Marou sources locally grown cacao and then works with fermenters to process and dry the cacao. The beans are then exported and imported by Meridian Cacao Co.
We pay $6607.25 per metric ton of Vietnam, Tien Giang Cacao
Cacao in Vietnam is currently undergoing a tremendous renaissance. Although the country has never been a major exporter of cacao it was introduced there initially in the late 19th century. Most of the cacao is grown along the highly fertile and productive Mekong River delta. Farmers in the region group themselves into fermentary groups. One farmer is designated to have the fermentation facility on his farm and he purchases wet cacao from surrounding small shareholder farms. In its heyday, there were as man as 12 or more of these groups containing 30-40 farmers in each group. Today there are only about 5 of these groups remaining.
One special region in the Mekong delta is Tien Giang. Covering approximately 2,000 hectares it is comprised of mainly small holder farms of less than one hectare each. Tien Giang is in the northern portion of the Mekong delta from the Cho Gao district. About 15 years ago chocolate makers began to take a fresh interest in the cacao from the region. The vietnam based company Marou Chocolate led the charge. They began to work with the farmers throughout the region looking for a reliable source of high quality cacao. Marou now works directly with these farmer associations to insure access to the fine cacao market but also provide excellent technical support as well as financial assistance as needed. Because Marou has worked to increase the quality of the cacao, they insure that the farmers are paid well above fair-trade premium prices for their beans.
We work with Portland based Meridian Cacao to source these special beans. Meridian Cacao works hard to source and import exceptional cacao from around the world. Only a small amount of cacao is grown and exported from Vietnam and even a smaller portion makes it to the United States. We were lucky enough to get a small lot from Meridian, and it is one of our favorites in the lineup.