Step 1

From the cacao tree to bean control

The cacao tree

A cacao tree flowers after 2 to 3 years and out of the thousands of flowers it produces only 1% will actually fruit: giving the pod. A cacao tree produces around 80 pods per year.
le-cacaoyer

Plant selection

The cacao plants are selected according to their productivity and quality of their fruit.
selection-des-plants

The pod

The fruit of the cacao tree is ovoid and measures 15-25cm in length and 6-15cm in diameter. The pod takes 4-6 months to ripen.
La-cabosse

Harvest

The pods are harvested with a type of axe fixed to a pole. The fruit is detached from the tree and falls to the ground.
la récolte1

Extraction

The pods are opened with a machete and contain up to 40 beans, surrounded by a sugary, white pulp called Mucilage.
Ecabossage

Transport and weighing

The beans are then transported to the cooperative and weighed.
Transport et pesée

Fermentation

The beans are spread out on wooden racks and covered with banana leaves. The mucilage surrounding the beans ferments, causing the aromas in the beans to develop their chocolate taste.
La-fermentation

Drying

The beans are dried in the sun or in a greenhouse, to reduce their humidity content to 8 or 9%.
This drying process lasts around ten days and is when the beans turn to their chocolaty brown colour.
Sèchage

Control and bagging

Before leaving the cooperative the beans are scrupulously controlled. They are then packed in large sacks for shipping to Europe.
Contrôle des fèves

Exchange of know how

The beans leave South America for the different European factories.
CEMOI employees work continually with the Ecuadorian farmers to improve the quality of their produce.
Echange-des-savoir-faire