TAZA CHOCOLATE DIRECT TRADE CERTIFIED CACAO
We are chocolate pioneers.
Taza makes stone ground chocolate that is seriously good and fair for all. From farm to factory, we do things differently.
We do things transparently.
It starts with Taza Direct Trade. We said no to opaque supply chains and low-quality cacao. We created the chocolate industry's first third-party certified Direct Trade cacao sourcing program, to ensure quality and transparency for all. We have real, face-to-face relationships with partners who respect the environment and fair labor practices. They provide us with the best organic cacao, and we pay them prices significantly higher than Fair Trade. In fact, you can see exactly what we pay them, right here in our 2020 Annual Cacao Sourcing Transparency Report.
Taza Direct Trade means more money for our partners, the best cacao for us, and seriously good chocolate for you.
THIRD PARTY CERTIFICATION
We’re serious about transparency and trust. To guarantee the integrity of our Direct Trade program, our five Direct Trade claims are independently verified each year by Quality Certification Services, a USDA-accredited organic certifier based in Gainesville, Florida. See our five verified claims here.
YEAR IN REVIEW
By Alex Whitmore, Taza Chocolate Co-Founder and CEO | December 2020
I’m excited to be writing my first Year In Review letter since 2015. When our former Director of Sourcing, Jesse Last, moved on to a new opportunity early this year, I returned to one of my first passions at Taza: sourcing the best organic cacao from our exceptional Direct Trade grower partners.
With all the challenges 2020 has thrown at us, we are grateful that cocoa production has not been one of them. That being said, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented myriad challenges to producer communities, especially those producing organic cacao. Due to the economic pressures the pandemic created, producers of premium organic cacao initially saw steep declines in demand while demand for conventional cacao remained steady.
With the pandemic preventing travel during the harvest period, our annual in-person visits with our cocoa supplier partners were limited to video calls. Face-to-face relationships have been the foundation of our Direct Trade program from the beginning. It’s disappointing to not be able to share a meal with each of our partners, and tour the farms and facilities where our Direct Trade cacao is grown and processed. Nothing can replace connecting with our partners directly in the communities where they live and work. However, I did manage to get some face time with each of our export partners to gain as much of their perspective as I could. Several Whatsapp, Skype, and Zoom calls later, I have managed to piece together a picture of what life has been like on the farm in the three countries we are buying cocoa from: Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Ghana. I share these snapshots in our Partner Reports, along with the metrics we publish annually in our commitment to transparency.
It is so heartening to hear how each of our cocoa producer communities have come together to support each other in these challenging times. I am very hopeful that I will be able to visit each of our export partners in the year ahead to reconnect in person. As the world begins to recover, we will continue our commitment to sourcing the premium, certified organic cacao that is better for the planet. We hope 2021 will bring revitalized demand for organic cacao, and health and security for the communities we are fortunate enough to buy cocoa from. I am so proud to have built strong and deep relationships with each of our cacao producers, which allows Taza to buy the best beans, and to make and share the best chocolate in the world.
Yours in Transparency,
2020 PARTNER REPORTS
ÖKO Caribe Cacao
ÖKO Caribe Cacao