Valrhona is ahead: innovative plantation in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic produces 60% of its cocoa in the northeastern region, between the Samana peninsula and the city of San Francisco de Macoris. In 2010 Valrhona bought its first Dominican plantation, “Loma Sotavento”. In search of the perfect terroir, the French company decided to turn their attention to the Dominican Republic. As happens in the wine world, one always looks for the best land and the best climate to achieve excellence. Valrhona chocolate is one of the companies that for the most part conducts research and which has the merit of being awarded the cru concept, or a cocoa that comes from a single plantation. Alongside the Rizek family – Dominican producers and exporters – the French company gave life to Tainori, its first Dominican cru in 2006. Today the company offers the Bahibe, a milk chocolate which owes its name to a cactus, the Rose of Bayahibe. In September, it will be made from cocoa from the single origin of Sotavento. Valrhona works through the use of a single protocol shared with farmers for optimum quality. So for the Grand Cru precise characteristics must be achieved. Plantations in the Dominican Republic, where Valrhona controls the entire production chain, do not use pesticides or fertilizers and help to preserve biodiversity. Loma Sotavento will also be a laboratory studying the processing processes and the rare copies. Valrhrona is also committed to ensuring fair wages to farmers and education (last June a primary school was opened which was funded by the French fashion house and the Rizek family). The next plantations will perhaps be in Haiti.

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