The Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund:
We are 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 and a 2018 grant from the USDA-FAS. The USDA-FAS project will include working partners: Penn State University; Bioversity International; The Cocoa Research Centre (CRC), The University of the West Indies; Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund (HCP); and Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Costa Rica
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.
“The pioneering work of the HCP is an important tool in the global effort to promote sustainability.” – Gary Guittard, Guittard Chocolate Company