we started moruga cacao as a business because we were looking to bring something to live that represents our values.
bring people together
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. most call cacao a facilitator, assisting you on walking the walk of self-recognition, a sustainable self-awareness and ultimately self-love. since only those who love themselves can reach out and spread love to their environment, assisting people to be more self-aware makes them also more empathetic towards their neighbours. in the course of serving cacao to groups, we have often experienced an almost tangible group awareness. this is what cacao ceremonies build on.
support individual as well as structural change
we believe that much of the drama that we see in the world today will be overcome by helping individual people to change their mindset. we are not looking for a superficial help-all solution any longer. we are convinced that individual contentment and structural fairness go hand in hand. happy people are well aware of their surroundings and want others to be happy with them. this causes a snowball effect.
be pioneers in the development to sustainable quality cacao production
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 work together directly with three small cacao producers on trinidad that we only know because one of our team members has family on the island. same accent, same skin colour and his respectful attitude enable us to overcome many of the cultural and logistical hurdles to an economically effective and still fair cooperation. these farms are not certified organic as this is a mere bureaucratic act that they cannot afford to pay for. we as a young venture cannot either. 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 a real-time information chain including everyone involved in the production
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, shells and grinds the cacao from the three farms and ships us a coarsely-ground chocolate 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 country. it makes things a lot more difficult for us bureaucracy-wise but we think it is worth the effort.
fight against global monoculture and for diversity
the three farms that we get our cacao from are well picked. they are some of the only ones on the island that we could find that operate under what we would call organic standards - they don't use pesticides and, more importantly, they do not operate monoculture plantations. the land that they own used to be plantations but ever since the cacao production industry in trinidad collapsed in the 70s, the land has turned into a semi-wild bushland with all sorts of indigenous plants giving the cacao trees shade and protection from the elements. this biodiversity is naturally protecting the soil from erosion and keeps all nutrients in there for future generations. monoculture plantations are some of the worst forms of agriculture on sensitive tropical soil and soil is the single most valuable capital - and arguably the most overlooked capital - that the human race can build on.
the struggle for more diversity does not stop on the farms of origin but it continues throughout our whole venture. we admire the crazy. if the world that we live in today is "normal", then "crazy" is definitely our choice. hence, being crazy is often nothing more but the sign of a healthy spirit in our eyes. this principle ties back into our first principle to promote individual and structural change. those who have walked the walk of change and dare to be different are often called crazy by those left behind.
the state of art 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 operational basis - because only this way can we as a start-up company truly generate value where there has been none before.
a business exists only in order to up the profit of the stakeholders. no. all ventures need have a higher purpose in order to be sustainable. our company shall be a place where all employees can test out there abilities and grow with their challenges. it shall be a social space that we love to go to.
everybody loves chocolate. no. the founder jonas never liked chocolate because he does not like sweets in general. he did like cacao when ben showed to him - but he did not like what cacao had been turned into over the last centuries.
chocolate is a children's snack. no. our cacao contains a high amount of stimulants and it is just as much a children's snack as is coffee or wine. definitely not suitable for kids.
work is tough. no. just as much as work-out is not tough if you enjoy your sport. if you have understood the power of playing instead of forcing yourself to do something because you are interested in the outcome, you have already won. when you are playing, you are enjoying the mere act of doing something. you are in the here and now, present. work can be the same thing - countless studies have called that state the "flow" state. it is very important for us to have fun when we are doing our work, in other words, to play.
this is too bitter. no. the food industry is designing beverages, snacks, sweets and foods on the base of a too simple assumption: the product needs to be pleasant from the first bite/sip on. they think that they are asking too much of customers if the taste is distinct or bitter. restraining the greatest cultural achievements - foods and beverages - to that shallow algorithm is a pity. from experience, it is especially the bitter and somewhat strange tastes that get you hooked and that you start craving once you have grown accustomed to them. coffee and beer are just two prominent examples. questioning this state of art in the food industry lead us to our decision to be a 0% chocolate company - 0% sugar, sweeteners, lecithins, food chemicals or thickeners.
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 start-up it is hard to manage the balance between economcial pressure and devoting much of time to re-think processes though. we cannot change everything from the beginning on - our chocolate is for instance currently travelling on air freight as sea freight is not economical and takes too long. logistics are one aspect in which we can improve. we are paying a premium for eco-friendly packaging that we source through germany based company ströbel though.