Nacional Cacao Conservation Project (NCCP)

"With the purchase of this product, you are helping preserve the biodiversity of our planet."

This product is crafted from the rarest and most prized cacao variety on earth, and is proudly produced entirely in Ecuador - the birthplace of cacao.

To’ak is also working with conservationists and farmers to preserve Ecuador’s legendary Ancient Nacional cacao before it goes extinct.

In 2014 we found a grove of Ancient Nacional cacao trees hidden in a remote valley of Ecuador. Not long before this moment, this treasured cacao variety was believed by many experts to be extinct. Since then, we have made it our goal to preserve it and nurse it back to prominence.

During this time, we have done everything we can to change the way people value chocolate. For as long as chocolate is considered a cheap candy, and cacao is considered a cheap commodity, cacao farmers across the world will continue to abandon quality over quantity. This is the main reason why heirloom cacao varieties like Ancient Nacional are disappearing.

So far, we’ve made some serious inroads. On the conservation front, we created a Genetic Bank of Ancient Nacional cacao trees in a protected forest preserve. It is now the largest repository of Ancient Nacional cacao trees in Ecuador, and represents a key bulwark against the potential extinction of this legendary variety. Each of these trees has since lived the life of a minor celebrity, posing for photos and even doing a bit of acting for a video crew from National Geographic.

"We believe the quality and flavor complexity of our food is a valuable part of the human experience. So we’re trying to keep it alive, one tree at the time."

On an industry level, we effectively defined and created the luxury chocolate market. As a consequence, we’re able to pay cacao growers up to 8X the market price for cacao—which is unheard of in this industry.

In the meantime, our team is working relentlessly on our next projects to support systemic change that extend far beyond the current norms. More information about this is coming soon.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published