On 13 October, our cocoa farmers organised a lively inauguration ceremony for the newly built post-harvest Centre in Pucalpillo, Peru.
The Centre will host all fermentation and drying activities, two key steps in the creation of an excellent chocolate. Many of the different aromas we find in a fine chocolate bar are actually created as early as during the fermentation of the bean. Drying is also of high importance since cocoa is a fatty substance that tends to absorb the aromas from its surroundings if it is not dried correctly.
Building this impressive infrastructure required the organization of a building task force led by farmer-entrepreneur Doriza who supervised the construction activities but also offered opportunities for development of skills and self-confidence. The farmers contributed not only their specific skills such as carpentry and soldering and their simple workforce but also donated land and building material. The Centre was built with an impressive 165m3 of rubble and required 557 days of labour, 15 days of carpentry works and 7 days of metal works.
According to our proud farmers, it is the best post-harvest Centre in the whole Alto Huayabamba valley with a maximum capacity of 2 tons per week. It will remarkably improve working conditions of our drying and fermentation specialists (acopiadores). Thanks to a transparent roof, they will no longer have to worry about covering and uncovering the cocoa beans during the drying process to protect the beans from rain.