Cocoa from Brazil
In 2018 Naturata began offering a dark chocolate with 70 % cocoa. The Demeter cocoa used to make it, preferably the Trinitario variety, is sourced from the Cabruca Cooperative in Brazil.
Cocoa from Brazil
Cocoa has always had an important role to play in Brazil. As far back as the 17th century, cocoa was grown in the south of the federal state of Bahia. This region is also covered by a large section of the Atlantic Rainforest. At the end of the 19th century, Brazil had advanced to become the largest cocoa producer in the world. Cultivation was badly hit in the 1990s, however, by the consequences of the so-called “witches’ broom”. This fungal disease, introduced from Amazonas state, caused cocoa production to drop to a fifth of previous levels.
This led to serious social consequences in Bahia. Many farm workers lost their jobs. At the same time, long-overdue measures were called for to protect the Atlantic Rainforest in response to the alarming rate of deforestation threatening it.
Our responsibility to man and nature
The solution was Cabruca. The name refers back to the traditional cultivation method used in Brazil over 200 years ago. It was developed by the first settlers and can be considered the forerunner of current agroforestry systems (the agricultural methodology which combines elements of land cultivation and tree farming). Here, the cocoa plants stand in the shade of the rainforest. The giant trees are not felled; instead small clearings are created which allow the cocoa shoots to grow in an intact ecosystem. No artificial irrigation systems are required, and the nutrient-rich rainforest soil means there is no need for chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, the plants are considerably more resistant to pests and disease.
This traditional farming method offers protection to many plant and animal species, such as the golden-headed tamarin, which can be observed more frequently in Cabruca forests than elsewhere.
The Cabruca Cooperative was founded at the end of 2000 and is made up of around 42 family-run businesses. Its members are small and medium-sized agricultural operations which together control more than 4,000 hectares of land, much of it left in its natural state. More than 1,000 people belong to the Cabruca community: family members, employees, seasonal workers and service providers.
The aim of the cooperative is to promote and improve sustainable agriculture by means of certified organic or Demeter cultivation. The Cabruca cultivation methods encourage diversification in agriculture. Alongside cocoa, vanilla, guava, rubber and bananas are grown and harvested.
Protection of the rainforest and the further development of the Cabruca system secure the future of generations to come. The cooperative is committed to continuing to improve the living conditions of its farm workers and their families, in order to offer them a vision of the future and to combat migration from the land to the cities.