Cordillera Chocolate is the first Fair Trade brand to be manufactured at origin
Palo Alto Ca. (February 7, 2011) As part of a companywide commitment to support farmers and workers both locally and globally, sustainable food service provider Bon Appétit Management Company will introduce Cordillera Fair Trade Certified™ baking chocolate to the kitchens of its 400-plus university, corporate, and specialty cafés nationwide starting Valentine’s Day.
Cordillera Chocolate, made from a blend of Criollo and Trinitario cacao beans grown in Colombia, is an exceptional brand of chocolate used by renowned chefs worldwide in fine desserts and confections. Colombia is known for producing some of the finest Criollo and Trinitario cacao beans in the world. Like wine grapes, different cocoa bean varietals produce distinctive flavor notes. Cordillera chocolate’s fruity, floral, and nutty characteristics combine into a complex and sophisticated taste profile that chefs find ideal for baking.
“We’ve found the Cordillera baking couvertures to be easy to work with in our kitchens, and we’ve been having a wonderful time developing desserts using the Cordillera chocolate,” said Jim Dodge, Director, Specialty Culinary Programs, Bon Appétit Management Company. “Everything from dense chocolate cakes to chocolate browned-butter oatmeal cookies shines when made with Cordillera chocolate.”
Cordillera is unique in that it’s not only grown in Colombia, it’s also manufactured there, which leads to higher quality chocolate and better traceability from bean to finished product. The farmers receive a fair price for their beans, as well as fair trade premiums to use for schools, medical clinics, clean water systems, and skills training in their communities. Production workers are employed by Cordillera, a company committed to fair labor practices.
“The conventional chocolate market is highly exploitative to communities in the developing world. Extreme poverty, and even child slavery are commonplace,” said Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA. “Fair Trade USA certifies farm practices to ensure that the workers are not exploited. In addition, higher prices enable farmers to produce higher quality chocolate without cutting corners. Higher incomes also work as an incentive for farmers to use sustainable farming practices to preserve their land and future profits.”
The benefits don’t stop in the villages. Cordillera’s Fair Trade certification contributes to greater social and political stability across Colombia. When cacao prices are low, farmers are more likely to grow coca for the cocaine market. Some of the farmers in the Cordillera Fair Trade co-op are former coca farmers who have recently switched to cacao.
Bon Appétit chefs are proud to introduce exceptional Fair Trade Certified™ Cordillera Chocolate to diners, and make a real difference in the lives of Colombian cacao farmers.
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, the connection between food and climate change, and most recently, farm workers’ rights. The company has received numerous awards for its work from organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 31 states, including eBay, the University of Pennsylvania and the Getty Center.
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA is the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified™ products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies offering Fair Trade Certified products and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages. Fair Trade USA certifies coffee, tea, herbs, vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, rice, sugar and bananas. For more information, visit www.FairTradeCertified.org.
About Cordillera Chocolate
Established in 1920, Cordillera Chocolate is the first Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate brand that is manufactured at origin. The company has long been known for good labor practices and attention to sustainable growing conditions. Cordillera Chocolate is a single-origin blend of Trinitario and Criollo cacao beans specially developed for use in restaurants and bakeries. Careful roasting and conching produces an array of professional chocolate couvertures of incomparable quality that were developed by chefs for chefs. Cordillera Chocolate is available through specialty distributors across the US.