The Virunga mountain range consists mainly of volcanoes and runs through the national territories of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its volcanic soils are particularly nutrient-rich and the local ecosystem is one of the most diverse in the world. Virunga is best known for its mountain gorillas, which migrate through the dense jungle on the crests of the still active volcanoes.
The cocoa variety
Because cocoa is not endemic to Africa, it was imported to Africa from its origins in South America in the course of colonial trade. The cocoas in Virunga come mainly from theAmelonado-Variety originating in the upper Amazon. However, the terroir is just as important for the aroma profile of a cocoa as it is for a wine, which is why it differsAmelonado from Virunga strongly from its genetic brothers in for example Ecuador.
The regionVirunga is threatened
Virunga is one of the most beautiful and regions in the world with a real wealth of natural resources. And yet it has developed into one of the poorest regions in the world. To learn more about Virunga, it's worth watching the Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name on Netflix, or at least the trailerhere to watch. Produced by Orlando von Einsiedel and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film tells the breathtaking story of Africa's oldest natural park, its unique geological riches and how this region is being exploited by outsiders at the expense of the locals. The documentary shows how the fight for the beauty of nature and the world's last mountain gorillas collides with our consumer world and the demand for fossil fuels.
What the film doesn't show are solutions.
Impact & environmental protection
A 2012 independent study on the partnership oforiginal beans with local farmers in Virunga concluded that 13,000 farmers in the region have been mentored and trained for organic certified cocoa production. Her income had doubled from $500 to over $1,000 a year. Most of those involved were also informed about HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The study calculated that since the Virunga cocoa project began, 3 million trees had been planted and the rate of deforestation had halved.
This work will continue as more cocoa farmers join this project and more trees are planted. The oforiginal beans funded local support organization for farmers called IDAD deepens this impact.
„We work towards a conserving cocoa culture.“
Erick Racine Lolwako, head of IDAD
Thanks to Original Beans
All photos (unless otherwise noted) as well as the basic data and direct quotes from the interview were kindly provided to us by Jan Schubert fromoriginal beans made available.original beans is both a chocolate brand and a now significant cocoa bean importer and Jan is on their behalf,
to set up projects with smallholders and local partners on site and to develop long-term partnerships. We buy our cocoa beans directly from Original Beans, who set the highest sustainability standards for their cocoas, which go far beyond organic certification.
You can the cocoahere order.