The COVID-19 pandemic switched our priorities overnight from the call to get ourselves of the comfort zone for progressing our business and life to the instinct to feel safe and protected with sheltering-in-place and stockpiling of goods. Looking out for foods providing a guarantee of health, enjoyment, and connection has been catching on since the inception of the coronavirus outbreak and become a new norm to mindful living.
Among fresh produce and perishable essentials, there’s a growing need for shelf-stable and non-essential food items that can give us solace and relief in uncertain times. Take chocolate.
The community of fine chocolate lovers remains more motivated than ever to educate a mass mostly unaware of a product that is not only healthy and tasty but also ethical and sustainable.
A loud and clear logic resonates throughout the advocacy for fine chocolate:
- there is no chocolate to taste, and that may give us unprecedented emotions, without rewarding the excellent chocolate makers who craft it,
- there is no excellent chocolate to reward without sustaining the relentless work of cocoa farmers, suppliers, and partners at the origin.
Depending on the country and area of production, cocoa pods risk hanging on trees during the harvest season peaks—which may vary throughout the year. This means that not only would we risk tightening our joy of getting, giving, and sharing fine chocolate in the future, but that the future of thousands of cocoa farmers around the world would be at stake.
The main concern of all farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic is not to isolate themselves at home and do nothing but to set aside money to sustain and educate their children and ensure nutrient food on the table to feed their families.
These images of fine cocoa suppliers testify how the primary need of all cocoa farmers is to continue working—without sacrificing precautions recommended in place.
These farmers are not only relentless heroes but fierce preservers of a treasure on earth called cacao:
Post by Uncommon Cacao:
“This is what our supply chain looks like under COVID-19 and it kind of feels like a new world in a lot of ways.
The truth is agricultural workers, producers, and processors can’t work from home. They either cease working or continue to work in creative, safe, and often painstakingly careful conditions.
In many cases where associations are located in villages, the villages can keep harvesting and processing safely. Still, for fermentaries like Maya Mountain Cacao and Latitude Trade Co., the teams there have had to test their resilience and do some creative problem-solving.”
Post by Umau Cacao:
“In these times of uncertainty and reflection, our company does not stop. We are working at 100% capacity, with the necessary measures to take care of the health of our collaborators and associated producers in all Colombian regions where UMAU CACAO has a presence. While you take care of your family, we are taking care of the plantations, our magical cocoa trees, and our people.
We are sure after this event, we will become stronger than ever!
Please, be safe!”
Post by Ingemann Fine Cocoa:
“The food sector is vital!
Our farmers continue to produce cocoa and are taking the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. For most producers, their income depends solely on agriculture and livestock activities, so it is also vital that they continue to produce.
Our Real Sustainability programs and practices, such as collecting at farm-gate and buying the cocoa in wet-mass, have been implemented since Ingemann started in 2013. Even more so, they have been beneficial for our producers and the well-being of their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our producers have access to the market, have no logistics or post-harvest costs, and have a lower level of risk of COVID-19 infection since they don’t need to move out of their farms.
Remember to support our producers. We are working hard to produce high-quality cocoa beans for your chocolate creations!”
Albeit of different provenance, all these farmers not only give us a bright message of resilience and hope through their example but show a high strength in common, visibly emerging from their photos: teamwork.
After months of forced habits to social isolation and distancing, community and collaboration will probably represent the most significant assets in our post-pandemic lives.