Who are you?
- - Pedro Lafargue-Molina, Founder of TOW SuperFood Chocolate. Farmer - Chocolate Maker - Researcher. CEO
- - Maria Paula Urresta, Co Founder of TOWSuperFood Chocolate. Agroindustrial and FoodScience Engineer, COO
- - Sandra Molina, Founder of Saneli Farm Manabi and social interaction.
- - Mateo Urresta, Designer and Corporative branding.
Get a treat while making a positive impact for farmer families in coastal Ecuador.
Hi my name is Pedro Lafargue and I'm the founder of TOW SuperFood Chocolate. In 2009 I start planting 1000 trees of cocoa to reforest a plantain field in an organic way as the native farmers did (Mixing fruits such as Papaya and banana) and in 2017 I plant 2000 new trees of native cocoa in a different field and we start peaking seed by seed for building a heirloom cacao green house. At the moment I'm working in a PhD research developing a methology to determine the origin of chocolate and cacao beans from around the world.
Hi my name is Paula and I'm the Co-Founder of TOW SuperFood Chocolate and in 2013 we start working with Pedro in our chocolate brand and handmade production, one of the things that I love about TOW is the friendship and relations that we built with farmers and consumers. We produce "tree to snack" artisan cacao beans and chocolate so we can show to the world how the hard work of farmers should be recognize and support.
Our dream today, is that TOW SuperFood Chocolate becomes a direct trade brand between small farmers and European market but also to continue building this cooperation as global farmers . We consider that the only way of fighting poverty and sustainability is by incentivising farmer families to become skilled. We could achieve this by training workers, pay15% to 20% over the market price to fresh and fermented cacao beans and involving local farmers to the professional supply chain.
As we are, FoodScience Engineers our aim is to research and develop new products from cacao and different type of chocolates. Until now we have developed cold raw cacao butter, sport chocolates high in energy and low in added sugars, gourmet chips and pastry single origin chocolate and our special nibs with Andean fruits and partially roasted cacao mass (Liquor). This leads to more family income and opportunities for individuals inside the community.
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Where will the money go?
When we reach our minimum !
- First a Huge hug if you are near us.
- Production and shipping of 200 bars of Direct Trade Fine & Flavour Cacao Beans from Manabi, Esmeraldas and Guayas Ecuador.
When we hit our full target?
- Ecommerce Online Store.
- -Nursery for 5000 plants, made of sustainable bamboo structure and algae fertilizers.
- - Cost of planting.
- -Finishing the Micro Family Farm Fermentarie where microfarmers could take their beans or pods: building materials.
- Finishing Micro Fermentarie 4 Wood Boxes for 200kg of fresh cacao beans + 4 Marquesinas ( For Sun Drying cacao beans) + pulp juice collector + sensors
- Single Origin Beans with directed fermentation.
- Introducing 1 New Andean Flavour of your survey choice (Bar and Clusters) + 100% Chocolate + 70% Chocolate + Partially Roast Cacao Nibs + Raw Cacao Butter.
- New flavour 1: Nibs + Andean Berries chocolate covered ( Become part of our tasting panel).
- Raw cacao butter
- 100% Fruity and Nutty chocolate bar
- Bamboo plants ( It will help to retain more water in the field so it reduce the losses of water in summer and keep the land fertile, also bamboo is used for sustainable architecture).
- Nacional and Fine & Flavour heirloom greenhouse for replanting.
- Labelling of your trees with your names and a short video clip with all the micro farmers.
- Introducing Tow SuperFood Jingle
- This will help to present our product to the European stores and have a headquarter in Bristol UK.
YOU WILL RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES ON THE PROJECT :)
- "Hey, we have some fab rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out."
- You can wait for a surprise, help us to choose a Andean fruit, plant a tropical forest tree or get a mix of chocolates from direct trade.
Find us here
"Follow us to find out how we're doing!"
Help us succeed!
- You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
- In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.
- And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.
After 4 years of taking care of the trees in an ecological system, the production began and after selling my first fresh bag of cacao beans I realised that it will not be possible to recover the investment. The difficulties in price and cost of maintaining cacao are high and working with my mother in the field was not the best way of increasing the yield. With an income as a small farmer and the low price of traders I decide to start giving added value to the beans and went to work for free to a farm 9 hours away from my city ( Quito). During this period, I was working in harvest, pruning, fermenting and drying cacao beans. Right away after this, I met my business partner(Paula) a colleague from University and we started making small batches of "tree to snack" artisan cacao beans and chocolate so we can show to the world how the hard work of farmers should be recognize and support.
During the first years, we were presenting the chocolate in different fairs and stores so we can develop a brand. During these years, I start developing a small farmers collaborations and working with different communities of micro farmers as direct trade suppliers. Interestingly most of the micro farmers didn’t know how to process the cacao beans or hadn't even try the chocolate so with TOW our mission was to develop a business model of presenting the beans and our technical knowledge to develop origin cacao products and in 2015, we got our first organic chocolate certified. As a Cacao Farmer and chocolate maker, I have learn in the fields that this hard labour is not well paid and it is required to get value added during all the stages of the fruit. Most of cacao beans for chocolate industries comes from small farmers ( 70% worldwide ). These producers, like me rent or owns less than 2 ha of cacao production that represent less than the minimum financial equilibrium for getting a profit.
Family Farm Cooperatives:
- Saneli Manabi
- CV Guayas