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Our growers and their plantations

Maison Pierre Marcolini selects the finest cocoa beans of each variety in the tropical regions located at 20° North and 20° South of the Equator.
These regions are known as the "Cocoa Belt".
Our 8 bean origins are found in small plantations with unique and traditional expertise.
The Maison maintains close relationships with each plantation to ensure the longevity of their partnership and guarantee beans of unrivaled quality.

The four principal cocoa bean varieties

Criollo: Native to Venezuela, these were the first cocoa beans to be discovered by the ancient Olmec civilisation and were later introduced to Mexico and Guatemala. The rarest and most precious variety, the Criollo represents less than 3% of global cocoa production.

Forastero: Native to Brasil, the home of cocoa. Colonists named this variety “foreigner” in Spanish.

Trinitario: Originating in Trinidad and the result of human intervention. In the 17th century, the Forastero variety was introduced into the area and formed a hybrid with the indigenous Criollo.

Nacional: Unique to Ecuador.

Our growers

China - 1st use of these beans outside China

Region: Hainan Island, Southern China

Variety: Trinitario

About the bean: An extremely exclusive bean, Pierre Marcolini is the first international chocolatier to have access to these beans to produce chocolate. This exclusive partnership provides the Maison with beans from this special location. Hainan Island boasts rich biodiversity and benefits from a tropical climate and monsoons – an ideal environment for the cocoa trees planted in the past century.

Urbano Rodriguez, Cuba

Cuba – highly exclusive origin

Region: Baracoa – a small coastal town perched on the eastern tip of the island, bordered by beaches on the Caribbean Sea and verdant mountains.

Variety: Traditional Caribbean Trinitario

About the bean: Baracoa cocoa beans retain their centuries-old flavour thanks to the geographic seclusion of the region. Growers have not been pressured by lobbies to excessively increase production and as a consequence, have avoided the introduction of hyper-productive genetically modified varieties.

Only 2 or 3 chocolatiers in the world have the fortune to use these beans.

A scheme is currently under way to secure organic certification for the Baracoa region.

Pierre Marcolini Growers and plantations India

India

Region: Pollachi,  state Tamil Nadu

Variety: Amelonado

About the bean: Ellen Taerwe and Luca Beltrami are two passionate young adventurers who founded the agro-forestry centre GoGround in 2015. They grow native cocoa species in two neighbouring regions: Idukki and Kaithapara. 200 farming families at the “Green Hills” of Idukki cultivate certified organic cocoa beans. All beans are treated the day of harvesting in the Udumbannoor processing centre where they undergo five days of fermentation.

Pierre Marcolini Growers and plantations Indonesia

Indonesia

Region: Bali, Jembrana

Variety: Trinitario

About the bean: Kalimajari Cooperative is a non-governmental organisation that supports local enterprises: it comprises 600 families who together form 38 groups of growers that cultivate cocoa in harmony with the environment.

Pierre Marcolini Growers and plantations Madagascar

Madagascar

Region: Ambanja, in the north-west of the island

Variety: Trinitario

About the bean: Bejofo is a family-run farm in a cocoa region that has existed since 1920. Both Criollo and Trinitario varieties grow there. Each tree is labelled and the cocoa pods are harvested separately.

The plantation is a fine example of polyculture and ylang-ylang, coffee and pepper can be found growing alongside the cocoa trees.

Pierre Marcolini Growers and plantations Peru

Peru

Region: Piura

Variety: Grand Nativo Blanco

About the bean: Peru is believed to be one of the birthplaces of wild cocoa. Cocoa from the Piura region is commonly called “Grand Blanco” owing to the cocoa beans’ whiteness, which gives this tablet a lighter colour. These beans come from the Norandino Cooperative that began cultivating cocoa in the El Alto Valley in 2007. The beans are often tended to by the same communities that cultivate coffee at higher altitudes.

Pierre Marcolini Growers and plantations Sao Tome

Sao Tome & Principe

Region:Guadeloupe, from the centre of the island

Variety: Amelonado

About the bean: The “Chocolate Islands” is an archipelago that has preserved its astounding biodiversity. The organic São Tomé cocoa comes from a project coordinated by Satocao and titled ‘Villager Project’. This initiative aims to promote the development of exceptional plantations cultivated by autonomous villagers.

Established in 2011, the project has created over 3000 small commercial growers.

Jhoana Verhook, Venezuela

Venezuela - The rarest beans

Region: Chuao

Variety: Criollo Primitif

About the bean: The region is accessible only by sea and its beans have a Designation of Origin certificate unique to the region. Production is limited to just 25 tonnes/year. The Empresa Campesina is the cooperative that harvests the “Chuao” cocoa bean and owns the plantation on which they grow. Methods of processing the harvested beans remain unchanged for 400 years and have been passed down from generation to generation.

Commitment to sustainable chocolate

All our cocoa beans are sourced from eight unique plantations around the world.
These plantations, alongside the Maison, are pledging to respect three fundamental ethical criteria in order to protect the planet and its people.

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