THE BRAZILIAN DIFFERENTIAL OF THE ORIGIN CHOCOLATE
From the cacao plantation system, passing through the production process, Brazil offers a chocolate not only with high quality but also in a sustainable way
The information regarding the beginning of cacao (raw material of the chocolate) production in Brazil dates back to 1746 in Bahia, when Antonio Dias Ribeiro received some seeds of a French colonizer, Luiz Frederico Warneau from Pará. The first plantation was in the farm Cubículo on the edges of Pardo river, where todays the city Canavieiras. And 1752 it began cacao plantations in Ilhéus.
Since then Brazil has been one of the world's leading exporters of cacao, but only recently the Brazilian production of chocolates, especially those of controlled origin, start to conquer the foreign market.
Today cacao quality is superior to that produced just over a decade which, consequently allowed produce chocolates fully able to compete in the international market.
According to the Brazilian producers the cacao has some important differentials in its plantation and harvesting process. "The plantations comply with all environmental and social legislations which is not observed in other countries that produce cacao." João Tavares, who has 650 hectares of cacao plantation in Uruçuca (Bahia) which with its product cacao gourmet was awarded twice at the Salon of Chocolate, Paris.
The plantation mentioned by Tavares is the cabruca forest system, used for over 200 years in cacao region on South of Bahia, which consists in planting cacao under the shades of Atlantic Forest trees. This system is responsible for the conservation of soil biodiversity, of water and of forest production such as seeds, oils, resins, flowers and other non-wood products. "On other locations the plantation of cacao is under the sun," conclude the producer Tavares.
Ivan Blumenschein, from the Nugali Chocolates, evaluate that despite the long history of the Brazilian cacao, Brazil did not create tradition for cacao quality nor or chocolate quality. "This has been changing over the past decade, since some cacao producers and chocolate makers are working side by side in order to change this scenario. These producers replaced the cacao varieties for other more aromatic, and changed the plantation handling, fermentation and drying processes. Similarly the chocolate makers are changing roasting, conching and refining processes, to add value to the characteristics of the high quality Brazilian cacao. The result can be noticed on the response of these products in the national and international market" Blumenschein highlights.
According to Ivan, the currently used cacao varieties, with a predominance of Trinidadians and Scavina in addition to the "terroir" of the region where they are planted, give the Brazilian cacao and chocolate unique personalities.
"It is similar of what happens with wine. Generally the fruity notes cacao, resembling banana, coconut and other tropical fruits. Furthermore in many regions in Brazil that produce cacao, the cultivation is made so to be integrated to the native forest, which generates an extra appeal. Another possibility is the combinations with typical Brazilian ingredients such as açaí, cupuaçu, Brazil nut, so to create even more Brazilian products, with differentiation in the international market" explains Blumenschein, adding that the Nugali started recently export to Japan, Emirates Arabs and other Middle Eastern countries and already the negotiations to enter the US market are well advanced.
The Brazilian origin chocolate begins to have presence in the international market, but still have a great potential to increase, according to Milena Boggio, Harald Chocolates. "The participation of this type of Brazilian chocolate in the world is still limited. There are very few companies working with this category of product and, therefore, there are numerous international opportunities to the Brazilian products with quality and social responsibility differentials. "
Have products with different qualities are certainly an attractive USP to compete in international markets, as exemplified Milena. "The gourmet chocolate Harald Unique line is produced with national finest cacao from selected farms of Bahia, Pará and the Amazon region. The seal of declared origin, which guarantees the origin of superior chocolate, takes into consideration the geographical location, soil quality, water sources, strict cultivation and processing of fine cacao. Focused on sustainability, this line can be produced with certified cacao or organic cacao. "
For Harald, which is currently exporting this chocolate line to the United States, complements Milena, quality means developing products within sustainability, development of the productive chain and socially fair payments criteria. "And finally, have a new approach to add value to the ingredients exploring everything it can offer in new flavors."
So what is observed in this scenario is that Brazil that always has been in a relevance position in cacao production, nor is ensuring also to stand out for their quality from raw material to the end product.