Forum Activity for @Joseph Meza

Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
05/25/16 01:11:50PM
7 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I wonder if anyone knows of an easy way to measure cocoa butter content in cocoa liquor, or in chocolate

Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
08/03/14 01:07:51PM
7 posts

Supplier of organic cocoa beans, nibs and powder in small quantities-advice/recommendation needed.


Posted in: Classifieds

Hi Samson

I work with a cooperative in Ecuador, they can supply you with the beans, I can supply you with nibs, cocoa powder, cocoa liquor and cocoa butter. The beans are raw, but I roast the beans to make all the other products

Joseph Meza
Mindo Chocolate
jose@mindochocolate.com
Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
09/12/11 10:48:08AM
7 posts

better pricing for better cacao


Posted in: Opinion

Emily, I am so glad that someone else is doing what I want to do. I am in Ecuador. Me and my wife have a chocolate company( we make chocolate) it is called Mindo Chocolate Makers. Recently I have focused on trying to help the small farmers by finding small chocolate makers that are interested in using extremely good cacao. I want to train the farmers to do the fermentation and drying. We want to do an inspection after they are done with the dry cacao. They are only using the Nacional variety. The idea is to have the chocolate makers meet the farmers and start a relationship that would be beneficial to both of them. We in turn would qualify the beans and set up the shipping to the US via ocean boats. If enough chocolate makers can be found we can ship one container at the time. Containers are usually 20 tons. I have met with many farmers so far, they are all interested. So as far as the farmers are concerned, there are enough of them.

If there are any chocolate makers out there that may be interested, please email me. Joemeza117@gmail.com

Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
08/29/11 07:24:35AM
7 posts

better pricing for better cacao


Posted in: Opinion

Ivan thanks for your response. However you paint a very grim picture of the state of the farmers in Ecuador. You are right to certain extent, but the majority of farmers that I have met are much more optimistic and informed. They also see the big picture, if they change some of their practices, they can improve their lot. Not all are living from hand to mouth.

What we have to realize here is that as producers of chocolate (I consider myself a very small producer) we are looking for the best cacao we can find. We cant all grow our own cacao. Over 90% of cacao is grown in small lots 1 to 2 hectares, by individual farmers. That is the reality. They can grow exceptional cacao if given the chance, but it wont happen unless they earn more for their troubles. I have met with them, seen their farms, they want to change.

I am also in a very unique position; I have a place in Ecuador. I do all my post harvest process in Ecuador in my property. I buy the cacao en baba and ferment and dry on my site. I also show the farmers how they can do the fermentation and drying. At this time I dont trust anyone to ferment and dry for me, but that can change.

Just like cacao is produced in very small lots, the small chocolate maker is making some of the best chocolate. The small chocolate maker or craft chocolate maker doesnt really know where to buy their cacao. However they know a few things that they want. They want good quality cacao, they want organic cacao, and they want to know that the farmer is being compensated fairly; they are smart enough to know if the supply chain breaks somewhere, the cacao will cease to come.

Some of the larger craft chocolate makers have invested in finding the right farmers and buying a large portion of their harvest. Also they educate those farmers and give them parameters that they have to meet. Others have found a good supplier that they trust.

The world of chocolate is changing and fast. The demand for good chocolate is very strong. All that is needed is to tweak things a little.

Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
08/22/11 07:28:16AM
7 posts

better pricing for better cacao


Posted in: Opinion

I am glad that there is good interest in this topic. My mail motivation for posting this was to try to come up with some solutions, mainly to the problem of the farmers not having more choices for selling their product, but also to find solutions for all the small chocolate makers that are beginning to appear everywhere.

Good quality cacao is hard to come by. Good post harvest practices are almost nonexistent in this part of Ecuador. Educating the farmers is key. The good thing is that they are willing to do whatever it takes to improve their product, as long as they are being compensated for doing so. The other good thing that is happening, at least in the US, is that customers realize that good quality has a premium price and they are willing to pay for it. Also I have noticed that my customers in the US care deeply about the farmers and that they get fair, or even generous compensation.

As a businessman, I also know that for me to support my employees and myself, I have to make a profit. So, customers have to be happy with the product that we provide, employees have to be happy with their work, suppliers have to be happy with their compensation. And we have to be happy with our compensation. A win, win, win, and win for all of us.

The beginning of the solutions has been expressed by your posts:

Sebastian said A solution for those interested in long term supplies of high quality beans is to invest in the farms and take an active role in its operations. Any takers?

Brian Horsley said as Jim says, the only way to have growers interested in growing fine cacao, organic cacao, fermenting and drying, or doing anything other than low quality high volume, is to make it more profitable for them by paying a premium price for beans. And the only way to do that is to have a high end market to sell the higher priced beans to

Clay Gordon states Sebastian brings up a very interesting point, which is that maybe it makes more sense for small chocolate makers to get together into a PURCHASING co-op rather than forcing the growers to organize. By doing so, the purchasing co-op drives larger volume purchases, which can start driving the critical mass of volume necessary to move away from commodity market pricing to specialty market quality, and the higher prices quality can command.

I would like to hear from some of the small or new chocolate makers and get their opinions.

Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
08/16/11 07:31:35PM
7 posts

better pricing for better cacao


Posted in: Opinion

Today we had a group of cacao growers from Santo Domingo, Ecuador. The discussion was about how they get paid. Typically growers take their cacao to centers where they sell their cacao. They said that they get paid the same price for Nacional (fine aroma cacao), than they get paid for CCN-51, the clone that is taking over both Peru and Ecuador. It also doesn't matter whether they ferment their beans or not, or if they put monilla(rotten cacao) along with good cacao. What they are looking for is a partner in countries that process the cacao into chocolate and are willing to buy the good cacao for a higher price than CCN-51 or cacao that has not been selected.

As a group, we should find a solution for these farmers, we need to let them know that if they produce excellent cacao, they should get paid a higher price. That way the heirloom varieties can be preserved.


updated by @Joseph Meza: 04/10/15 08:09:54PM
Joseph Meza
@Joseph Meza
02/14/12 10:23:23AM
7 posts

Any bulk organic, fair trade or Rainforest Alliance certified quality couverture chocolate available?


Posted in: Classifieds

Mimi

I am working with a group of local farmers close to Mindo. We practice what we call direct trade. I pay these farmers 3 times what they are getting from middle men. We can produce quite a bit of couverture and we can make it to your specifications. If you are interested we can talk more about it.