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 2023 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 Direct Trade claims are independently verified each year by Quality Certification Services, a USDA-accredited organic certifier based in Gainesville, Florida.
YEAR IN REVIEW
By Alex Whitmore, Taza Chocolate Co-Founder and CEO | December 2023
Since we began buying cacao directly from farmers over 18 years ago, the price has never been as high as it is today. In early November 2022 cacao was trading in the $2,250-2,300/metric ton range. As of mid-November 2023, cacao for December delivery is trading at over $4,000/MT – a 75% increase! This is for commodity-grade cacao trading on the International Commodities Exchange (ICE) in New York. The organic, direct-trade cacao Taza purchases is always purchased at a premium of at least $500/MT above this price.
This price increase is a boon for cacao farmers, despite the smaller crop year. It is also a wakeup call for a chocolate industry that has been lulled into complacency by the cacao supply being relatively stable with the trading price hemmed into a tight range of a few hundred dollars above or below $2,500/MT.
The price increase seems to be driven by a few key factors, all of which are supply/demand related. First, there was a meaningful reduction in overall cacao inventory after last year’s harvest period with chocolate makers drawing down the coffers more than other years, largely because they didn’t want to pay higher prices at the time. There has also been overly rainy weather that has reduced cacao production in key growing regions in West Africa and triggered higher rates of endemic disease in the trees. There is an expectation that El Nino weather patterns will yield a lower main crop this year. And finally, demand for cacao is slowly but steadily increasing globally.
For Taza and specialty chocolate makers like us, all of this means that we will be paying significantly higher prices for our key ingredient and that chocolate price inflation will continue. Eventually, prices will moderate, as more plantings and higher profit potential in the sector drive investment. In the meantime cacao farmers can earn more for what harvest they are able to collect, a mission we have been pursuing at Taza since 2005.
If you ever would like to learn even more about the cacao supply chain, please check out our sister company Uncommon Cacao, with truly next level educational materials about the specialty cacao sector at UncommonCacao.com.
Yours in transparency,
2023 PARTNER REPORTS
ÖKO Caribe Cacao
ÖKO Caribe Cacao