manifesto

we started moruga cacao as a business because we were looking to bring something to live that represents our values. 

foster the human connection

cacao has the unparalleled ability to foster empathy, unlike any other plant. shamans, yogis and long time cacao users all report the same effect that cacao has on them: it opens their heart and heightens their emotional awareness. with the rise of personal electronic devices and telecommunication, humanity witnesses an unparalleled state of loneliness. we want to create a space where humans can meet in flesh, exchange ideas and spread their love for each other.

facilitate individual change

most call cacao a facilitator, assisting them on walking the walk of self-recognition, sustainable self-awareness and ultimately self-love. only those who love themselves can reach out and spread love to their environment. we believe that much of the drama that we see in the world today will be overcome by helping individual people change their mindset. 

support structural change

we are convinced that individual contentment and structural fairness go hand in hand. content people are well aware of their surroundings and want to tread lightly on the planet and their fellow humans. hence, helping single people develop causes a snowball effect.

do not poison our customers

while this should be a no-brainer, unfortunately, it is not the code of conduct in the food and beverage industry. refined sugars, lecithins, thickeners, aromas, preservatives, colourants and other chemicals are used to make products without edges targeted at “the mass market”. we steer clear of such tactics. we want to provide innovative cacao products free of unnatural additives. we only sell products that we would like to consume on a daily basis ourselves. we want to lead with innovation in processes, not ingredients. 

know the source

the cacao industry is a dark place. child labour, slavery, child slavery, unfair working conditions, land grabbing, soil erosion, corruption, violence, health threatening working conditions come with your average chocolate bar. one of the biggest hurdles to a fairer cacao production is the lack of information and control. many big chocolate corporations have indeed pleaded for a fairer cacao production but as uninspiring corporations they lack the tools to control their standards and set them in place. we rely on direct trade with the farmers who source the cacao from their land. 

think beyond certifications

“organic” certifications are often a mere bureaucratic act that neither small independent farms nor we as a young venture can afford to pay for. on top of that, certification institutions in cacao producing regions are often corrupt and do not always guarantee what they stand for. that is why we are working around certification institutions and hope to gain your trust in us by operating as transparent as possible and setting up an information chain including everyone involved in the production. none of our cacao producing partners uses pesticides or herbicides on their land.

rethink colonial trade

for the cacao from trinidad, we decided to leave a great part of the value chain inside the country of origin although that means a higher risk for us. a small chocolate manufacturer hence roasts, winnows and grinds the cacao harvested by three farmers and ships us a coarsely-ground cacao mass rather than bags full of a cash crop. this doubles the price that we would pay for just the beans. hence, twice as much cash stays in the local economy. it makes things a lot more difficult for us logistically and in terms of import bureaucracy but we think it is worth the effort. we want to be a food company that thinks about its social impact on the other side of the value chain.

protect our soils

soil is probably the most valuable - and most overlooked - capital that humanity can build on. for thousands of years humans have learned to take care of the soil that feeds them. unfortunately, modern farmers have often lost the connection to their land, incentivised or pressed by fast returns on investment. keeping soil intact is a long term affair though, and a delicate one on top of that. in trinidad our three partner farmers harvest cacao from abandoned plantations that have not been cultivated in over 40 years - and are now reclaimed by the jungle. all other cacaos that we work with are grown in an “agro-forested” system - a mix of different agricultural plants used for food and timber production. this biodiverse system naturally protects the local soil from erosion and keeps all nutrients in there for future generations. 

build resilience

these diverse agricultural systems have other benefits: they provide farmers with food for their own consumption and cash crops for their financial needs, thus making them more resilient to global price fluctuations or pests as they do not solely rely on the sales of one cash crop. 

promote diversity

we strive to be a company as diverse as the cacao beans we’re working with. our obsession with diversity does not stop on the land of origin but it continues throughout our whole venture. we want to give our customers a choice of cacao products as diverse as the land they were grown on and the people who touch them in every step of production. we admire the cultural diversity of the origins of the cacao, which is why we gave our venture a name connected to the source. further, we encourage everyone of our employees to radically express their personality. our team shall be like the mix of trees in an agrof-forest. taller trees give cacao trees the shade they need for developing a quality fruit.

strive for exceptional quality

we want to see cacao treated with the same respect that wine, beer and coffee are treated with. it is common belief in the rows of chocolate experts that cacao has the ability to “absorb” the flavours of its environment. subtle notes of red berries, caramelised banana, mango and a heavy, earthy undertone are all results of the terroir and environment that cacao grows in. these are the

challenge the status quo

the status quo is by definition an imperfect state - because a better world is imaginable and thus possible. this is the basic mode of operation in our business. we are raised and educated with many assumptions and then we start working in a system that is based on a certain set of values and assumptions. it is important for us to question these assumptions on a daily basis - because only this way can we as a company truly create value.
cause no unnecessary harm to the environment
we are trying to leave no footprint. not only do we source responsibly harvested raw material but we are also trying hard to optimise our processes so that we create minimal waste and emissions. as a business it is always hard to manage the balance between financial pressure and sustainable choices. we have to accept that we cannot change everything right from the start but we have to remain uncontent with the status quo. our cacao is for instance currently travelling on air freight as sea freight does not work for such small amounts and takes too long. our packaging is made with plastic as it is the only material both lightweight and aroma-sensitive. if properly disposed and separated, plastic can be recycled by up to 99%. still, we are looking for better packaging that is both ecological and lives up to our quality standards.