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Cocoa Origin Trip Report # 2

We continued our trip, first in Ecuador and then moving on to Colombia. (If you missed my first report, you can read it here.)

Our journey continued to Bucaramanga, Colombia. We are sourcing cocoa from 61 farms in a small town named San Vicente de Chucuri. These farmers were carefully selected for our Cocoa Practices program by our partner Compañia Nacional de Chocolates. During last year’s verification, these farms obtained the highest score ever recorded in the program, so we gave them a monetary award for their great efforts.

Unfortunately the weather in Colombia has been quite extreme. Just one day before our trip to San Vicente de Chucuri, the torrential rains damaged the roads and collapsed a bridge that prevented us from going to the ceremony. I wanted to share a picture of the event – each one of the farmers received an envelope with cash, proportional to the amount of cocoa beans they sold to the Ecocacao cooperative, one of our partners in the program. But alas.

Some of you may be wondering what is this particular cocoa used for? Well, we use it in our one-and-only triple-verified product sold at stores in the United States and Canada: the Starbucks VIA® chocolate bar! This particular product has been verified by our three ethical sourcing programs. By buying this product you are making a difference in the life of these families in Colombia.

comments (6)

Comment FAQ

    • setmedic
    • 2/21/2011 7:10 AM

    I believe in not just helping ourselves to a great dark mini bar for antioxidant reasons but to believe in farming ongoing for original families and not corp going in but giving to the natural usage of their lands and Fair Trade. Organic would be nice, but most down there do not use pesticides. Just give their bar a try. Amano was just that idea, but Strbx stopped due to their bars arriving and replacing all other chocolatiers, now see why. Good for them, good for the family owned farms that do

    • sergiojuanjui93
    • 3/7/2011 8:23 AM

    Hi Pablo, very interesting your trip to Colombia, I would like to try the cocoa Juanjui, Peru in the Amazon jungle specifically in the Alto El Sol, a village entrepreneur who grew the cocoa bean and now has big prizes in Europe, I hope some time you come to visit this community, I hope that cocoa beans are part of Starbucks products =)

    • pgk3674
    • 4/16/2011 8:17 AM

    Sirs.. I just received an email that looked like it was from you. It said I would get $100 gift card for taking a survey. However reading the small print its a scam to get me to sign up for trivia questions or something @ $10 a month and has nothing to do with Starbucks and no $100 gift card. I thought you might want to know about this. Rick Hobbs

    • t593157
    • 4/17/2011 5:03 PM

    It is extremely important to me that starbucks products are Fair Trade and no unfair labor practices are used in creating products for our use. Thank you for your diligence in the important area.

    • sandrews0513
    • 6/25/2011 12:15 PM

    I love the Via iced coffee packets in carmel and original flavors. I have to watch my caffine intake for medical reasons and nowhere can I find the amount of caffine in these products. It doesn't seem to be listed on your web site or on the package. Please e-mail me back and tell me how much caffine is in them so I can resume my daily coffee.

    • Pinchbuggies
    • 10/11/2011 7:40 PM

    Yes I too agree that listing the amount of caffeine in your product (or any other for that matter) is a very important fact. I know that there is an amount that differs from other brands & I know that Decaf isn't always 100% non caffeine. That would be great if there could be a caffeine amount listing :)

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