Abraham Molina, a farmer we work with through Nahua, breaks open a cacao pod.
Introducing Costa Rica 72% Dark
Starting last month, we’ve had a new single origin chocolate flowing through the factory and flying off the shelves. This special addition to our mainline of bars is a 72% dark Costa Rican chocolate and is sourced through our new farming partner, Nahua Cacao.
Nahua Cacao Making a Difference in Costa Rica
Nahua (pronounced /ˈnɑːwɑː/) works with 400 smallholder farmers to grow, process, and export Costa Rica’s leading fine flavor cacao. They pay farmers directly for their beans and pay premium prices that are 3x higher than the region’s competitors. This ensures that farmers earn a fair share of the crop value. During the harvesting season, Nahua staff visit farmers about every 15 days, pay them in person for the freshest beans, and take them to the headquarters to be fermented and dried before shipping them off.
Edwin Sibaja, Nahua farmer and local leader from Guastuso harvests cacao to be fermented and dried.
The founder, Juan Pablo Buchert, was looking for a way to marry his passion of creating social impact with his profession in business and sustainable development when he started Nahua Cacao. Now, the company is not only a thriving agricultural business, but serves as a hub for projects that focus on gender equality, empowering indigenous communities, health and nutrition, and bettering others’ lives.
Juan with Nahua farmers helping to weigh cacao at a collection site.
A shared value of social impact
Juan and his team believe that empowering others, especially those that have been disadvantaged in society, is the most important thing you can do through business. “If you are in cacao and you can develop a community of farmers that can have a better quality of living, it’s so important because they are the marginalized people in society. The model, actually, is not developing a farm. There’s no impact. But if you can buy from small farmers and pay a very good price, you are changing lives.”
Some of our Costa Rican farmers we work with through Nahua. Left to Right Top: Ciriaco Sevilla, Francisca Obando, Sonia Navas, and Maria Concepcion Velasquez. Bottom: Jose Santos Jose Eustasio Montano, Daisy Navas, and Edwin Arista
Nahua Cacao is all about community and so are we. After connecting with farmers and staff during our sourcing trip to Costa Rica last year, it was clear that we wanted to commit to supporting and buying cocoa beans from an organization that shares our values of putting farmers first and empowering others in the world. Cheers to our first-ever batch of Costa Rican chocolate and the start of this transparent, impact-focused partnership!