Temperature: Maximum annual average of 30 – 32ºC and a minimum average of 18 – 21ºC.
Types: Catie R1.. catie R4.. catie R6 ICS.. PMCT 58
Rainfall: Variations in the yield of cocoa trees from year to year are affected more by rainfall than by any other climatic factor. Trees are very sensitive to a soil water deficiency. Rainfall should be plentiful and well distributed through the year. An annual rainfall level of between 1,500mm and 2,000mm is generally preferred. Dry periods, where rainfall is less than 100mm per month, should not exceed a period of three months.
Humidity: A hot and humid atmosphere is essential for the optimum development of cocoa trees. In cocoa producing countries, relative humidity is generally high: often as much as 100% during the day, falling to 70-80% during the night.
Light and shade: The cocoa tree will make optimum use of any light available and traditionally has been grown under shade. Its natural environment is the Amazonian forest which provides natural shade trees. Shading is indispensable in a cocoa tree’s early years
Background: is the primary variety grown in Southern Belize, south of the Columbia Forest Reserve. The natural habitat of the cocoa tree is in the lower region of the evergreen rainforest, and climatic factors, particularly temperature and rainfall, are important in encouraging optimum growth. The cacao trees are grown in densely populated forests where pod colors include: brown, yellow, green, orange and red.
FLOCert (stylised as FLOCERT) is the inspection and certification body for labelled Fairtrade. It is one of the two organizations which resulted from the January 2004 split of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International.
FLOCert inspects and certifies producer organizations in more than 120 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In order to guarantee the credibility of the Fairtrade Certification Mark, FLOCert operates an independent, transparent and worldwide consistent certification system that follows the requirements of ISO 17065, the international quality norm for certification bodies.
Soil Conditions and Packaging
Physical properties: Cocoa needs a soil containing coarse particles and with a reasonable quantity of nutrients, to a depth of 1.5m to allow the development of a good root system. Below that level it is desirable not to have impermeable material, so that excess water can drain away. Cocoa will withstand waterlogging for short periods, but excess water should
not linger. The cocoa tree is sensitive to a lack of water, so the soil must have both water retention properties and good drainage.
Chemical properties: The chemical properties of the topsoil are most important, as the plant has a large number of roots for absorbing nutrients. Cocoa can grow in soils with a pH in the range of 5.0-7.5. It can therefore cope with both acid and alkaline soil, but excessive acidity (pH 4.0 and below) or alkalinity (pH 8.0 and above) must be avoided. Cocoa is tolerant of acidic soils, provided the nutrient content is high enough. The soil should also have a high content of organic matter: 3.5% in the top 15 centimetres of soil. Soils for cocoa must have certain anionic and cationic balances. Exchangeable bases in the soil should amount to at least 35% of the total cation exchange capacity (CEC), otherwise nutritional problems are likely. The optimum total nitrogen / total phosphorus ratio should be around 1.5.
The pods are harvested manually by making a clean cut through the stalk with a well sharpened blade.
- In cascading boxes
- Turned Daily
- For 6 days before being laid out in the sun
- It is dried in open or in solar driers
- Shipments come in 80 LB (36.36 KG) quantities per bag; within “grain pro” bags as well as an outer polypropylene bag.
- The bulk of cacao is September – July harvesting is occurring, supplying is possible in very small quantities.
Main season is from March-April.
- Organically grown & Fairtrade (from the jungle region south of Columbia forest reserve)
- Hand Sorted for large higher quality beans
- Single Origin (from specific farm)
The beans we source are certified organic by Soil Association and Fairtrade by Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FlO).
Also certified by the Canadian Organic Regime (COR). The certification ensures that all activities meet international standards of ensuring that we work in harmony with natural ecosystems and contribute to the socio-cultural, economic and environmental development of the region.
Certification procedures are implemented and monitored under a comprehensive Internal Control System that is not limited to track farm and famer data, post- harvest handling, storage and shipping, production and sales, and quality. The certification department is headed by the Compliance officer and team of five extension officers and inspectors.
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