The mission of the Haitian Chocolate Project is to create U.S. demand for Haitian grown chocolate in a manner that builds capacity and infrastructure in Haiti.
Haiti has the potential to produce world class chocolate and through this create more Haitian jobs and sustainable economic development. Unfortunately, the historic lack of capital and infrastructure in Haiti has prevented high quality Haitian chocolate from being produced. Additionally, the exploitative purchasing practices of cacao speculators has forced farmers to take low prices for their cacao, from which chocolate is made. The Haitian Chocolate Project is a collaboration of experts across the chocolate supply chain who are seeking to change that.
Our goals are:
1. Increase awareness and demand for high quality Haitian grown chocolate, especially with U.S. consumers.
In many ways, chocolate is like wine. Different varieties, soils and growing practices can have significant influence on the final product. Growing conditions in Haiti share much with that of the Dominican Republic, a highly sought after origin for chocolate. In some expert opinions, Haiti's soil and conditions are even more ideal for creating a rich and flavorful cacao. Unfortunately, Haiti's recent history has prevented it from sharing its unique and special chocolate with the world. As a result, chocolate consumers, even specialty, craft chocolate consumers are unaware of Haiti has an origin for outstanding chocolate. By building awareness of the quality of Haitian cacao, we can help a wider audience appreciate and continue to seek out this excellent type of chocolate.
2. Reduce the number of intermediaries between farmers and consumers and ensure that Haitian cacao farmers receive a bigger piece of the pie (or in this case, chocolate bar).
It is unfortunately common in food production that farmers are the least rewarded participants in the production process. This is typically because of a high number of intermediaries between the farmer and the finished product, and because much of the value is created in the final stages of processing. Chocolate is no exception. Paying farmers better prices for high quality beans is just first step. In order for chocolate to be a truly transformative means of economic development, farmers and farmer cooperatives must be more involved in the actual process of making chocolate.