The Latin name for cacao—Theobroma—literally means, “food of the gods.” This valuable crop played an important role in many ancient Central and South American cultures.
Nowhere more so than in Mesoamerica where archeological evidence shows cacao related artifacts dating back to 400 years BC. Cacao played an important part in ceremonies and rituals as well as being a staple in the Mayan diet.
Central to this area is Belize where the climate, humidity, altitude and rainfall combine perfectly with the rich soil to create the perfect growing conditions for excellent, fine-flavored, organic cacao.
The Maya and other tribes in Belize have grown, processed and lived off cacao for centuries, and still do. It’s in their DNA.
Over the last 5 years Belize’s reputation around the world has grown exponentially as a source of high quality cacao and cacao related products.
Despite the raw, natural conditions and increasing demand, 90% of Belizean cacao farmers are subsistence farmers who were granted land by the government and cannot even afford to fully plant the land they were given. Most are less than 10% planted to cacao.
With a low yield from such a small amount of trees they lack the resources to increase their cacao production to a level where they can use what was given to them to support their families.
Stuck in a circle of poverty they do not have the necessary capital, modern processing machinery or know how to meet the ever growing demand for their product.
The Belize Cacao Consortium has a plan in place to change that.