Grenada Chocolate Company
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The Grenada Chocolate Company Ltd. was established in 1999 by Mott Green, Doug Browne and Edmond Brown. Edmond Brown, the last surviving founder, lives on the island and works with a handful of co-workers who are all local. It produces organic dark chocolate in Grenada with its own cocoa beans. These are certified according to the USDA-NOP final rule by CERES (Certfier of Environmental Standards) GmbH and certified according to regulation EEC 2092/91 by CERES Gmbh. The factory is located in Grenada's rainforest.
The Grenada Chocolate Company produces single-origin 'tree-to-bar' chocolate in small batches on Grenada. Rare Trinitario cocoa beans are grown by members of the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative. The cocoa trees grow on small farms in the rainforest, protected by nutmeg, banana and mango trees. Harvesting is done year-round as the cocoa pods are ready, and the beans go up the hill to the Grenada Chocolate Company's small solar-powered factory to be made into chocolate. Cocoa beans are often sold in bulk and exported for processing and by making chocolate bars, which have a much higher value than beans alone, on the island, the Grenada Chocolate company ensures that maximum value is retained by the community that grows and makes the chocolate. This truly is fairly traded, "ethical" chocolate.
Grenada dark chocolate reflects the complex flavor of Grenada's fine-flavored organic cocoa beans, processed in small batches. Grenada grows almost entirely Trinitario cocoa with a few Forasteros and has one of the strongest, richest cocoas in the world partially due to the super-rich volcanic soil here and the hot sun. Producing chocolate where the cocoa grows allows the Grenada Chocolate Company to do their own fermenting, which is unique in the chocolate industry and which permits the creation of the finest, most complex taste from the beans. Use of their own (relatively low-pressure cocoa butter press) extracted cocoa butter enables extra richness and chocolaty flavor that has been recognised with a Silver Award from The Academy of Chocolate.
There are over 150 acres (0.61 km2) of organic cocoa farms in the cooperative from which the Grenada Chocolate Company sources its cacao. The company operates its own cocoa fermentry, located one mile (1.6 km) from their small factory. This allows all activities involved in the production of chocolate to be local, from the planting and growing of the cocoa trees to the fermenting of the fresh cocoa beans to the processing of chocolate. The Grenada Chocolate Company uses cacao that is grown organically without the use of any chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
- Organic chocolate bars of 60%, 71%, 82% and 100% cacao, as well as 60% with nibs and 71% with sea salt
- Cacao powder
- Truffles and confections, available locally
- SweetyPodsTM, organic chocolate pieces in the shape of cocoa pods
- Smilo cocoa powder (only available locally)
The Grenada Chocolate Company sugar is a fine organic raw sugar produced and milled by an organic growers' cooperative in Paraguay. Whole organic vanilla beans grown biodynamically in Costa Rica provide their "dash" of vanilla; organic soy lecithin is used as emulsifier in extremely small amounts. As the ingredients are so pure and simple, all chocolate is guaranteed to be free of any nuts, fruit or dairy, even in trace amounts.
The Grenada Chocolate Company is one of the only small-scale chocolate-makers producing fine chocolate in a country where the cocoa grows. Madecasse, in Madagascar and AMMA Chocolate, in Brazil are other examples. Because small batch chocolate-making is very rare, they created their own processing methods, designing machines and refurbishing antique equipment to meet the requirements of their unique situation. Most of their machines are based on designs from the early 1900s. About 25% of the energy needed to power their machinery is generated from photovoltaic solar panels.
The stated aim of the company is to revolutionize the cocoa-chocolate system that typically keeps cocoa production separate from chocolate-making and therefore takes advantage of cocoa farmers. The Grenada Chocolate Company claim that the cocoa farmers should benefit as much as the chocolate-makers.
According to one of the founders, it's more than procrastination that's kept them from filing the paperwork: Fair trade chocolate companies still, almost exclusively, process the value-added product in the first world with raw materials they import from the equatorial belt where cocoa grows. In that way, even the fair-trade system perpetuates a cycle the founders of the Grenada Chocolate Co. are determined to break. "They're buying cocoa from the south part of the world to bring it to the north part of the world," Green said. "But what we're doing can effectively make sure that the people doing the work are actually part of the process."
- O'Sullivan, Maggie (4 April 2006). "Silver lining to every cloud". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-05-31.
...we stop at the Grenada Chocolate Factory. This tiny solar-powered factory, painted in jolly Caribbean colours, uses organically grown cocoa to produce dar chocolate, made in small batches on antique machinery. Desmond, who talks our little group of visitors through the various stages of production, tells us that each bitter-sweet slab takes three days to produce and that they are all wrapped by hand. The chocolate that was being processed at the time of the hurricane was made into special Hurricane Ivan bars and sold through the British chocolate shop, Rococo Chocolates, in aid of Hearts and Hands of Grenada; a Hurricane Emily bar will be launched this summer.
- "The Academy of Chocolate Awards 2008". Academy of Chocolate. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
- Young, Lauren (8 February 2008). "Making the World Better Through Chocolate". Business Week. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
In addition to using organic and farm-fresh ingredients, plenty of chocolate makers are trying to tread lightly on the earth, too. Take Grenada Chocolate (www.grenadachocolate.com) in Grenada, West Indies. It gets 25% of the electricity used to run its factory from solar power.
- Pickup, Gilly. "The laid-back Caribbean island of Grenada". Sunday Sun (England). Retrieved 2009-05-31.
...it was off into the rainforest to visit the Grenada Chocolate Company factory. The word "factory", though, gives the wrong impression. The premises look just like someone's rather humble home. Inside this chocoholic's dream, the smell of rich organic chocolate fills your senses. There are no stringent health and safety rules here to interfere with the creation of some of the most delicious chocolate bars ever . . . among the world's most expensive, too, at around £45 per kilo. A system is in place which ensures that the workers are paid the same. Vintage and handmade machinery is used to meet the requirements of small- batch chocolate making, while solar energy powers the machines, including the ancient cocoa-roaster. The chocolate — produced in 30C-plus temperatures — is definitely the scrummiest I have tasted.
- Subramanian, Meera (12 June 2007). "Dark chocolate goes green". Salon (Salon Media Group, Inc). Retrieved 2009-05-31.