At the end of my three week trip to Peru, one of the highlights was visiting some of the cacao farmers who produce our raw cacao. There are very few companies in the world who are committed to raw, organic, cacao, and having gone to the Amazon region and understood the logistics better, it's easy to see why.
The company we work with has over 300 farmers in the Amazon region working with cacao. Often these farmers have only very basic literacy, they don't have their own vehicles, or even access to electricity and hot running water. Co-ordinating production and then being able to transport the cacao beans across the country to be processed into liquor, butter and powder is a Herculean effort. Even before it's shipped all the way to us in Europe!
It was amazing to see the cacao growing in its natural habitat, and I ate a lot of the raw fruit and crunched on the raw beans. I particularly loved the beans in their semi-dried state, they were almost gooey in the centre and not as bitter as fully dried beans.
You can read more about it and see more pictures on KateMagic.com.