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2021 Transparency Report

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 2021 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.

Taza 2021 Direct Trade Metrics: 2269 Farmers Benefitted, 749 Female Farmers Benefitted, 3794 Hectares Certified Organic, 100% Cacao Grown in Agroforestry Systems, $1,006,270 paid for cacao, 305 Metric Tons of Beans Purchased

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 2021

Taza co-founder and CEO Alex Whitmore with Stephen Ashia, Executive Director of ABOCFA

Alex with Stephen Ashia, Executive Director of ABOCFA, in Ghana.

Friends,

As the second pandemic year comes to an end, there’s been a big shift in chocolate consumption. So many people switched to purchasing chocolate bars instead of indulging outside of home, like ordering that molten chocolate lava cake at their favorite restaurant. A big chunk of chocolate demand has moved from food service to at-home consumption. If there’s a piece of good news to be found amid the COVID losses, it’s that cacao farmers have seen increased demand as consumers are spending more dollars on premium and fine flavor chocolate than ever before, and total consumption of chocolate is now exceeding 2019 levels.

It’s our eleventh year publishing annual Transparency Reports, and I have never been more excited and encouraged by the ability for the premium chocolate sector to drive change in the chocolate industry.  It has been our hope that by illuminating the cocoa supply chain with transparent reporting about prices paid and impact made, consumers would begin to expect and even demand this kind of transparency from other, larger companies. Though the cause is unclear, there has been an increase in transparency across the industry that has resulted in outcomes such as the Living Income Differential in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. With the development of the LID, the cocoa marketing boards in these countries have ceded a much higher portion of the revenue from cocoa sales to the small farmer buying associations. This means the farmers are getting a higher price for their cocoa than ever before. Our hope is that by continuing to promote transparent trade, we continue to grow expectations of transparency among consumers to drive even more industry change.

As the world opened back up after the lock-downs of the 2020, I was thrilled to be able to travel to visit most of our cocoa export partners. In June 2021, I traveled to the Dominican Republic with Taza’s Plant Manager Nelson Britus, to visit our partners at ÖKO Caribe and Finca Elvesia, spending time in San Francisco de Macoris, Pimentel, and El Valle. I also traveled in October 2021 to Suhum, Ghana to visit with our partners at ABOCFA. It was so rewarding to connect in person with our partners once again, and to break bread and celebrate the accomplishments of navigating livelihoods during these very challenging times.

Finally, I am happy to report that Taza has purchased over 300 metric tons of premium, organic cocoa through our transparent Direct Trade Certified supply agreements, adding up to over $1,000,000! Here at the factory, the entire Taza team is eager to continue driving these positive trends and delivering more premium prices to our cocoa farm communities. Let’s go eat some chocolate!

Yours in Transparency,

Alex Whitmore signature

Alex Whitmore
Co-Founder and CEO

 

OUR PARTNERS

 Map of Taza Sourcing Partners: PISA in Haiti, Finca Elvesia and OKO Caribe in Dominican Republic, and ABOCFA in Ghana

 

2021 PARTNER REPORTS

 

 

 

Dominican Republic

ÖKO Caribe Cacao

ÖKO Caribe Cacao

View Report

Dominican Republic

Finca Elvesia

Finca Elvesia

View Report

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2020 Report

2020 Report

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Taza Chocolate

Taza Chocolate

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