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direct trade

In the true sense of Farm-to Table, we apply Direct Trade principles to the procurement of the ingredients used to make Hexx Chocolate. Coming from our roots as chefs we have an appreciation for the farmers and purveyors who grow and raise our food. Developing relationships with the people who grow and import our ingredients is the most important thing that we do. Knowing who grows the ingredients, how they are grown and insuring that the people growing them are paid a fair price is at the core of our beliefs as chefs and chocolatemakers. We strive to have the traceability of everything we use from start to finish and with this in mind we believe that direct trade is the best way for everyone to thrive and grow as partners in our business.

What is Direct Trade? Why do we Practice it and believe in it?

Quality ingredients is the most important aspect to making craft chocolate. Exceptional beans craft exceptional chocolate. Hexx Chocolate believes and practices direct trade because it allows for greater transparency with the farmers and allows us to ensure that the farmers are being treated fairly. We truly believe that this direct contact and relationship with the farmer and importer is the only true way for Hexx Chocolate to ensure that the farmer is being treated fairly for the product that we are receiving. Hexx Chocolate shows support to the farmers by listing out the farms and regions that we source our cacao beans from on the very front of our packaging.

How does this change the chocolate?

  • Our standards for cacao beans are far superior to that of commodity beans, direct trade allows us to have some control over how our beans are harvested, fermented, and dried which will ultimately lead to a consistent method over time to ensure we only receive the highest quality of bean.
  • Not all of our cacao beans are certified organic, because certifications can be a costly expensive for our farmers, but all are produced to the same standards that organic certifiers adhere to. Being ecologically responsible is an important aspect that we support as an organization.
  • We believe traceability is extremely important, we know precisely where our beans are grown, how they are imported, and who we purchased them from.
  • Occasionally beans do not mean our standards and have to be rejected, this only means that we are not willing to sacrifice our standards as craft chocolate makers, these beans can be sold to other producers or as commodity beans, but we are unable to use them based on our standards.
  • Working with the farmers to get the best yields possible from start to finish we strive to control the product before it goes into a bag for shipping, this allows for less sorting on site and a better quality product overall.
  • We work closely with our importers to ensure that we maximize shipping and control the bean storage so that there is no possible contamination or flavor transfer from outside sources.
Camino Verde farms Cacao Fruit, Ecuador
Vicente cutting cacao fruit
Camino Verde cacao farmer, Ecuador

Vicente with cacao fruit
Hexx Chefs Matt S and Matt Pi in Ecuador with Keith from High Road Ice Cream
Hexx Chef Matt Pi with Vicente and Keith from High Road Ice Cream
Hexx Chef Matt Silverman at Camino Verde farm in Ecuador