvest costs
• Financing the organic certification
• Providing training and advice on agricultural and social topics through a team of highly motivated agronomists
• Contributing to strengthen farmers organizations
• Providing high quality crafted cocoa seedlings at cost price from YACAO’ s own Clonal Garden

What is high quality/luxury chocolate?
High quality chocolate has certain characteristics. A high cocoa content, longer manufacturing process to improve flavour and texture and no artificial ingredients.

Our high quality chocolate is created using specially selected Fairtrade beans and sugar. The roast, grind and mixing of the chocolate is done to a high standard using a Belgian recipe which means it is smooth and creamy. Our fine/luxury chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa mass (35% for milk and 71% dark) and is combined with rich cocoa butter. Unlike cheap chocolate our chocolate contains no vegetable (Palm oil) or animal fats, and no artificial flavouring ingredients.

Is your chocolate allergy free?

Our chocolate contains natural ingredients. Each product has its own allergy information so please check each product listing.

Does your chocolate contain palm oil?
No. In the UK it is possible to add 5% vegetable fat to chocolate. Unlike some larger manufacturers, we don't add any palm oil or any other oils to our chocolate. It's just natural chocolate.

Is you chocolate suitable for vegetarians?
Yes, our chocolate is made with natural cocoa butter and contains no vegetable fat substitutes.

Why is your chocolate not more healthy?

Our aim is to make chocolate that most people can enjoy as a treat and as part of a balanced diet. We use the best natural ingredients in our chocolate. If we replaced natural cocoa butter or sugar with highly processed artificial alternatives then fewer people would enjoy it. So we say enjoy our chocolate but be treat wise.

Why is your chocolate not 100% Fairtrade?
All the cocoa and sugar used to make our chocolate is certified Fairtrade. Some ingredients are not yet certified as Fairtrade.

Certification

All our Chocolate is Fairtrade certified. Our Chunky buttons use a Fairtrade organic blend which, although organic, do not carry the organic logo on the bags. None of our products are Halal or Kosha certified. For full nutritional information see the packaging images on the resources section of our website or the specific page for each product in our shop.