What is Casa Qoya Direct Trade?
Casa Qoya is a grower with a holistic view of the process of tree to bean cacao.
As well as our own Finca Qoya on the banks of the Huallaga river in Chazuta, we source our cacao from local farmers in the region. Working directly in Chazuta means living in the same community as our farmers, knowing them, their families and visiting their farms regularly. We are not a large office in a large city disconnected from the land that produces our cacao. We live here.
What is Traceability?
Ask us about any bag of cacao and we’ll be able to tell you where it came from, when it was harvested and what the weather was like around the time. Knowledge of our cacao is a key part of our quality assurance. With it, we make the best decisions on harvesting, fermentation, drying and any process involved for the best quality cacao.
How do we invest?
- The most immediate factor is the price we pay for cacao. Farmers who concentrate on quality are paid a premium directly well above market price.
- Transporting beans can cost a lot for a farmer. Casa Qoya provides transport for fresh harvested beans from farms directly to our own procesing facility in Chazuta.
- New technologies are beyond the reach of most high quantity farmers as they work hard simply to produce enough beans to sell. Our agricultural engineer works with farmers and provides expert advice so that they can improve their cacao production and quality.
- We constantly work with farmers to teach them about the different varieties they grow on their farm, instructing them on best practice harvesting so that they mantain the highest quality.
- By cutting out the extra middlemen in the process, the farmer receives a greater proportion of the money for their cacao.
How did you find your farmers?
We work directly with local people finding farmers who grow the cacao variety we are looking for. Once we have found the farmer we visit the farm and identify the trees from which we will buy the cacao.
Visiting a cacao farm isn’t simple, most of the time we have to walk for hours through the jungle, or take long boat rides up the river. It´s like going hunting and the best cacao tree is our trophy.
The farmers know that to sell to Casa Qoya they need a premium product, and we work hard to help them grow quality cacao for the finest chocolate.
Are you certified fair trade?
Casa Qoya goes beyond fair trade. We believe the costs of a fair trade certification outweigh the benefits unless you are a large company with far more power than the farmers themselves. Working on the same land as our farmers means we do not need to pay cooperatives or a body corporate to check on workers conditions, because they are ours as well.
We pay above the market price that farmers can get elsewhere and the decision to sell to us or another buyer is theirs alone. The proof is in their willingness to consistently provide us with their highest quality output.
We know that our customers trust the quality we provide and we welcome anyone to check for themselves and talk with farmers about our practices.