THE HCP DESIGNATES FIRST-EVER HEIRLOOM CACAO!
And today the HCP is delighted to announce the following cacao trees at origin have been designated HEIRLOOM:
Hacienda Limon, Los Rios, Ecuador provided by Samuel von Rutte, ORECAO SA
Hawaii Agriculture Research Center Maunawili Experiment Station provided by Daniel O’Doherty Cacao Services Agricultural & Scientific Consulting
These Heirloom designations are the HCP’s first steps to realizing its mission:
- identifying the finest flavor cacaos which become the most flavorful chocolate in the world;
- linking their flavor to genetics for natural reproduction;
- preserving and propagating them now and for future generations;
- recognizing and rewarding the growers who cultivate them.
“The pioneering work of the HCP is an important tool in the global effort to promote sustainability,” says Gary Guittard, President of the Guittard Chocolate Company. “As we are identifying the fine flavor cacaos around the world before they are lost to high production varieties that lack fine flavor characteristics.”
The HCP is not another certification or awards program. It is a not-for-profit collaboration between the FCIA and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS). Unlike other organizations which charge growers a certification or entrance fee, the HCP is self-funded by a worldwide group of small, medium, and large chocolate makers/manufacturers and staffing is largely volunteer. When growers do not have relationships with manufacturers or other well-funded industry people, the HCP arranges for bursary sponsorships to support those growers through the HCP process. All they need to do is provide the beans for the HCP to evaluate and access to their trees once the designation is made and the evaluation process is complete.
Throughout its process, the HCP follows a strict set of protocols, all of which are publicly available English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. The HCP Lab at Guittard Chocolate, the oldest family-owned chocolate company in the US, blindly processes all submissions for an acclaimed international Tasting Panel of chocolate specialists. A detailed report is then provided to the applicant and the USDA/ARS performs a site visit and genetic analysis to both map the DNA of the trees and preserve them in the database for the future. Everything is provided to the growers who with the support of the HCP can use the designation to achieve better prices than they would growing ordinary or bulk cacao.
Taken together, the HCP is about three P’s in Pod: People, Planet, and Prosperity. It goes from gene-to-bar and unwraps the possibilities for the millions and millions worldwide who believe that life without the very best chocolate is no life at all.
# # #