Estate-Grown Valle Hermoso Shipment for March 2018

Plantation Owner Gives a Warm Introduction to His Farm

After a year of planning, we are in the final stages of putting together our first shipment of certified, Arriba cacao from Ecuador. This is estate-grown cacao, located in the Province of Santo Domingo with organoleptic characteristics having a strong taste of almonds and walnuts, presenting notes of fresh fruits, also presents floral aroma and cocoa with good body. 

We Have Selected this Estate-Grown Arriba Cacao from Santo Domingo, Ecuador as Our First Export for the Following Characteristics

  • Organoleptic characteristics with a strong taste of almonds and walnuts present notes of fresh fruits also present a floral aroma and cocoa with good body,
  • 28 harvests throughout the year,
  • Certified Arriba, fine-flavored cacao, and
  • Traditional/Soon-to-be certified organic

Cacao & Farm Data

Location: Valle Hermoso, Santo Domingo Province, Ecuador
Origin: Estate Grown
Provenance: 100% Santo Domingo (Arriba Criollo)—an heirloom species Varietal purity: ≥ 90% "Arriba" Cocoa
Certifications: See below
Organoleptic characteristics: Strong taste of almonds and walnuts, presents notes of fresh fruits, also presents floral aroma and cocoa with good body Acreage: About 45 Acres
Annual production: 40 metric tonnes
Harvests: 28 harvests per year, peaking in March, April, May, October, November & December
Availability: Generally available throughout the year
Gate price for 100 pounds: $145.45
Gate price at other nearby farms: $76
Fermentation: ≥ 75%
Humidity: ≤ 7%
Social/Environment component: In aggregate the following measures range from a score of 84%—100% with a total average score of 93.80%. All individual scores are above the general average: Socio-environmental management system, ecosystem conservation, wildlife protection, water resource conservation, fair treatment of workers, occupational health and safety, community relations, integrated crop management, soil management and conservation, integrated waste management.

Currently, the farm offers gardening space to its workers as well as a soccer/sports field. We anticipate with local agencies to identify social issues where we could make a meaningful difference, contributing to the well being of the workers and/or the local community as it relates to our impact pricing & dividends policy from the sale of their cacao—something as simple as covering the cost for a dentist visit for the workers and their families, for example.


The cacao is certified Ecuadorian Arriba. The farm produces their own line of chocolate which is certified Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP)/Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Given this certification, by natural extension, any chocolate made in the USA could apply for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

This cacao is scheduled to receive organic certification in June or July of 2018.


Our initial shipment of this estate cacao will be 1/2 pallet, about 1000 pounds and is expected to be in our Missouri warehouse in March 2018. The shipment will be shared with an additional 1000 pounds organic cacao which we are in the processed of documenting and the organic cacao will be the same proportions.
  • 10% of shipment: cacao butter from the same estate—packages of 5 lbs each (approx. 2.5 Kilos)
  • 45% of shipment: cacao beans, sun-dried, raw—packages of 5 lbs each (approx. 2.5 Kilos)
  • 45% of shipment: cacao nibs, sun-dried and roasted—packages of 5 lbs each (approx. 2.5 Kilos)
We will be offering multi-level pricing which will have a minimum price and suggested price. If you have an interest in this shipment and would like to reserve an order or be notified when products are ready for order, please contact us using the details below. Please reply using the comment section below or either use my email address ( or our email form at this link.


We have recently taken some videos and photos with the owner and his two sons with include general discussions about their plantation along with an invitation to visit their farm for those interested in learning about cacao agriculture & chocolate gastronomy. Because we are in the holiday season, we will need to wait for the next production cycle before we are able to take photos of the crew harvesting and fermenting the cacao. Future videos will also include an interview about their organic certification process and social programs. All videos will be updated into short clips with subtitles in English and will be available for sharing.

Cacao Tourism Invitation

Plantation owner offers a gracious invitation to visit his 45-acre, cacao plantation which uses all organic methods and processes for those interested in learning about cacao agriculture and chocolate gastronomy.

Strategies in Cacao Pruning

The plantation owner's son is speaking about the science of the proper pruning for optimal growth of the cacao fruit by optimizing photosynthesis, and rain capture. The video will be subtitled into English in January 2018.

Cacao Beans From Ecuador

These bars made with the beans from Royal Cacao are absolutely the best we've ever made! They are unbelievably delicious! Thanks Michael for sending such quality cacao.

Veritas Artizen Chocolates