Free Range Chocolate
ARLINGTON, Mass., April 1, 2010 – After two years of searching cacao plantations in Asia, Africa, and South America, NewLeaf Chocolates has secured a limited supply of Free Range cacao for a new chocolate bar to be released later this year. Free Range Chocolate is the latest in a string of ethically-traded products to consume the chocolate world. Genevieve Oba, Co-founder of NewLeaf Chocolates explains: “Today, organic and fair trade are not enough. People need to know that the cacao trees are being treated gently and with compassion. We created Free Range Chocolate because our customers are concerned with the wellbeing of cacao trees around the world.”
In order to be certified as Free Range, growers are not allowed to cut cacao pods from the trees since cutting can result in scaring and discomfort for the trees. Instead the pods must fall naturally and only when they are ready. According to Chuck (no last name), a 27th generation cacao farmer from Madagascar: “It takes tremendous patience to wait for the pods to drop from the trees so that we can collect them. Sometimes there is a little bit of bruising on the outside of the pods (see photo), but it doesn’t affect the cacao beans inside… that much… really.”
Chester McGillicutty, Director of Aimful Cacao Wandering for NewLeaf Chocolates, explains: “At first we had difficulty gaining the cooperation of cacao farmers, but then we found a plantation on a small island north of Madagascar. It’s only accessible by canoe through shark-infested waters, but the beans we bring out are phenomenal. The flavors in the chocolate are reminiscent of composted provincial lavender, Himalayan Sherpa sweat, and south-pacific sea-cucumber. ” As of now, there is only one plantation in the world certified Free Range by Free Agricultural Range Certification Enterprises (F.A.R.C.E) and its European Equivalent, Certification pas Restrictive de Regional Agricultique Programme.
A date for the release of the Free Range chocolate bars has not been set.
ABOUT NEWLEAF CHOCOLATES
NewLeaf Chocolates is a unique online shop for premium and artisan chocolates. They strive to protect the planet in everything they do and affirm this commitment in three tangible ways: by donating a portion of all sales to environmental charity, by continuously innovating within their GreenPod sustainable packaging initiative, and by focusing their offering on the world’s best organic and fair trade chocolates. NewLeaf Chocolates is a member of 1% for the Planet.