The last few days have been spent learning, researching and understanding all about the cultivation of cacao right from the tree to the bean.

As I am shown round some of the local cacao farmers’ fields, I begin to understand how cacao needs to be cultivated and harvested to obtain high quality cacao, which will ultimately influence the taste of fine chocolate.

Looking at the cacao tree, it is hard to imagine that the world’s favourite delicacy starts from here.

The main cacao variety grown in this area is CCN-51, which stands for Coleccion Castro Naranjal, where 51 stands for the cross number of this variety. The CCN-51 is a clone introduced from Ecuador. About 80% the cacao production in the region of San Martin is CCN-51 variety.

This specific variety was mainly introduced as an alternative crop to coca because of its high productivity levels. In comparison to…

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