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Heirloom Cacao Preservation

Cacao tree with blooming flowers
“Our goal is to not only protect and propagate fine flavor cacao for future generations but to also improve the livelihoods for cacao growing families”.
– Heirloom Cacao Preservation

THE HEIRLOOM CACAO PRESERVATION FUND

HCP is a not-for-profit organization in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture. Together, chocolate industry professionals, chocolate makers, farmers, and chocolate enthusiasts from around the world are determined to save the quickly diminishing Theobroma cacao trees that produce the most high quality, flavorful chocolate and identify the farmers who grow them. To that end, we have designated trees on a number of farms around the globe as Heirloom Cacao.

In early 2018, the HCP commenced our Heirloom Cacao Nursery Project made possible by a 2017 grant from the Lesley Family Foundation.

The Heirloom Cacao Nursery Project will utilize grafts from the designated Heirloom Cacao trees in South and Central America in cooperation with the USDA/ARS to enable the Heirloom Cacao farmers to develop nurseries and experimental farm plots, determine best management practices for these rare varieties, and provide training in nursery development and cultivation techniques. Our goal is to not only protect and propagate fine flavor cacao for future generations but to also improve the livelihoods for cacao growing families. These efforts will ultimately help farmers scale up and strengthen commercial links to the fine chocolate market.

Source: Heirloom Cacao Preservation

In August of 2018, HCP, Conexión Chocolate, the HCP Nominee, Asociacion de Productores Organicos de Vinces (APOVINCES) joined forces to preserve unique varieties of cacao in Ecuador. Only by uniting efforts, can we be successful in the preservation of these heirloom varieties.

Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund logo
Jenny Samaniego with HCP members on a farm in Ecuador
Cacao Farmer examining cocoa pods in Ecuador

A very busy September, 2018 in the Ecuadorian cacao fields with international disease, plant genetic resources and genetic improvement expert Dr. Wilbert Phillips-Mora and Founder/Owner Conexíon Chocolate & HCP Coordinator, Jenny Samaniego. This coordinated visit examined some of Ecuador’s Heirloom Cacao sites which greatly facilitated the development of the preservation project. Sustainability in action!