Did You Know...
- Archeologists digging around Central and South America have found cacao residue on items that date back as far as 1900 BC. Many believe cacao was initially used to create a fermented (alcoholic) beverage. It also seems to have been used for ceremonial and medicinal purposes.
- There's evidence the Aztecs used cacao beans as currency.
- According to the Mayans, cacao (kakaw, as they called it) was discovered--and enjoyed--by the gods, and eventually given to the humans by a plumed serpent.
- Historically, cacao fruit is grown on small, family farms with minimal use of herbicides or pesticides. However, today cacao farmers are taking additional steps to minimize their environmental impact. Cacao trees love the shade, so planting other, taller trees around them helps reduce weeds and improving yields.
- Some cacao farmers are taking a holistic approach to their work, including tactics like using discarded cacao fruit pods to create their own organic compost. However, only 3% of cacao grown worldwide is certified organic.
- According to the World Cocoa Foundation, approximately 50 Million people depend on cacao/cocoa for their livelihoods
- Approximately 100,000 cacao farmers have completed training through the World Cacao Federation Cocoa Livelihoods Program.
- According to the Sustainable Cocoa Innitiative, approximately 7.2 Million Tons of chocolate are consumed annually.