As the thirteenth-largest cacao producing country in the world and the second-largest organic cacao producer, Peru is certainly an up-and-coming exporter of this nutrient-packed superfood. Ten percent of Peruvian cacao is exported to the UK, and that number is expected to grow as Peru continues to expand its place in the global economy.
There are many reasons why Peru cultivates some of the best cacao out there. From using sustainable cultivation methods in diverse ecosystems to empowering local cooperatives, it’s easy to see why you should buy Peruvian.
Peruvian cacao and cultivation
Peru specialises in three types of cacao: trinitary, Amazon foreign, and Creole cacao. In fact, it’s one of the only places in the world that produces the Creole variety (aptly nicknamed “the Queen of Cacao,”) which is considered the highest-quality cacao in the world. Unlike most cacao, Creole has a naturally sweet taste, and is free from the bitterness of most beans in their natural form.
Experts consider Peru to be one of the best cacao production areas in the world because of its rich soil and varied climate. In many parts of Peru, local farmers have a high level of involvement not only in growing cacao, but also in fermenting and drying it. This means that the true experts are the ones who are preparing the cacao for consumption. Their livelihoods depend on perfecting these techniques, so you can be sure they’re putting their hearts and souls into every stage of production.
The best cacao producing regions also benefit from the help of agricultural engineers who help farmers devise new ways of producing high-quality beans year after year. It’s no wonder Peru’s cacao trade is booming!
Sustainability through agroforestry
Most of Peru’s small farms – of which over forty percent belong to local farmer cooperatives – are produced in the midst of agroforests. This means that farmers are taught and encouraged to grow their cacao trees, not in traditional fields, but interspersed among the forests of Peru, where the plants originally grew.
This is especially true in organic cacao production. Rather than cultivating GMOs that are bred to be disease-resistant, many organic Peruvian cacao farmers use the ecosystem that’s already in place to ensure that their plants are strong. Using agroforestry to grow cacao also naturally promotes biodiversity among the plants. And it certainly helps that Peru is one of the most biodiverse places in the world!
Cacao grown in agroforests also reaps the benefits of the strong, fertile soil, which means the plants are more durable, healthier, and ultimately better for consumption. Agroforestry is far more sustainable than traditional farming methods because it requires no clear cutting of forests. When you buy organic Peruvian cacao, not only do you know you have a superior product, but you can also do so with a clear conscience.
Diversity of product
Traditionally, cacao butter has been Peru’s main cacao export, but in recent years, it has expanded by selling cacao beans, liquor, and even paste for chocolate production. Beans in particular have seen a 500% rise in exports as more and more people learn about the superior quality of Peruvian cacao.
A promise of quality
Because cacao production has become such an important part of the Peruvian economy, regulations have been put in place to ensure that only the highest-quality beans are exported. Peru considers its international trade agreements between the United States, Canada, Europe, and China of extreme importance, and therefore strives to satisfy the international community with its product. When you buy Peruvian cacao, you can be certain you’re receiving what’s among the highest quality cacao in the world.
Organic Cacao from Peru
The cacao powder from Some Good is from the Tropics of Peru, at the bottom of the western slope of the Andes mountain range, where the conditions for the cultivation of cacao trees is ideal. Linda Firth from consumer website, LoveMyVouchers.co.uk has tried a few different varieties of cacao powder, but none have impressed her more than this particular brand. She adds, “I decided to try the Some Good Cacao Powder because it was organic, and it was well known to me that Peruvian cacao is amongst the best in the world. I was certainly not disappointed. The hot drink I made with this is so smooth, full of flavour and an absolutely delicious treat.”
The Some Good Organic Cacao is just £4.99 for 140g, and can be blended into a shake, taken on its own, or made into a hot drink.