Handmade in Woodstock, Illinois – Ethereal – with a name that means heavenly, delicate and refined – crafts its chocolate with the same manner.
Ethereal has returned to our Chocolate Library with a brand new bar. This 70% Ghana dark chocolate is crafted from beans produced by ABOCFA.
About ABOCFA (source: Ethereal, Uncommon Cacao)
ABOCFA is a farmer cooperative in Ghana known for producing the highest quality traceable cacao in the region. ABOCFA is one of four Organic/Fair Trade farmer cooperatives in Ghana. Currently this co-op network has a total of 679 farmers and 166 female farmers.
ABOCFA use a bean tracker system to trace beans from the farmer to export (something not currently done in Ghana) but they also democratically decide where quality and Fair Trade premiums go every year. Currently, the farmers voted that at least 50% of premiums go directly to farmers, while the remainder is spent on cooperative management, certification maintenance, and community projects. Much focus and investment is also put toward quality at ABOCFA; for example, while the cacao is not centrally fermented and farmers use heap fermentation, ABOCFA trains farmers to use their approved 7 day fermentation, and raised drying processes, and evaluates each batch when it is purchased. Because it is Organic certified, the cacao is kept in a warehouse with only 3 other cooperative’s beans before export, as opposed to conventional cacao warehouses, that house hundreds of cooperatives’ beans. ABOCFA has partnered with the International Cocoa Initiative, a non profit that promotes child well-being in cocoa growing communities. Their focus on child labor issues in the cacao supply chain is an important step in enfranchising communities to eradicate the instances of child slavery and labor that have plagued the cacao supply chain in West Africa.
This chocolate is pure rich, fudgy and chocolate pudding, a flavour one can truly only describe as chocolate pudding.