Asia Pacific Client Trip: The experience
República del Cacao´s client trip is not only a cacao plantation trip, it is a real and authentic experience across Ecuador, the birthplace of Cacao. During this experience you have the chance to discover, where and how the main ingredients we are using for making our fine chocolate (cacao, milk, sugarcane) are sourced from; why República del Cacao places the preservation of Cacao Arriba as one of its priorities and how we are working daily hand in hand with local communities.
The trip started in Vinces, in the province of Los Rios, with a group of 18 people coming from 6 countries and territories of Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia) led by José Merlo, República del Cacao CSR Project manager and myself.
The trip started on April 15th 2019, the first day was dedicated to Cacao, starting with the visit of a plantation managed by the 4th generation of a family, the Cerna’s brothers, who try to preserve the Cacao Nacional (Arriba), in an environmental friendly way. A few kilometers further, the group discovered República del Cacao’s cacao collection center, with an introduction of the fermentation and drying processes.
The following days, the visits were focused on the other ingredients we are using for making our authentic fine chocolate. On Tuesday early morning, we went at the foothills of the Cayambe volcano at 3350m above sea level, to meet the community of Turucucho, our mountain milk supplier for our Ecuador 31% White chocolate and share quality moment with the local dairy farmers by milking cows with them.
The 3rd day was dedicated to the Panela, an unrefined traditional sugar. We visited the sugar cane plantation in Pacto, where we source the organic Panela that we use for our Ecuador 65% and see all the artisan production process: from the plant, the extraction of sugar cane juice to the “miracle” of panela.
Finally, the last day was dedicated to the visit of the headquarters and factory of República del Cacao in Quito. The group had the chance to discover the heart of República del Cacao, guided by the CEO Arnaud Monmarché, Marisela Perugachi (Quality Manager) and David Haro (Factory manager). The afternoon was spent in República del Cacao laboratory located in the Historic Center of Quito, concluded this first edition of APAC client trip, with a pastry activity team building and tasting.
You can see more of this experience here.
Nancy Lu, Brand Manager APAC
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